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KITCHEN NOTES

YOUR
ULTIMATE
PASTA GUIDE

Nothing beats a bowl of steaming pasta smothered in sauce. Find out why ours tastes so good and how to pick your perfect combination with our regional pasta guide – buon appetito!

We’ve been working with our pasta supplier in the Dolomites and our family-run sauce makers in Calabria since 1997 – that’s 20 years of helping you make quick, delicious and authentic meals.

 

The invention of pasta has been claimed by everyone from the Greeks to the Chinese, but no one has made it their own like the Italians. Which is why we’ve declared April our ‘Buon Appetito’ month in store with offers on Italian-inspired products, including pasta and sauces. Ours are made as they should be: by a family-run Italian business, using traditional methods and fresh ingredients.

Our dried pasta comes straight from north-east Italy, where Riccardo Felicetti and his family have been making it to a traditional recipe since 1908.

“The only ingredients we use to make pasta are wheat and water. Our wheat comes from carefully selected Italian growers and our water from a spring 2,000 meters above sea level, in the Latemar mountain district of the Dolomites,” Riccardo explains.

“We air-dry our pasta because it is the most natural way of drying it and at these heights in the Dolomites alpine region, the air is as pure as it can get.”

PICK YOUR PASTA

Lombardy: Farfalle
Commonly known as ‘bow-tie’ pasta, the name comes from the Italian word for butterfly, and can be traced back to 16th-century Lombardy.
Serve it with: A light topping that will cling to the curving surfaces like our Tomato and Basil Sauce.

Liguria: Linguine
Wider and flatter than spaghetti but thinner than tagliatelle, linguine means ‘little tongues’ and first

came from the north-west, where they serve it with creamy seafood sauces, like alla vongole (with clams) or pesto.
Serve it with: Our Tomato and Mascarpone Sauce and seafood of your choice.

Emilia Romagna: Tagliatelle
From the Italian “to cut”, these egg-rich ribbons from Emilia-Romagna are not to be confused with tagliolini, which is long and cylindrical. There’s a gold tagliatelle replica in the Bologna Chamber of Commerce to demonstrate the correct dimensions of this precise pasta.
Serve it with: A traditional ragu like our Bolognese Sauce.

Lazio: Spaghetti
While spaghetti is popular all over Italy, carbonara is a Roman icon – even though its origins are hotly disputed. Some claim it was brought south by the Carbonari (‘coal men’) from Umbria.
Serve it with: Our Carbonara Sauce, naturally.

Campania: Penne
Unsurprisingly, the name of these hollow tubes means ‘pen’, and they hail from the Campania region in southern Italy, where the ridges are perfect for soaking up rich tomato and meat-based sauces.
Serve it with: Our Spicy N’duja and Tomato Sauce.

Sicily: Rigatoni
These chunky tubes come from the Italian word rigato, meaning “ridged”, and are closely tied to the cooking of southern and central Italy, especially Sicily where they serve them with sardines.
Serve it with: Add a seaside salty tang with our Tomato, Tuna and Olive Sauce.

 

 

Why our sauces taste so good

“The vegetables in our sauces are prepared according to what best suits the recipe – chopped or sliced. You have to take care of them to get the best from them” – Arturo Palladino

When it comes to our authentic sauces, we work with third-generation family business Saor, where they make pasta sauce to traditional methods starting with a ‘soffrito’ base of chopped vegetables, cooked down in well-flavoured olive oil until soft.

“If you understand your ingredients and treat them in the best way you can, you get the most out of them,” explains Arturo Palladino. “We cook every ingredient according to what will make it the tastiest – from starting with the onions, which need the most time to develop their sweetness, to adding fresh, hand chopped herbs last, to preserve their layers of flavour.

“Our fresh onions and tomatoes come from local suppliers and our basil, rosemary and other herbs come from our own fields, right next to the factory, where they’re harvested the

morning we make our sauces to retain flavour. We try to add only what you would at home to our sauces.

“We believe in seasonally picked and seasonally packed produce in Calabria – everything is super-fresh, which is why we work exclusively with M&S in the UK. They are the supplier that gives the same passion and attention to the ingredients that we do.”

Photographs: Carolyn Barber / Food & prop stylist: Emily Ezekiel / Editor: Emma Sleight

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