De Cecco Ziti
An Italian Bride's Pasta
In the south of Italy, the term “Zita”or “Ziti” means the bride and is the type of pasta traditionally associated with weddings and is always served at wedding receptions in Italy.
Tasting Notes from the Curator
Ziti or Zita is a long tubular pasta that is quite thick with a fairly rough texture, is broken by hand into uneven pieces, before being put in the saucepan to cook.
Ziti is best for oven-baked recipes with rich sauces filled with meat, vegetables or strong Italian cheeses such as Grana Padano, Pecorino Romano, Provolone or Caciocavallo. Alternatively, it is also excellent served with vegetable sauces prepared with tomato and the addition of peppers, aubergines and courgettes.
If you would like something traditional, Pasta la Genovese, or alla Genovese, is an iconic Neapolitan recipe that uses Ziti. It is a very old recipe created in 15th century that requires slow cooking to make the meat tender.
Ziti is THE pasta for feasts, holidays, celebratory meals and family Sunday lunches in Italy. Traditions are important in the Southern Italian region. This pasta is traditionally broken by hand, just before cooking, usually a shared activity by women of the family. It is usually broken into 4 pieces but less or more are possible.
The Ziti pasta is also a staple during weddings, often served as the first course of the bridal banquets. The name ‘ziti’ came from the word ‘zitelle’ meaning maid or single woman and the pasta is an essential food to celebrate a woman entering the married life as a new bride.
Store in a cool dry place.