Paccheri: The Smuggler’s Pasta
Paccheri pasta comes from one of Italy’s best cities for food: Naples. Most pastas have quaint beginnings, with stories about local grandmothers hand-rolling the noodles in their homes. But the story behind paccheri is much more exciting. This smooth, wide, tubular pasta was the vessel Italian merchants used to smuggle garlic cloves into the Prussian empire! Apparently, the Prussian government had prohibited the trade, and the shape of this paccheri happened to be perfect for sneaking in small cloves of garlic.
An Ingredient That Stuck
Because of this wild history, garlic ended up being one of the most used ingredients for paccheri pasta dishes. Today, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a recipe that doesn’t involve the use of garlic or garlic sauce.
Common Paccheri Recipes
Since the shape of paccheri pasta is so well-suited to holding other ingredients, they are often filled with ricotta cheese or hearty Bolognese sauces. (Of course, garlic pasta sauce is a favorite, too.) This type of pasta begs to be served with Italian meat, especially Italian sausage. In addition to Italian meat, seafood is also a common ingredient in paccheri dishes. Paccheri also makes for great baked pasta recipes.