The dried pasta is produced in Italy from the time of the Etruscans who used the term “makària”, from which Maccheroni and in the souhern areas of Magna Grecia (Puglia, Calabria, Sicily) using the term “làganon” which gave the word Lasagne. The pasta was processed with wheat and other cereals flour added to water. The dough had to be worked for a long time by hand and flattened, cut and finally dried.
This method allowed the pasta to be retained and also transported on ships. Only later in the Middle Age with the introduction of the trafile, the pasta was shaped like rigatoni and penne. For many years pasta was baked in the owen, then was introduced the boiling system, using water and drying the “Pastasciutta“.
Dry pasta is still today a “must” of the Italian cuisine, combined with tomato, meat, fish sauces and cheese, which are the ideal ingredients to enhance its taste. Gluten-free pasta and GMO free pasta have been spread over the last few years, but today we can find excellent pasta based on various ingredients such as turmeric, spinach, beetroot, amaranth, whole grains. A good product requires: dosing and mixing skills, excellent ingredients, pure water and high quality air for perfect drying. The “dried pasta” is so widespread in Italy that every region has invented, its own pasta and the most suitable sauce for it, using the ingredients of the local cuisine.
Choose below your dried pasta, also gluten-free
Let’s start from Sicily, a sea region, where we find pasta with sardines (particularly thick handmade linguine) with fish-based sauce and breadcrumbs, but also spaghetti with squid ink, and pasta alla Norma (maccheroncini) with aubergines and ricotta. In Campania we find two famous pasta dishes: spaghetti with clams and linguine with seafood. Puglia is famous for orecchiette pasta with turnip tops, traditionally handmade pasta with the characteristic regional flavors.
Moving to Abruzzo, pasta changes its name and shape, in fact we find cavatelli, a short and curled pasta so as to hold the sauce. This is normally a pork meat sauce. You will also find this dish in Molise with small variations. Sardinia offers handmade Sardinian gnocchetti (little dumplings) that are paired with tomato and sausage because the region is a land of shepherds who produce pecorino, a full-flavored sheep cheese. In Lazio, you never miss spaghetti with garlic and oil, that are now widespread throughout Italy with the combination of chili peppers, that makes them spicy on request. The most traditional pasta, however, is cacio e pepe, invented by shepherds. In Rome, spaghetti carbonara with egg and bacon or “guanciale” is a must. Bucatini amatriciana are typical of Umbria. Originating from Amatrice in (a city destroyed by a strong earthquake a few years ago), they are one of the most popular pasta dishes, thanks to the sauce made with tomato, bacon, pecorino cheese. In Tuscany, pappardelle with game sauce is a very pleasant dish.
Vegetarians will love the typical Ligurian dish: trenette with basil and pinoli pesto. Emilia and Romagna are famous for lasagna, made from layers of pasta stacked with meat sauce and Parmesan cheese among them, but also for tagliatelle with the typical Bolognese meat sauce. Just handmade, tagliatelle are widespread as spaghetti in most of Italy, especially in the northern regions and have now given birth to appreciated regional recipes. In Piedmont, for example, there is the variant Tajarin (tagliolini or fine tagliatelle) combined with the Alba truffle. After this short tour, you can understand how easy it is to understand that in Italy, wherever you go, you will eat different pasta but always of excellent quality.
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