Category Archives: Pasta

Ga Ga for Garganelli

We love food history. At its best, the history of a food can wind its way through countless variations and tweaks on a centuries-old recipe. In that respect, food history is like the family stories told around the dinner table. The stories may be embellished in parts but the central themes ring true. That is particularly true for this week’s featured pasta.

Italian food expert and writer Carmelita Caruana claims to have the true skinny on our pasta, the garganelli. As she tells it, the invention of garganelli revolves around a group of hungry guests, some quick thinking, and a mischievous pet.

Garganelli were born in 1725, the story goes, in the country mansion of the representative of the Pope – the Pope at the time ruled the region of Romagna – specifically in the home of Cardinal Cornelio Bentivoglio d’Aragona.

His cook was busily preparing Cappelletti, the Romagna cousin of Bologna’s Tortellini, and she was either taken by surprise when a large number of extra guests arrived unexpectedly, or else, in another version of the story, the kitchen cat got at the tasty meat filling when she was not looking! Either way she had dozens of little squares of pasta all cut up and awaiting their stuffing and not quite enough filling to go round.

Thinking on her feet and in some desperation, she decided to dispense with the filling altogether and to make little maccheroni-like rolls instead, with the aid of the pencil-sized wooden twigs used to light the kitchen fire and a tool borrowed from the weaving room; country households spun hemp and wove most of their own linen in those times.

Trouble making is hard work…

Our own cat, Gus Gus (seen here taking a break from similar mischief) has also had his share of kitchen adventures, so we feel for that creative cook. But the real star of the story is the garganelli comb itself.

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Stamp of Approval: Corzetti Pasta Stamps

Pasta types have specific characteristics, similar to DNA, which make them unique to their home regions. There couldn’t be a better example of this uniqueness than this week’s pasta, the Corzetti.

Like Christopher Columbus, these tasty little pasta coins are native to the Liguria region of Italy, and rely on a dough a bit different than the basic semolina variety we profiled last week. The recipe we used is a variation on one used by our friend Mary Ann Esposito, of the PBS show Ciao Italia. It features fresh eggs, AP flour and (our addition) white wine.

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Positively Pasta!

October is Pasta Month at Fante’s!
What are we rolling out?

-Testing and showing off our new Fante’s line of pasta utensils, including the Fante’s Pasta Machine.

-Sharing our favorite family pasta recipes.

-Interview with renowned Italian cooking personality, Mary Ann Esposito of the PBS show Ciao Italia.

-In-store demonstrations of a wide array of pasta items.

This week, we wanted to start off with some pasta basics and answer some frequently asked questions to clear up some commonly held misconceptions about one of our favorite foods.

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