The origins of Capellini, with their evocative name (fine hair) and light consistency, are contested between the area around Genoa, Naples and the Ciociaria (central Italy). It is one of the thinnest types of long pasta wound into a nest shape.
Even the name Capellini is reminiscent of the fine consistency of this type of pasta which is ideal for infants from 9 months old onwards to help them get used to eating food for grown-ups.
Simple condiments are recommended for this type of pasta. It is excellent combined with butter dressings, such as uncooked butter and cheese, or melted butter with sage and cheese. Egg or fresh raw tomato based sauces are also excellent. Another way to enjoy Capellini is in a light, chicken broth. In addition to broths and pasta dishes with sauces, this pasta is also used to prepare oven-baked dishes in the Naples region.
Available in 500g packs.
Penne Piccole Rigate belong to the family of Penne, but differ in diameter as they are slightly smaller.
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".
Penne Piccole Rigate are excellent for preparing pasta dishes with meat ragù made from beef or pork. They also adapt perfectly to sauces made from vegetables such as aubergines, peppers, courgettes and artichokes or to more extravagant recipes with salmon or vodka.
Available in 500g or 3 Kg packs.