TASTING NOTES FROM THE CURATOR
The Mezze Maniche is a chunky pasta. It looks similar to a rigatoni—with its tubular shape covered with ridges, but its size is about half the rigatoni. It works much the same as a rigatoni, and is perfect for picking up sauces when enjoyed.
PREPARATION AND PAIRINGS
In Italy, the Mezze Maniche pasta is usually associated with summery pasta dishes. Try this Mezze Maniche with Guanciale and Spinach:
On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, bake the guanciale (cut into strips) in a preheated oven at 400F for 5-8 minutes, until crisp.
In a saucepan, heat some sundried tomatoes and vinegar together, and let soak for about 5 minutes. Drain the tomatoes and cut them into springs.
In a different pan, put extra virgin olive oil and heat on medium-low. Cook the spinach lightly, and add in the tomato strips. Cook for about a minute.
Cook your Casa Rinaldi Mezze Maniche N. 264 according to package instructions. Drain, reserving some pasta water.
Toss your cooked pasta in the pan with the spinach and tomatoes, and stir together.
In a small bowl, mix together some of the still hot reserved pasta water with some grated Pecorino Romano, and stir until cheese is melted. Pour into the pan with the pasta. Mix it all together, and top with guanciale.
Serve and enjoy!
Mezze Maniche is also great as other pasta dishes like amatriciana, puttanesca, arrabibiata, or carbonara.
Mezze Maniche comes from central-northern Italy, and is sometimes called “maniche dei frati,” which means “friar’s sleeves.” The name mezze maniche means “half-sleeves,” and Italians associate it with airy, breezy summer wear, which is why it’s usually prepared with lighter sauces.
Store dry, uncooked pasta in a cool, dry pantry for up to one year. Preserve freshness by storing dry pasta in an air-tight box or container. Store plain (no sauce or other ingredients) cooked pasta in a container or plastic sealable bag in the refrigerator for up to five days and up to three months in the freezer.