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Bavette Pasta: Everything About the Shape

When you think of flat-shaped pasta, you might think of pantry staples such as tagliatelle, fettuccine, or even linguine. But if you’re looking for something a little more toothsome, you should try bavette. 

Directly translating to “little threads” in Italian, bavette are long, thin strips of pasta that originated in Genoa, Italy. Each strand measures about 10 in (25.4 cm) in length and no more than 0.25 in (0.6 cm) wide. 

In this article, we’ll cover everything there is to know about bavette pasta and provide delicious recipes you can try yourself. Let’s dive in!

Bavette: Origin and Meaning

Here’s a table with essential facts about bavette: 

Pasta Shape:Bavette
Pasta Type:Ribbon pasta
Length:Around 25.4 cm (10 in) 
Width:Around 0.6 cm (0.25 in)
Origin:Genoa, Italy
Meaning:Italian term for “Little Threads”
Similar Shapes:Tagliatelle, Linguine, Trenette

Where Did Bavette Originate?

The beautiful city of Genoa, the capital of Liguria, is responsible for the birth of bavette. Famous for its unique pesto dishes, Genoa’s own bavette pasta provides the perfect accompaniment for recipes such as pesto alla Genovese. These long and thin ribbons of pasta are said to be one of the oldest types of pasta in Italy. 

Although not as well-known as other flat or ribbon-shaped pastas like tagliatelle or fettuccine, bavette is widely used across the globe. Whether it’s simmered in a savory puttanesca sauce or simply finished with pecorino and pancetta, bavette is an amazingly versatile pasta. 

What Does Bavette Mean?

The word “bavette” directly translates to “little threads.” The long, thin strands of bavette allow it to become a perfect vessel for cream-based sauces, as well as oil and pesto-based dishes. If you’re tired of using fettuccine or linguine on your chicken alfredo, or you just want to explore more obscure pasta shapes, bavette is a good alternative when you want to switch things up a bit. 

What Is the Difference Between Bavette and Linguine?

At first glance, these two pasta shapes may seem similar, and even upon closer inspection, it is difficult to tell bavette and linguine apart. Both shapes have an oval cross-section, but linguine are slightly flatter than Bavette

Keep in mind that bavette and linguine can be interchangeable. Due to their similar shape and size, preferring one over the other won’t affect your cooking much. It all comes down to personal preference, availability, and the recipe being prepared. 

Traditional Dishes Suitable for Bavette Pasta

Here are some traditional dishes you can make with bavette pasta:

Bavette al Pesto

Because bavette originated from Genoa, a region famous for their pesto, it seems quite obvious that the two would be a perfect match. A simple, homemade pesto sauce made with pine nuts and some bavette that’s cooked al dente is hard to beat. 

Bavette Pasta alla Puttanesca

Puttanesca sauce is a hearty, savory, tomato-based sauce made with anchovies, olives, and of course, tomatoes. Because this sauce can be paired with most pasta shapes, coupling it up with bavette seems like a no-brainer. 

These simple but delicious dishes are just a few ways you can enjoy bavette pasta.  

Final Thoughts 

Bavette pasta is one of the most versatile pasta shapes in the world. Because of its simplicity, it pairs up nicely with most sauces. Aside from this, it can also work as a substitute for other flat or ribbon-shaped pastas. The sky is the limit when you’re working with bavette.

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