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Paccheri: Everything About the Pasta Shape

Tube-shaped pastas can be served in a variety of ways. From stuffing to baking, these delicious tubes are among the most versatile pasta shapes out there. A great example of this is paccheri. Have you heard of it?  

Paccheri, which means “to slap” in Italian, is a large, tube-shaped pasta that originated in Campania, Italy. They are generally seen as smooth tubes, but a ridged version called paccheri millerighe is also available. 

Read on as we cover everything there is to know about paccheri pasta. We’ll even throw in a couple of dishes you can try on your next culinary escapade. 

Paccheri: Origin and Meaning

Here’s a table with essential facts about paccheri: 

Pasta Shape:Paccheri
Pasta Type:Tube-shaped Pasta
Origin:Campania, Italy
Meaning:Italian term “Paccarià” meaning “to slap”
Synonyms:Maniche di frate, maniche rigate, moccolotti
Similar Shapes:Rigatoni, Tubetti, Maniche

Where Did Paccheri Originate?

Paccheri pasta originates from Campania, a coastal region in Southern Italy. This pasta is often sold dried to preserve its hollow tube shape. 

Today, this pasta can be found across most regions in Italy, and it’s even gaining popularity outside of the country. It is commonly served alongside a chunky tomato sauce, but it can also be stuffed like cannelloni or even laid down in wide sheets like lasagna. 

What Does Paccheri Mean?

The word “paccheri” means “to slap.” There are various stories as to how paccheri gets its name, but the most popular is that it was named paccheri because the hollow, wide tubes make a slapping noise when cooked and tossed in sauce. 

What Is the Difference Between Paccheri and Rigatoni?

Both paccheri and rigatoni are hollow, tube-shaped pastas. However, paccheri pasta is significantly larger and wider than rigatoni. 

Despite not being nearly identical, these two pasta shapes can be used interchangeably, depending on the recipe. If a chunky meaty ragu calls for a robust tube-shaped pasta, both paccheri and rigatoni will do the job just fine. However, if the recipe calls for stuffing a pasta shell, your best bet is to stick with paccheri. 

Traditional Dishes Suitable for Paccheri Pasta

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

Paccheri alla Sorrentina 

This simple regional dish hails from Sorrento and features only three ingredients: tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. Gently simmering the tomatoes with the herbs and finishing it with melty mozzarella is a quick and easy way to enjoy your paccheri pasta. 

Hearty Beef Ragu

Ragu’s complexity and boldness of flavors needs to be balanced with a humble yet sturdy pasta such as paccheri. Slow-cooked beef simmering in a red wine and tomato sauce is the perfect topping to freshly cooked paccheri. 

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

Final Thoughts 

If you’re looking for a unique and versatile pasta shape to try out, give paccheri a try. This large, tube-shaped pasta can be stuffed, baked, and even simmered. If you happen to see a box of paccheri on your next grocery run, be sure to try it out!

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