WHAT IS DITALI?
Ditali is Italian for “small thimbles” due to its small, tube-like shape. Ditalini is a smaller version of ditali (like all pastas ending in “ini” being a smaller version of their predecessor.) It is very popular in soups and has also been called baby penne or very small macaroni. Pasta e fagioli is a popular Sicilian recipe that uses ditalini.
WHERE IS DITALI MADE?
Southern Italy, primarily Campania is the birthplace of this cut. However ditali become much more prominent when pasta production went from hand-made to industrial. Puglia then became one of the main industrial producers.
WHAT FOOD CRITICS SAY VS. WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN?
The internet is filled with the musings of food critics trying beautiful pasta dishes at brand new restaurants. But sometimes it’s hard to understand what actually happened. Let me peel back the curtain a bit to show the wizard actually at work:
- “I was introduced to this delicious dish by famous chefs X and Y” – I ate at their restaurant once and they had no idea who I am. Neither do most people but I can’t say that and expect you to keep reading my article.
- “Our photo shoot went so well, we need more samples for the article” – the staff at the shoot ate all of your samples, but it’s just before deadline and we suddenly need to re-shoot. Can you (the importer) make an emergency delivery?
- “Who is working with this food in my area?” Which retailer or restaurant can the author mention in their article ensuring free stuff during future personal visits?
- “The dish tasted acerbic” – description a writer uses when they are lacking in humorous descriptions
- “An ambitious meal” – it kinda sucked, but if I say that I’ll seem like an ass
- “They played it safe with” – I skipped this meal instead of binging on Bravo TV?!! Really!!!
- “It seemed appetizing” – it wasn’t, even if it was actually served as an appetizer
- “I give it zero stars” – my ex-husband/wife/lover or someone who broke up with me owns this place
- “I didn’t know that” – I did know, but have to dial down the pompous ass factor a bit before dialing it back up for the big finish
- “Better then it needs to be” – I like the food but hate the people sitting around me, does this place deliver?
- “Little did they know that” – no one noticed that I didn’t wear my disguise or recognize me for that matter
- “Little did I know that fate would test me as never before” – I had to pay for the meal and ask my publisher for a reimbursement.
For a great article on food critic phrases, please click here!
WHAT SAUCES GO WELL WITH THIS PASTA?
The small size of this cut means it is easily lost in very thick sauces, or sauces with a lot of other ingredients swimming about. You can pair this cut with creamy or ragu sauces. But be careful on the ratio of pasta used. The sauce should not completely overwhelm the dish. If you’d like to see one of our recipes using ditali check out our Italian mushroom sauce recipe!