We all know spaghetti, lasagna, and macaroni. Some are also really fond of penne (me!), ravioli, and farfalle. But there are so many more great Italian pastas yet to be discovered!
These are the ones that I tried during my recent trip to Rome. The gnocchi was familiar to me, but I have never actually tasted it. I must say that all three pasta types now hold a special place in my heart, because they’re truly delicious.
Aside from the meaning of this Italian word for priest-choker, the pasta itself actually is really delicious! The pasta originates from the northern regions of Italy, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. The tale behind the name tells that priests were so enamored by the pasta that they ate too quickly and choked themselves. Which to be honest, I can understand. I’ve eaten it in a restaurant in Trastevere (more about that later this month!), where it was served with the traditional carbonara sauce.
Gnocchi are potato-based dumplings, although they could also be made with semolina or plain wheat flour. The gnocchi are eaten as a primo piatto. The dumplings are great when lathered with pesto, melter butter and sage, or just with grated cheese and oil. Or bake them in the oven, alla romana.
This pasta is basically the same as spaghetti, and quite typical for Rome. Especially when used in the classic Cacio e Pepe dish, which is tonnarelli smothered in Pecorino cheese and lots of freshly ground pepper. To me, the pasta seemed to have more bite and a firmer texture than other spaghetti-like varieties.