12 Authentic Neapolitan Pasta Recipes.

12 Authentic Pasta Recipes from Naples and Campania.

Many of the world’s most popular Italian dishes come from Naples, think pizza, caprese salad, eggplant parmigiana and spaghetti with tomato sauce. The latter is just one of many iconic pasta recipes you can find in Naples and the rest of Campania! These 12 Authentic Neapolitan pasta recipes are just a sample of those wonderful pasta dishes.

12 authentic Neapolitan pasta recipes

Naples and the rest of Campania is a pasta lover’s dream! In this Southern Italian region, you can find the largest number of high quality artisan pasta producers in Italy. Dried pasta has been made here for more than 500 years and many popular pasta shapes were created here. Paccheri, ziti, linguine, calamarata, mafaldine, fusilli, elicoidale, vermicelli, vesuvio, scialatielle and candele are just a few of the pasta shapes from Campania.

ziti pasta from Naples
Ziti pasta comes from Naples

Campania is also home to some of the best fruit and vegetables in Italy. In fact, it is the agri-food centre of the country, producing more than 500 traditional foods. Tomatoes (San Marzano and Piennolo del Vesuvio), eggplants, sweet peppers, zucchini, spring onions, broccoli, olives, olive oil and citrus fruits are just a few of the local ingredients that go into Neapolitan cuisine.

paccheri pasta from Naples
Paccheri pasta comes from Naples

Apart from fruit and veg, you can also find amazing seafood, cheeses (e.g. mozzarella di bufala), salumi and other types of sausage, and meat such as rabbit, quail, pork and lamb. All these above mentioned foods are used in Neapolitan pasta recipes, of which there are many! These 12 authentic Neapolitan pasta recipes are just some of the ones on The Pasta Project. And, of course, there are hundreds more to be discovered!

Click the recipe name to go to the recipe post.

vesuvio pasta from Naples
vesuvio pasta comes from Naples

Seafood Pasta Recipes from Naples.

Vesuvio Pasta with Mussels and Black Beans

Vesuvio Pasta with Mussels and Black Beans.

Pasta and beans is one of the most traditional dishes in the Italian kitchen. This simple dish is eaten throughout Italy. Each region has its own recipe or recipes! One of the most well-known versions is this pasta with mussels and beans, also called Neapolitan pasta and beans.

In Naples, this dish is often like a thick soup. However, some prefer a drier version like in this recipe. In the soup version, the pasta is usually cooked together with the beans in broth. This is definitely more filling and heavier. So, probably better suited to the cooler seasons! In this drier version, I cooked the pasta very al dente separately and then finished it off with the tomatoes and black beans.

Linguine with Clams (alle vongole)

Linguine with Clams (alle vongole)

Linguine with clams is an iconic Neapolitan pasta recipe that is loved around the world. It’s also THE most popular seafood recipe here on The Pasta Project. This is my Sicilian hubby’s version. He’s pretty generous with the garlic and peperocino (red chili pepper) but it’s just the way I like it! Of course, you can use less for a milder version.

Seafood Linguine al Cartoccio (in foil)

Seafood Linguine al Cartoccio (in foil).

Linguine with seafood in foil is a fabulous dish to serve to guests! This popular Central-Southern Italian recipe is made with a delicious fresh seafood sauce which is mixed with very al dente pasta and then finished off in foil or baking paper packages in the oven! Although this seafood pasta recipe is popular in a number of coastal regions, its invention is claimed by two Neapolitan restaurants, both of which are still famous for this dish today.

Pasta with Baby Octopus alla Luciana.

Pasta with Baby Octopus alla Luciana.

Pasta with baby octopus alla Luciana is a traditional Neapolitan dish with very ancient origins. It is apparently inspired by fishermen from the historical seaside neighbourhood of Santa Lucia, Naples.

These local fishermen, also called ‘luciani’, were well known for their octopus fishing skills! They caught octopus using terracotta amphorae placed on the seabed and then cook fresh ‘purpetielli’ (baby octopus in the local dialect) in a very simple way, with tomatoes, garlic, peperoncino and, sometimes, with capers and black olives too. Just like this recipe!

Meat Pasta Recipes from Naples

Ziti with Genovese meat sauce

Ziti with Genovese meat sauce.

Pasta la Genovese, or alla Genovese, is an ancient Neapolitan recipe. In fact, this dish was apparently created in the 15th century and is probably the oldest of these 12 authentic Neapolitan pasta recipes.

This is one of the most traditional dishes that Neapolitan families prepare for Sunday lunch, important holidays and special occasions. This recipe is basically onions (lots of onions!) and beef slow cooked together for 3 to 4 hours (yes 4 hours!!)  to create a thick rich sauce, which is served with pasta, normally ziti or zitoni.

Tagliolini pasta pie recipe from Naples.

Tagliolini pasta pie.

Pasta pies are especially popular in the south of Italy, where they often eat them on feast days and holidays.  There are 2 main types of pasta pies, ‘crostata’ and ‘timballo’. This is a crostata, meaning it’s made without being encased in pastry, breadcrumbs or vegetables like eggplants. There are different versions of tagliolini pasta pie. This is one of the simplest. However, it looks beautiful, tastes great and isn’t so time-consuming to make!

