Penne is an extruded type of pasta with cylinder-shaped pieces, their ends cut at a bias. The shape, obtained from a Penne pasta tube, can be smooth or ridged, of varying length and has the typical diagonal cut of a quill.
Penne Rigate are perfect for preparing oven-baked pasta or pasta dishes served with meat sauces made from pork or beef. This pasta is equally as good with vegetable based sauces and more in general, due to its versatility, for any recipe from the Mediterranean tradition, such as the classic condiment with tomato, basil, extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan. A classic combination is with Arrabbiata sauce.
Penne are one of the few types of pasta for which there is an exact date when it was created. In 1865, a pasta-maker from San Martino d’Albaro (Genoa), Giovanni Battista Capurro, requested and obtained a patent for a diagonal cutting machine. The patent was important because it meant the fresh pasta could be cut like a quill without crushing it and in different lengths from 3 to 5 centimetres (mezze “half” penne or penne). The document preserved in the Central Archive of the State of Rome reads: “Up until now, a diagonal cut could only be made by hand with a pair of scissors which, in addition to being slow and time-consuming, also resulted in an irregular cut which flattened the pasta”.
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.