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Sicilian shape of pasta

shape of pasta

1. Busiate

People in Sicily (Trapani, to be precise) have been given pasta this shape since a long time. And in those thousand odd years they seem to have forgotten why they named it ‘busiate’.

There are two schools of though. One claims the origin lays in the word buso meaning knitting needle. The other school brings the name back to a local plant called Ampelodesmos. The straight canes were called buso, too.

It all comes down to twisting pasta around a skewer. That way the surface is increased. The pasta is hollow so it can absorb more condiment. Clever, right?

In Trapani they have a particular seasoning for their busisate. ‘Pasta alla Trapanse’ uses raw tomato, almonds, garlic, basil and olive oil.

shape of Sicily: busiate

2. Anelletti

anelletti are the pasta used for pasta al forno

The Italian name for that kind of pasta is ‘anelletti‘, little rings. What is remarkable is that ‘pasta al forno‘ is the only Italian recipe it is used in. Well, Sicilian recipe and even more precise, Palermitan recipe. 

There are many legends on the birth of the ring shape pasta. A very acceptable version is that it represented jewelry. And it was an easy type of pasta to transport. What we know for sure is that the cradle stood in Sicily.

3. Margherite, royal shape

One straight border, the other rippled. A curious shape that recalls butterfly wings. Hence the Sicilian nickname vampasciusciaThe name margherite refers to the queen. So apart from pizza, cake she has her name on pasta. 

With a slightly different shape are mafalde or reginette. They have both sides rippled. Mafalda is another royal figure. A very sad one. The unfortunate princess died in a German concentration camp.

One of Palermo’s signature dishes is pasta with anchovy and breadcrumb. With margherite. 

royal shape: margherite

4. Couscous

shape of Sicily: couscous

Yes indeed, couscous is shape of pasta. Made from durum wheat. After milling the left over pellets get sprinkled with water and worked. Incocciare as they say in Sicily.

More than boiling, people steam couscous. A preparation that is similar in many countries around the Mediterranean sea.

Couscous -cuscus- is a speciality in Western Sicily, in the province of Trapani. It is served with fish rather than meat of vegetables.

5. Casarecce, home made shape

Casarecce is a popular pasta shape in Sicily. The name refers to home-made pasta. Whereas busiate are a work of art, casarecce are a tad easier to make.

Nowadays people buy this pasta in the supermarket. It is so local it can substitute other shapes without disturbing.

Casarecce with swordfish, eggplant and mint. 

casarecce, a typical Sicilian pasta shape

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