Italy is famous for its style, for design and the originality of its architecture, for the avant-garde, for not being afraid to dare – never…
This approach is ingrained in our DNA, and has its roots in the resourcefulness of the past.
The adventurousness that characterises us has not saved any area of our lives from the bizarre, not even the kitchen!
Even pasta can be extravagant, whether for the name or the shape.
- Strozzapreti: “strangle the priests” originated in Romagna during the domination of the Papal State. Many novels have been said on the origin of the name and none of them had a happy end for the priests. More properly, though, they are named after the way this type of dough is shaped: from the Greek ‘straggalao’ (to roll) and ‘prepto’ (to hollow).
- Corzetti “tiæ coe dïe e stampæ”: meaning stretched with fingers and printed. This special form of pasta was literally printed with wooden moulds consisting of two parts, one that served as a ‘stamp’ and the other used to cut the dough. What is even more bizarre is the decreasing size that happened in the years: from 7 cm in 1860 to 5.5 cm in 1960. Today, the diameter is 5 cm net.
- Tortelli con la coda: “Tortelli with a tail” are a kind of stuffed pasta that looks like it is braided and has a tail. Originated in the Piacenza area, they boast a noble origin: it is said that they were created in honour of Francesco Petrarca, who visited a noble feudal lord of the region in 1351.
- Manate: if you also want your shot of “slaps”, you will need to travel south to the Lucania area. This pasta is prepared simply with bare hands. This long piece of pasta is made thin, rolled around the hand and then slightly flattened, only making sure that each piece does not stick to the other (tip: use a lot of flour).
- Filindeus: the “hair-thin pasta”. These super-thin tagliatelle were served in hot sheep’s broth with a sprinkling of pecorino cheese as a reward for pilgrims devoted to St Francis. Today, they are famous for being the rarest pasta in the world: the sad record has been achieved because the technique for making them is incredibly difficult and now almost sadly forgotten.
Beware, as there are many other weird pasta names and shapes around Italy. Travel and you will never cease to be amazed! Discover more about the Italian Culinary Program at ALMA!