14 January 2009

The glory of the noodle.

It's been a deplorably long time since my double feature at Martinique (dinner two nights in a row! Would you believe?), but anyway. All I'll say now is that I had some really fabulous gnocchi that prompted the thought: what does gnocchi translate to in Italian? I had heard that it came from the Italian word for "pasta," but of course I had to check my sources before I could blog about it. I was ultimately led into an extravagant process of tracing linguistic roots that involved conceiving of every pasta name I could think of and attempting to translate each one back.

Without further ado, here goes... I apologize if your favorite noodle has been excluded; most likely, the reason is that the translation was far too boring or redundant to be of any interest to anyone. Pictures of some of the more intriguing pasta shapes are underneath the names.

Campanelle: little bells

Conchiglie: shells
Fusilli: from "fusile," or rifle, in reference to a rifle's screw-shaped barrel?
Orecchiette: little ears

Strozzapreti: priest-stranglers (!!!)

Cannelloni: big reeds
Cavatappi: corkscrews

Manicotti: sleeves

Mostaccioli (like smooth penne): mustaches!
Penne: pens (boring)
Rigatoni: from riga --> line
Spaghetti: from spago --> twine
Vermicelli: little worms (appetizing)

Capellini: thin hair
Fettucini: little ribbons
Linguini: little tongues
Lasagne: cooking pot
Agnolotti: lambs' ears

Gnocchi: from gnocco --> a knot in the wood
Ravioli: little turnips

Also, just a quick to-do list, so I don't forget:

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