Discover the secrets of Paccheri: The Neapolitan Flavours

In the bustling streets of Naples, where the scent of freshly baked pizza mingles with the salty breeze of the Mediterranean Sea, lies a culinary gem that embodies the essence of Neapolitan cuisine: Paccheri. This traditional pasta, with its large, hollow cylinders, serves as a canvas for the rich and vibrant flavors that have defined Neapolitan cooking for centuries. From its humble origins in the heart of Southern Italy to its status as a beloved staple on dinner tables around the world, Paccheri tells a story of tradition, innovation, and above all, a deep appreciation for the simple pleasures of good food.


In the narrow alleys of Naples’ historic center, where laundry flutters overhead and locals greet each other with warm embraces, Paccheri has long been cherished as a symbol of home-cooked comfort. The pasta’s name, derived from the Neapolitan word “paccaria,” meaning to slap or knead, reflects the hands-on approach that goes into its creation. Crafted from durum wheat semolina and water, the dough is skillfully rolled and cut into thick tubes, then left to dry in the warm Mediterranean air. The result is a pasta with a uniquely porous texture, perfect for soaking up the bold flavors of Neapolitan sauces.

Every bite of Paccheri carries with it a taste of history, harking back to a time when Naples was a bustling hub of trade and cultural exchange. The origins of this iconic pasta can be traced back to the Arab rule of Southern Italy in the 9th century, when traders introduced durum wheat to the region. Over the centuries, Naples’ skilled pasta makers refined the art of pasta production, adapting their techniques to suit the local ingredients and preferences. Paccheri emerged as a popular choice among Neapolitan families, prized for its ability to hold hearty sauces like ragù or seafood marinara.


One of the secrets to Paccheri‘s allure lies in its versatility. While it may have originated as a humble peasant dish, today, Paccheri graces the menus of Michelin-starred restaurants and home kitchens alike, showcasing its adaptability to a range of culinary styles. In Naples, it’s not uncommon to find Paccheri served simply with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and freshly cracked black pepper, allowing the pasta itself to take center stage. Conversely, Paccheri also shines in more elaborate preparations, such as Paccheri alla Genovese, a hearty dish featuring slow-cooked onions and beef, or Paccheri al Sugo di Mare, a seafood lover’s delight brimming with clams, mussels, and shrimp in a tomato-based sauce.

Beyond its role as a vessel for sauces, Paccheri’s size and shape make it a standout ingredient in baked pasta dishes. In Naples, Paccheri al Forno is a beloved comfort food, featuring the pasta tubes stuffed with ricotta cheese, tomato sauce, and meatballs, then baked to golden perfection. The result is a dish that’s rich, hearty, and irresistibly comforting—a true taste of Neapolitan home cooking.

As Naples’ culinary traditions continue to evolve, Paccheri remains a constant, beloved by locals and visitors alike for its ability to capture the essence of Neapolitan flavors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *