The Pasta Maker has recently introduced a new selection of more unusual pasta shapes coming to us from Italy – ‘Armoniche‘ meaning ‘harmonica’.
These strange looking pasta shapes are also known as ‘Radiatore‘ meaning ‘radiator’. Therefore, recently you have been asking how armoniche, radiatore pasta is made.
Those of you who are as passionate about pasta as we are, are keen to know how to create that weirdly shaped pasta in your own home. Let’s first explain a few things about these amazingly innovative pasta shapes that you will be interested to know.
Name that pasta
Many pasta shapes that go back centuries have had their names changed in some way or another. For example, the names ‘macaroni‘ and ‘noodle‘ has been a generic name for pasta for many years depending on where in Italy you come from. There are also those forms of pasta that have a common name wherever you may be in the world, which can often make it difficult to research their origins, and many of us love to have a bit of history with our food:
There are also those pasta forms that are known by a variety of names as with ‘radiatore’ depending on where in Italy you are, and there are many examples to choose from:
- Fettuccini, tagliatelle
- Cavatappi, cellentani, amori, spirali
- Gigli, campanelle, riccioli
- Cavatelli, malloreddus, gnocchetti sardi (according to Wikipedia, Cavatelli is known by at least 28 different names)
However, many regions of Italy are extremely passionate about naming and claiming different pasta forms as their own, especially those that can be made by hand. For example, ‘Foglie d’Ulivo‘ – meaning ‘olive leaf‘, can be traced to the region of Basilicata in Southern Italy. And ‘Fusilli Napolitani’ asserts its home quite clearly.
How armoniche, radiatore pasta is made
It is believed that the birth of pasta goes back as far as the 1st century AD. This means that the pasta we are familiar with today has had plenty of time being researched and developed into the nearly 2,000 types of pasta (NOTE: year 2016, give or take a few hundred pasta names referring to the same pasta form).
The pasta making process was mechanised in the 1600’s and it is the extrusion or pushing of pasta dough through bronze dies, which has ultimately led to the wide amount of shapes we see today.
Radiatore or Armoniche pasta is commonly referred to as the pasta inspired and designed by the world of mechanical engineering and automated industry. Shaped like a radiator or for the more romantic among us, a harmonica, the cylinder with wavy fins will hold many sauces perfectly.
As for attempting to make them by hand, The Pasta Maker tells us that you will require a very strong fork or deeply ridged gnocchi press and be very, strong to create the cylinder and those beautiful deep ridges. The process will be similar to forming gnocchi or gnocchietti.
So to answer the question: ‘How is Armoniche pasta made’, even The Pasta Maker will defer to the industrious Italians. After all, to re-create a pasta form born of the industrial age, by hand and in your own kitchen, just doesn’t seem to make any sense. Isn’t it better to use the time to invent something of your own – now there’s a challenge! At least while we wait for the delivery of our bronze die.