There is a type of pasta that is making a semi comeback in some New York restaurants. I say semi comeback because this is not a well know type of pasta to begin with. Caramelle is a variety of pasta the looks just like it’s candyish namesake. Caramelle is pinched on both ends about an inch before the pasta ends. The middle of the pasta is rounded and, of course is stuffed with whatever your heart would desire. Just like a Ravioli pillow with ties on the end. Pasta candy!
Several New York City chefs have been using this little known pasta shape in unique ways, making the pasta pertly striped or brightly colored such as the pink offering from Barano that is made from the juices of beets. The restaurants brave enough to use this quirky pasta shape (Don Angie, Faro, Legacy Records, and Osteria Morini to name a few) have been well received. New York has always been a literal melting pot for different cuisine, but Caramelle has made the rounds of several New York restaurants in the 1990’s. It is believed that this type of pasta was originally used in Northern Italian homes as a “holiday pasta” and is not even included in “Encyclopedia Of Pasta” English or Italian version.
Wherever this pasta came from, Caramelle sounds fun to make and eat. Almost like adults are allowed to play with their food. In a world where pratically everyone takes photos of their perfect plate of food before eating, these pasta would steal the show. I would love to find a recipe for this type of nooodle and give it a try myself. I could hide all sorts of small chopped vegatables in those candy shaped pillows, tricking my kids with a fun shape and great taste. If you happen to be in New York or visiting soon, here is a link to the original article with a restaurant listing, complete with colorful photos of this fun pasta shape. Happy eating!