Mezze Penne Rigate belong to the family of Penne, but differ as they are slightly shorter.
In Italian, the term "Penne" refers to the goose feather which was used historically to write with and was cut on a diagonal to achieve a really thin tip. The shape, obtained from a pasta tube, can be smooth or ridged, of varying length and has the typical diagonal cut of a quill.
Penne are one of the few types of pasta for which there is an exact date when it was created. Indeed, in 1865, a pasta-maker from San Martino d'Albaro (Genoa), Giovanni Battista Capurro, requested and obtained a patent for a diagonal cutting machine. The patent was important because it meant the fresh pasta could be cut like a quill without crushing it and in different lengths from 3 to 5 centimetres (mezze "half" penne or penne). The document preserved in the Central Archive of the State of Rome reads: "Up until now, a diagonal cut could only be made by hand with a pair of scissors which, in addition to being slow and time-consuming, also resulted in an irregular cut which flattened the pasta".
The smaller-sized Mezze Penne Rigate are perfect for stirring up together with creamy sauces, both red ones made with tomatoes or white ones made with cheese, or with classic vegetable soups to be eaten with a spoon.
Available in 500g and 3 Kg packs.
The name in Italian refers to the shape and comes from the Vulgar Latin tortillare which literally means to wrap in a spiral with a characteristic pattern from the lathe used in pasta production.
The shape is particularly versatile, but also very original, and best suited to full-bodied sauces.
Tortiglioni are excellent served with succulent, meat-based sauces. They are also very good served with tomato sauce or vegetable and tomatic sauces. It is a particularly suitable type of pasta for oven-baked dishes.
Available in 500g packs.