• Antonio

Types of Sicilian Pasta

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

What’s in a pasta shape? Over the many generations pasta has becomes an art, a symbol of design, a creation. Not all pasta is the same. There is pasta, then there is Pasta!

It has been suggested that there are around 350 different types of pasta. The location, the environment, the natural beauty, all goes into the creation of a Pasta more desirable to the palate, and tempting to the family at dinner time.

With about four times that many names for them! Some types may have different names in different languages, or even in the same language. In Italy names vary according to the region or area.

Our Sicilian Pasta has all of that and more. Until you try our Sicilian pasta, you will not know what delights are install for you.

Pasta has 310 specific forms known by over 1300 documented names. In Italy, the names of specific pasta shapes or types often vary by locale. For example, the pasta form cavatelli is known by 28 different names depending upon the town and region.

When eaten respectfully, pasta can be part of a healthy diet. Whole-grain pasta may be a wiser choice for many, as it is lower in calories and carbs but higher in fiber and nutrients. However, in addition to the type of pasta you pick, what you top it with is just as important.

Pasta simple, yet...

Pasta dishes are generally simple, but individual dishes vary in preparation. Some pasta dishes are served as a small first course or for light lunches, such as pasta salads. Other dishes may be portioned larger and used for dinner. Pasta sauces similarly may vary in taste, color and texture.

There is a difference between pasta and great pasta. Sometimes as simple as the shape and sauce you use can make all the difference to your meal. Generally speaking, larger shapes tend to be paired with more robust, thicker sauces.

Generally, pasta can be cooked, plated and served with a complementary side sauce or condiment; used in soups to add thickness; or baked in the oven with cheeses, meats and vegetables.

Pasta Origins

While we do think of pasta as a culturally Italian food, it is likely the descendant of ancient Asian noodles. A common belief about pasta is that it was brought to Italy from China by Marco Polo during the 13th century.

Marco Polo did spend several years in China, learning the country's traditions and culture, and he may have brought Chinese noodles and other foods back from his journeys.

Noodles are usually made with flour milled from common wheat. Pasta is processed from durum semolina, which is coarser than typical flour. However, that difference is not always so cut and dried.

Food historians estimate that the dish probably took hold in Italy as a result of extensive Mediterranean trading in the Middle Ages. From the 13th century, references to pasta dishes like macaroni, ravioli, gnocchi, and vermicelli crop up with increasing frequency across the Italian peninsula.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, dried pasta became popular for its easy storage. This allowed people to store pasta on ships when exploring the New World.

The Tomato

Tomatoes have played an important part in the pasta story. the first Italian tomato sauces dates from the late 18th century: the first written record of pasta with tomato sauce can be found in the 1790 cookbook L'Apicio Moderno by Roman chef Francesco Leonardi.

Using tomato sauces to give pasta its flavour was revolutionary, since it was originally eaten plain. It is believed the use of tomatoes originated in southern Italy. In Southern Italy more complex variations include pasta paired with fresh vegetables, olives, capers or seafood.

The Art of Pasta

By the way, Francesco Leonardi can be considered one of the fathers of Italian Cuisine abroad since he cooked in the kitchens of Queens and Tsars, as he globe trotted around the world before finally returning home at the end of his career.

The art of pasta making and the devotion to the food as a whole has evolved since pasta was first conceptualized. It is estimated that Italians eat over 27 kg (60 lb) of pasta per person, per year!

International Pasta

Pasta was originally solely a part of Italian and European cuisine. With an increase in popularity on a worldwide scale, pasta has crossed international borders and is now a popular form of staple food elsewhere. This is due to the great amount of Italian immigration around the beginning of the 20th century to other continents.

Pasta is so beloved in Italy that individual consumption exceeds the average production of wheat of the country; thus Italy frequently imports wheat for pasta making.

But here in Sicily we grow the ultimate fine organic pasta for our customers.

Why not visit the different shapes of pasta here on our website. You may find some to delight the palette. Like and subscribe.

Sicilian Style Pasta

Linguine, meaning "little tongues" in Italian, has a flat and long shape that's slightly narrower than fettuccine. It is best paired with seafood, pesto, and tomato sauces.

Wider than penne, rigatoni consists of large, short tubes with ridges down their sides. The ridges and holes make it great for pairing with any sauce, from creamy or cheesy to chunky meat sauces.

One of the most popular pasta types, spaghetti is traditionally served with thin sauces such as olive oil or tomato sauce but goes well with nearly any sauce. Variations on the spaghetti shape include spaghettini, which has thinner strands, and spaghettoni, which has slightly thicker stands.

Calamarata is a thick, ringed pasta that looks like rings of calamari (hence the name); it is also often dyed black with squid ink.

Anelli is a smaller yet similar representation of this ring-shaped pasta.

Casarecce pasta is a very narrow, twisted, and rolled tube, almost resembling a scroll. This pasta is best served with chunky sauce and can be used in a variety of casserole dishes, as well.

The word paccheri apparently actually comes from the ancient greek (“πας” -all and “χειρ” -hand) which is still used in the Italian language to mean a pat or a slap given with an open hand, but not in an aggressive way.

The name comes from Italian word maccheroni (the plural form of maccherone). Macaroni pairs well with practically any type of sauce, baked recipes, soups, salads or stir-fry dishes.

Fusilli is spiral shaped, and those spirals are great for picking up finely chopped bits like carrots, onions, pancetta, and ground meats.

True Pasta

Pasta is a food originally from Italy consisting of dough made from durum wheat and water, extruded or stamped into various shapes and typically cooked in boiling water.

Pasta is a filler. Where others may have bread or rice to fill out the meal, pasta is that. The beauty of pasta is that the Italians make it fresh. Accompanied by fresh vegetables and olive oil, along with herbs and spices, pasta is a meal for champions.

The Pasta Filler

Pasta is rich in complex carbohydrates and protein. Being low in fat, pasta can be a highly nutritious food, especially if it's made from whole wheat.

Enriched wheat pastas, which make up the bulk of commercially available pastas, also offer good levels of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, iron, and selenium.

Pasta for Protein and Carbs

For lower calorie and carbohydrate content, rice comes up trumps. But if protein and fibre is your aim, pasta wins over rice. Carbohydrates like pasta provide glucose, the crucial fuel for your brain and muscles.

When eaten in moderation, pasta can be part of a healthy diet. Whole-grain pasta may be a better choice for many, as it is lower in calories and carbs but higher in fiber and nutrients.

Cholesterol and Pasta

The Pasta is the heart of the entire dish. While some forms of pasta can be healthy, other types of pasta may contain a lot of calories and have a high carbohydrate content. These could cause your cholesterol levels to increase.

If you're watching your cholesterol levels, organic pasta is perfect for you, being very low in sodium and cholesterol free.That is why organic pasta is always the better choice.

However you enjoy your pasta be it with sauces and vegetables, bacon, cheeses or other ingredients, may you fill full, comfortable, and most of all happy. Pasta is a meal to enjoy.

Pasta with a smile.
Image by Claudio_Scott from Pixabay
  • Source and reference from various authoritative works including Wikipedia and snippets from other publications. A bite here, a bite there.

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