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Casarecce Pasta: Everything About the Shape

To say that pasta comes in all shapes and sizes is an understatement. From simple, basic shapes like spaghetti to complex ones like radiatori, there’s no shortage when it comes to pasta shapes. One pasta type that stands out among the rest is casarecce. Have you heard of it? 

Casarecce, which directly translates to “homemade” in Italian, is a short, loosely twisted pasta that originated in Sicily, Italy. The noodles have curled edges with a groove in the center, which is said to resemble a scroll. From the side, the pasta forms an elegant “S” shape.  

Come with us as we cover everything there is to know about casarecce pasta. We’ll even provide delicious recipes you can try yourself.

Casarecce: Origin and Meaning

Here’s a table with essential facts about casarecce: 

Pasta Shape:Casarecce
Pasta Type:Twisted pasta
Origin:Sicily, Italy
Meaning:Italian word for “homemade”
Similar Shapes:Strozzapreti, Fileja, Gemelli

Where Did Casarecce Originate?

Sicily is credited for birthing a plethora of pasta shapes. This is why it’s no big surprise that casarecce comes from there too. And because Sicily is known for its bright and sunny summers, it only makes sense that casarecce shines best in summery pasta recipes such as a traditional Sicilian pistachio pesto or a light pasta salad tossed with olive oil, tomatoes, and ricotta. 

What Does Casarecce Mean?

The word “casarecce” directly translates to “handmade.” Traditionally, this pasta is formed by twisting and shaping the pasta dough around a ferretto rod, but artisan or mass produced versions achieve the same shape by extruding the dough through a die made from bronze or Teflon.  

What Is the Difference Between Casarecce and Fileja?

Although both casarecce and fileja share similar features, there are a few key differences that make them stand out from one another. 

In terms of origins, casarecce comes from Sicily while fileja comes from Calabria. Visually, casarecce resembles a twisted scroll shape while fileja more closely resembles busiate. 

Despite all these differences, both casarecce and fileja can be enjoyed in similar ways. Because of their built-in nooks and crannies, they both tend to do well with heavier pasta sauces. The increased surface area created by the ridges provides an excellent sauce-catching feature in both pasta shapes. 

Traditional Dishes Suitable for Casarecce Pasta

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

Traditional Sicilian Pistachio Pesto

This Sicilian classic is the perfect way to enjoy this unique Sicilian pasta. A creamy, light, and perfectly savory pistachio-based pesto sauce paired up with a delightfully toothsome casarecce and sprinkled with Parmigiano Reggiano is a great way to get acquainted with Sicilian cuisine. 

Chorizo, Ricotta, Zucchini, and Casarecce Pasta Salad

For the perfect summer dish, try tossing a classic summer vegetable like zucchini along with meaty chorizo chunks, creamy ricotta, and al dente casarecce pasta. 

These simple but delicious dishes are just a few ways to enjoy casarecce pasta.  

Final Thoughts 

Casarecce pasta is one of Sicily’s most unique creations. The elegant, twisted shape of this pasta allows it to be the perfect addition to most pasta dishes, from traditional sauces to pasta salads, and even casseroles. If you find a box of casarecce on your next grocery haul, be sure to give it a try!

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