The Pasta Teller: Chapter 5 – Fusilli

The Fusilli is a particular shape of pasta, typical in Campania and Molise, two Italian southern regions. It is distinguished by its characteristic spiral shape. The dough is usually made just with durum wheat, water and salt.

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Making homemade fusilli

The artesian that use to make homemade fusilli were called “Maestre Fusillaie”, which means “Fusilli-maker Professors”, were admired it required years of experience to learn the hand-making secrets to shape this pasta.

The traditional technique has been passed down through the generations. It consists in rapidly twirling a short snake of dough around a knitting needle or a spindle. Apparently, it seems easy but if you don’t do it properly the hole of the fusillo could collapse or it would be impossible to coil the dough.

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Place of origin

Gragnano is the most famous place for pasta manufacturing in Italy. Here, the fusilli are still hand-made, twisting them around an iron spindle and drying them under the sun. This same technique is used for other shapes of pasta like trofie and strozzapreti

What sauce should I use?

Due to the spiral shape, fusilli is perfect for all kinds of sauces, both simple and elaborate. It combines perfectly with Basil and tomato or  Hot Ricotta cheese sauce. It is also great with cold pasta salads.

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Another curious type of fusilli is the Long Pierced Fusilli, which reminds you of long curly hair and are usually beloved by children (and adults as well!).

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They are fabulous when dressed with meat sauces, such as bolognese tomato sauce that could be enriched, adding vegetables, such as aubergines and peppers, and cheese grated on top of the pasta.

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