ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Historical Regional Cuisines Of Italy - Campania: Part IV

Updated on March 29, 2009

The variety of Neapolitan pasta is so massive that it could warrant a book just to itself. These days, the urban Neapolitan cuisine is much more centered around durum wheat semolina pastas of primarily industrial production, as compared to homemade pastas, which are much more widespread the inland areas of Campania. The tradition of mass production of pasta in Naples goes back at least to the sixteenth century, when it was first realized by an intrepid entrepreneur in Gragnano that the area presented absolutely ideal conditions for the drying and storage of pasta. One of the primary concerns in Naples as pertains to pasta is the critical time for cooking the pasta, which should be very al dente and not one second overcooked, in particular if the pasta is destined to be subsequently sauced up in the skillet.

I will never forget the look on my parents' eyes the very first time they sat at a Canadian diner and ordered spaghetti. To their sensibilities, the pasta had been overcooked by several weeks! They couldn't get over what slimy overdone pasty slop North Americans thought spaghetti actually was!

Among the most common varieties are the more classic long forms such as spaghetti, linguine and bucatini, and the typical Neapolitan shorter formats, such as paccheri and ziti, which traditionally are broken by hand before being cooked and served with meat ragu sauce . For the preparation of pasta with vegetables, the preferred local choice is mixed pasta (pasta ammescata). This was once sold at lower price because it is nothing more than the broken remnants of the other formats, but it is now sold as a format in itself. Just like the Neapolitans, to figure out a way to get the "silly foreigners" to pay full price for pasta scraps! Breaking from the mold of durum wheat semolina pastas are the gnocchi, which are usually hand made with flour and potatoes.

The variety of recipes for pasta in Neapolitan cuisine is vast almost beyond measure and includes both very simple dishes, like pasta with tomato and basil, or a basic aglio e uoglio (garlic and oil) all the way to extremely elaborate preparations, including the ragu sauce that may, in the more traditional method of preparation, take five or six hours of simmering.

Neapolitan cuisine, true to its poverty stricken tradition, often combines pasta with legumes. Popular are pasta with beans (the famous pasta e fasuli... "when you look at the moon, looks like pasta e fasool, that's amore"), pasta with chickpeas, pasta with lentils, and pasta with peas. These traditional pairings continue with pasta with potatoes, pasta with cauliflower, and even pasta with pumpkin. Most of these pastas are quite alien to the "foreign" taste, with the starch - starch pairing of pasta and potatoes being exceptionally distasteful.

The traditional humor of the Neapolitan populace finds its way into the naming of its pasta dishes as well. Spaghetti, dressed with a sauce of the local San Marzano tomatoes, Gaeta olives and capers are called spaghetti alla Puttanesca, or the Whore's Spaghetti; while spaghetti served with a sauce of tomatoes with garlic, olive oil and parsley are defined Spaghetti with Fuijute (Run Away) Clams, where the shellfish are present only in the imagination of the hungry, wishful diner.

Continued in Campania Part V

Check out the entire tour of Italy's Historical Regional Cuisines!

Emilia Romagna - Coming Soon
Friuli Venezia Giulia - Coming Soon
Lazio - Coming Soon
Liguria - Coming Soon
Lombardia - Coming Soon
Marche - Coming Soon
Molise - Coming Soon
Piemonte - Coming Soon
Puglia - Coming Soon
Sardegna - Coming Soon
Sicilia - Coming Soon
Toscana - Coming Soon
Trentino Alto Adige - Coming Soon
Umbria - Coming Soon
Valle d'Aosta - Coming Soon
Veneto - Coming Soon


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)