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Mezze Maniche

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What is mezze maniche?

Mezze maniche is a type of pasta that is tubular in shape and that is usually scored with ridges (rigate). Mezze maniche is essentially rigatoni pasta, but half the length. This type of pasta comes from Northern Italy and is named after monks’ sleeves, due to its shape.

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What are the best recipes for this type of pasta?

The regions of Northern Italy tend to prefer light cream sauces and depend more on vegetables and seafood than they do on meat. People in this part of Italy also typically see mezze maniche as more of a summer pasta, which is why it is usually accompanied by a light pasta sauce. A popular way to eat this type of pasta is with a light, cheesy cream sauce and sauteed mushrooms.

Can I eat mezze maniche with meat?

When Americans think of rigatoni pasta, a thick meat sauce is generally what comes to mind. Looking at mezze maniche, it is only natural, then, to assume that the same rules apply. While the people of Northern Italy don’t usually eat this pasta with meat, the shape and the texture do lend it to being a great vessel for hearty meat sauces. So, we give you permission to go ahead and break the rules!