Nodi Marini: One Of Giada De Laurentiis' Favorite Pasta Shapes

Giada De Laurentiis
Giada De Laurentiis - Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

In Italy, pasta doesn't just fill the belly — it tells a story. Tortellini, for example, was famously inspired by the naval of the goddess Venus, who was staying the night at a tavern in Castelfranco Emilia. The unique, rope-like strozzapreti, or "priest strangler," was named in the hope that rent-collecting priests might choke on it. Another is nodi marini, or "sailor's knots," which coils strands of pasta together in tribute to the complicated knots sailors must learn to tie. This favorite pasta of Giada De Laurentiis — the Emmy-award winning television personality, New York Times bestselling author, and celebrity chef — is also called molloni, or "strings." In Naples, it's known as vesuvio, as the shape is said to resemble the famous Mount Vesuvius volcano that still smokes and rumbles above the city.

Whichever name you prefer, the squiggly pasta is having a moment thanks to the praise and promotion of De Laurentiis. She discovered the under-the-radar pasta while on a trip to Italy and determined to bring it back to the United States. "Nodi Marini is one of my fav pasta shapes!" she declared on X, formerly known as Twitter, and walked the talk by including it among her first pasta line, launched in 2023.

Read more: 44 Types Of Pasta And When You Should Be Using Them

The Best Pasta Dishes For Nodi Marini

handful of nodi marini pasta
handful of nodi marini pasta - Dmitriev Mikhail/Shutterstock

The curls in nodi marina don't just make them cute — or a delicious Rorschach test — they actually trap chunky pasta sauces. This makes them ideal for dishes such as vesuvio al ragu di salsicci, which blends the pasta with sweet Italian sausage, crushed tomatoes, and onions; Calabrian chili pasta with chili paste, a favorite ingredient of De Laurentiis; and roasted vegetable pasta with stracciatella.

The versatility of nodi marini has inspired novel takes, too. A good example is air-fried garlic parmesan pasta chips. After being cooked and covered in olive oil, garlic, herbs, and parmesan, the pasta goes into the air fryer for a few minutes to become a crispy finger food dipped into marinara sauce. A chiller dish for hot weather is a chipotle pasta salad that tops nodi marini with chickpeas, feta, veggies and herbs, and a creamy chipotle pepper sauce.

In all dishes using nodi marini, it's essential to learn how to cook to al dente, as any more could weaken or lose the curls that define both the pasta's shape and purpose. That means boiling the pasta only about 12 minutes in a large pot of salted water. When tasting, look for a tiny white dot in the pasta after biting into it to determine if it's al dente. To turn your recipe up to 11, you might follow De Laurentiis' tips on making great pasta from scratch. That will truly make your pasta flag fly.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.