History, Recipes & Folklore

Making beautiful pasta is our job, but pasta is only half the recipe. That’s where you come in because it’s your job to make it delicious! That’s why we’ve put together this section of recipes & resources. Here you will find guidance on everything from how salty your water should be, to how to to pick the perfect sauce to go with your shape (that’s a thing, and apparently in Inferno’s epilogue Dante threw in a tenth circle reserved for those who would Frankenstein Gnocchi and Carbonara). But fear not! We are here to help you stay in Italy’s good graces and guide you to pasta bliss.
For general cooking advice please proceed here.

Pasta Fresca ai Porcini
Pairs with: Mafalde, Spaghetti

It’s Fall and we wanted to share this soul-satisfying recipe meant to warm your bones. Feel that brisk air sweeping through the pine needles, and walk upon a forest floor of fallen leaves with this archetype of Autumn. Prepared with Porcini Mushrooms from Borgotaro, real Parmigiano Reggiano, and delicate Pasta Fresca, the leaves will change before your eyes. Use the right ingredients (Gustiamo) Cook your pasta al dente, and travel to Emilia-Romagna in your mind...

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Pasta al Pomodoro
Pairs with: Spaghetti, Rigatoni, Radiatori

There are a few ways to make a tomato sauce, here we will cover the simplest, which can also be the base for many other sauces. Simplicity is a pillar of Italian cuisine so don’t overthink this one and for best results make it with fresh local tomatoes.

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Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino
Pairs with: Spaghetti

One of the great beauties of Italian cuisine is it’s so simplistic, that the recipe and the name of the dish are often interchangeable. Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino is the ultimate last minute dish, and is used as a cure-all in Italy for everything from hangovers to sadness to the dreaded colpo di vento (hit of wind) which can wreak havoc on the unprepared or ‘un-scarved’. It would taste good with anything, but its inseparable from spaghetti.

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Sugo alla Crema di Peperoni
Pairs with: Spaghetti, Rigatoni, Casarece, Mafalde

This sauce, made of 3 core ingredients, and the crema comes not from added cream, but from blending the sautéed bell peppers with olive oil and garlic. Nevertheless this sauce is creamy, sweet, and goes with just about every shape out there.

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Pairs with: Spaghetti or Rigatoni

You may as well give it a shot with Casarece…you never know.

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Pairs with: Spaghetti or Rigatoni

Another classic of the Cucina Romana…

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Pesto alla Genovese
Pairs with: Spaghetti, Rigatoni, Casarece, Mafalde

A perfect spring through summer dish! The word pesto refers to any condimento made in a mortar and pestle and examples range the boot from the Sicilian Pesto alla Trapanese to the classic Genovese. Here we will be discussing the timeless Ligurian practice of alchemy performed with the all-star cast of basil, pine nuts, Parmigiano, Pecorino (preferably Sardo), garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil (preferably Ligurian). Of course resorting to a fine olive oil from Umbria would be no great loss, nor would it be at all incorrect to use one from Puglia, or Sicily, or Greece or Spain. Just make sure it is extra virgin, of high quality, and ideally you should be able to trace the origins to honest producers who would not sweat a drop in front of a Carabinieri blind taste test!

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A product of the industrial age, Radiatori were one of many machine-inspired shapes to come out of the early twentieth century. Allegedly modeled after the Bugatti’s grill, their fins cling dearly to most any sauce, pair radiatori with bite sized vegetables such as peas to round out each bite.


At home in the South of Italy, Rigatoni are named for their rigati or ridges. Commonly celebrated on Sundays in Italy, we feel any day is a good day for Rigatoni. The traditional preparation in Sicily saw these beautiful Maccheroni were baked in earthenware pots with sauce and cheese and sent into the fields for the harvesters to enjoy hot for lunch. Opt for a hearty sauce filled with vegetables which may venture into its tubular mouth.


A subtle twist, folded gently upon itself in an ‘s’ Casarece are the perfect shape to cook when you can’t choose between a long or a short pasta. The folds will bear with patient generosity the weightiest of ragù, or the most featherlight of condimento.


Fusillo is a Neapolitan dialect term, and the old pasta makers of the Amalfi and Sorrentine coasts probably used it for this curious pasta shape, which had landed there many centuries earlier. It was made with a type of spindle-shaped ferretto called a fuso (spindle), which the Gypsies also used to use to make pasta. 

Fusilli were handmade products and were widespread especially in Naples and in the provinces of the kingdom when the millers, in addition to milling the grain, used female labor to make the various pasta shapes. They were the everyday pasta among the wealthier classes.

In Italy Fusilli is usually served with a piquant ragù especially of lamb or pork, but also with vegetable-based sauces, and plenty of grated local pecorino!


One of the few pastas dedicated to the royal House of Savoy, Mafalde were named after the Princess Mafalda, daughter of then King Victor Emanuel III. This regal shape has enjoyed a much fairer fate than its namesake, who met her demise amidst an Allied bombing campaign on the Buchenwald Concentration Camp where she was being held by German High Command for “ostensibly subversive activities”.


Spaghetti is a classic long shape found throughout Italy and typically prepared as pastasciutta with simple tomato sauces, or paired boldly with the great Roman Triumvirate of Sauces: Amatriciana, Carbonara & Cacio e Pepe. According to Roman poet Trilussa, heated familial political discussions were no match to a fresh plate, and “as soon as Mamma tells us the spaghetti are done, we are all of one mind.”