What Is Farfalle and How Do You Pronounce It?

Even though they’re all essentially made from the same stuff, it’s impossible to not have a favorite pasta shape. Some of us prefer a slender fettuccine, others insist on the total supremacy of the elbow macaroni, but there are a few folks out there who know that, deep down, the best pasta shape is the mighty farfalle. Chances are you’ve had a dish that incorporated these little beauties, but what are farfalle, really? Well, we’re here to guide you!

What is farfalle?

Known to many as the “bowtie” pasta because it’s shaped like a bowtie, farfalle has been satisfying pasta cravings since the 1500s when it was first created in northern Italy. The word “farfalle” actually comes from the word “farfalla,” which means butterfly in Italian. Farfalle start as rectangular pieces of pasta, which are then pinched in the middle, creating their unique shape (which apparently looks like a piece of clothing to us Americans and beautiful butterflies to Italians). The edges of the “bow” are often cut into serrated ridges.

Farfalle pasta is typically made with semolina and has a smooth surface, however, there is also “farfalle rigati,” which has grooves. Farfalle also comes in different colors and flavors, such as red (made with beets), green (made with spinach), and black (made with cuttlefish or squid ink). And, if regularly sized pasta simply isn’t your bag, farfalle also happens to be manufactured in different sizes. The miniature size is called “farfalline,” while the larger variety is “farfallone.” 

How to eat farfalle?

Farfalle is an endlessly versatile pasta that works great simply tossed with olive oil or, that perennial child favorite, butter. It also goes incredibly well with heavier red or cream-based sauces if you’re looking for something more substantial. It’s often a go-to for pasta salads, and tastes amazing with a hefty slathering of pesto. Name a sauce (other than chocolate, of course) and farfalle goes with it! 

How to pronounce farfalle?

The real farfalle pronunciation is “faar-faa-lay.” whether you choose to do it with a revved-up stereotypical Italian accent is totally up to you.  

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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