Few things are more Italian than pasta. being in Italy Easter an almost indispensable component for any serious meal. A bit like our potatoes, which the Italians find strange. Because potatoes next to vegetables? Why aren't potatoes a vegetable?
Conversely, it is strange to us that spaghetti or other forms of pasta are hardly a main meal in Italy. Pasta falls into the category of 'primi', or the appetizer. After the pasta comes the 'secondo', the real main course.
Just because pasta isn't a main course doesn't mean they aren't important. On the contrary. Italians are proud of their Easter and claim that their healthy lifestyle is in large part due to eating good pasta. But of course on the pasta like mom that makes.
What exactly is pasta?
Pasta is what we know in the Low Countries mainly as 'pasta'. It is made from hard grains. The dough can be cut into all kinds of shapes. With us, the most common forms are macaroni and spaghetti. Macaroni is a virtually unknown pasta shape in Italy. In Italy you have an almost infinite number of varieties, which you can buy in dried or fresh varieties. In any supermarket you already have a huge choice, let alone in a specialized store.
There is evidence that pasta was eaten in Italy thousands of years ago. They had the Etruscans, for example, but they also made even earlier civilizations themselves. Even today, 'paste' in Italy are often still made at home. A job that requires a lot of work, if you want to do it right.
Pasta can also be filled with cheese or meat, such as tortellini, ravioli or cannelloni.
Until recently, we only had macaroni and spaghetti in the Netherlands (it wasn't until the eighties that we actually discovered that these were only two variants of what we now also call 'pasta'), nowadays Italian delicacies are on the rise. There are even more and more specialty shops where they sell the fresh stuff. So it is no longer necessary to go to Italy to eat real pasta.
Op pastasite.nl you will find a large number of recipes to lick your fingers.
The different types of pasta
There are countless varieties of Italian pasta. Each region and each province has its own specialties in Italy. A number of pasta shapes can be found below:
- Conchiglie rigate, ribbed shells, are available both very large and small
- Penne rigate, corrugated hollow straight tubes
- Rigatoni, slightly larger variant of the penne rigate.
- Cannelloni, large round pipes that are filled
- Cavatelli, irregular shapes, smaller variant of Strozzapreti
- Farfalle, butterfly or bow-shaped pasta
- fettuccine, ribbons
- Fusilli, a twisted spiral pasta
- Gnocchi, except from wheat flour often made from potatoes, the Gnocchi di patate
- Lasagna, flat rectangular pasta sheets
- Linguine, flat spaghetti
- “Macaroni” (Dutch corruption of Italian: maccheroni) hollow arches in various sizes
- Maltagliati, irregular shapes, made from leftovers of fresh pasta after cutting tagliatelle
- Orecchiette, Italian for 'ears', a pasta from Puglia
- Pappardelle, flat long form, a wider variety of tagliatelle
- Pici, thick hand-rolled long pasta from Tuscany
- Pizzoccheri, a kind of tagliatelle from Northern Italy
- Rice noodle, kind of noodle
- Risoni, resembles rice and is made for soup
- Ravioli, two pieces of dough on top of each other with filling in between
- Spaghetti, round long form
- Strozzapreti, hand-rolled hollow oblong pasta shape, originally from Emilia-Romagna
- Tagliatelle, flat long shape
- Tortellini, rolled up piece of dough with filling and then folded with the ends together
- Tortellini, larger version of the tortellini
- Trofie, semolina pasta from Liguria
- Vermicelli, strands thinner than spaghetti