Pasta arancini from Naples

Pasta arancini.

In Italian, these pasta croquettes or arancini are also called crochette di tagliolini or ordura di tagliolini. These are a popular Neapolitan snack or street food. And, they date back to the 1800s.  Made with stuffed egg pasta that is then breaded and fried, these balls of pastaliciousness are popular with kids and adults alike!

Caccavelle pasta alla Sorrentina

Caccavelle pasta alla Sorrentina.

Caccavelle pasta alla Sorrentina is a flavourful and rich traditional baked pasta recipe from Campania, in particular Sorrento. Some versions of alla Sorrentina don’t include meat but this one does. Here, the pasta is giant 50 g pasta shells said to be the biggest pasta in the world! The shells are filled with meat ragu and cheese and then baked in the oven in individual terracotta pots. Perfect for Sunday lunch and holiday menus.

Vegetarian Pasta Recipes from Naples.

Vermicelli di Positano from Naples

Vermicelli di Positano.

There are a number of recipes for pasta di Positano or alla Positano and they’re not always the same! This particular version is perfect for summer. Not only is this recipe light, but it’s also a super easy no-cook recipe, meaning you only have to cook the pasta. The rest of the ingredients, mostly tomatoes and herbs, are marinated in extra virgin olive oil for an hour or two.

Once you have cooked your pasta you just have to mix it with the marinated veggies and serve! This Neapolitan pasta recipe is my hubby’s favourite summer dish. If you try it I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as he does!

Pasta with mushrooms and cream recipe from Naples

Pasta with mushrooms and cream.

Known as ‘miezi paccheri alla capa ’e’ mbrello in the local dialect, this Neapolitan pasta recipe for mezzi paccheri with mushrooms and cream is super simple to make and outstandingly delicious!

This dish is a bit like a carbonara with cream, with mushrooms instead of guanciale. The combination of the eggs, cream and grated Parmigiano combined with the mushrooms cooked in butter create a fabulous sauce that really needs no other seasoning or flavours.

Spaghetti al limone with ricotta, basil and lemon

Spaghetti al limone with ricotta, basil and lemon.

Spaghetti al limone has a wonderful fresh summer taste, with an intense lemony flavour. Close your eyes and you can even imagine you are eating it sitting on a terrace overlooking the sea on the Amalfi coast or Capri! This is a no-cook recipe. In other words, the sauce isn’t cooked, only the pasta. So, it’s perfect as a summer dish. Or, when you just want a quick light meal. You can even make the sauce a day in advance and keep it sealed in the fridge until you are ready to make this divine pasta recipe from Naples.

Rigatoni pasta alla parmigiana.

Rigatoni pasta alla parmigiana.

Eggplant parmigiana is practically a symbol of Southern Italian cuisine, particularly Naples and Sicily. This rich and tasty vegetarian rigatoni pasta alla parmigiana recipe is made with the same ingredients as eggplant parmigiana and tastes just as wonderful! You can bake it or eat it without baking. A pasta recipe from Naples that’s full of Mediterranean flavour!

12 authentic Neapolitan pasta recipes

If you do try these 12 authentic Neapolitan pasta recipes, I’d love to hear what you think. Please write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your feedback means a lot to me!

Buon Appetito!

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12 authentic Neapolitan pasta recipes

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  • Avatar
    Marlene Caruana
    July 8, 2020 9:07 pm

    Keep your recipes coming please! All so delicious!!! many thanks

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    July 7, 2020 11:56 pm

    What a fabulous collection of pasta recipes you have given. Each recipe is worth try. WIll be trying few soon.

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    Julie @ Running in a Skirt
    July 6, 2020 7:44 pm

    I really need to get cooking! These pasta dishes all look perfect to make at home. Such great flavors in your food! I love it.

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    July 6, 2020 6:55 pm

    I couldn’t pick a favourite even if you asked me, these all look so delicious and it’s so fun to read about all the different pasta types out there! Our UK supermarkets don’t even scratch the surface!

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    July 6, 2020 5:12 pm

    I feel like I’m traveling through Naples now with these recipes. As always, they look absolutely delicious and crave-worthy!

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    July 6, 2020 10:51 am

    Such an amazing collection of pasta recipes. My favorite of all si spaghetti aglio e olio. They definitely make a wonderful and filling meal.

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    Cory Varga
    July 6, 2020 8:43 am

    I mean where there’s pasta there’s happiness. I love these dishes, so delicious!

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    July 6, 2020 7:27 am

    I love this pasta collection. I always learn so much about authentic pasta from your posts!

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    July 6, 2020 6:24 am

    I am a big fan of ziti pasta, and so amazed to find it in your list. Thank you for sharing such amazing pasta recipes that reminds me of Italian vacay.

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    Ali Hanson
    July 5, 2020 7:24 pm

    I LOVE looking at all of your pasta recipes. They always make me so hungry and ready to travel! This one looks especially delicious! Tagliolini pasta pie.

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    Marisa F. Stewart
    July 5, 2020 6:38 pm

    What a wonderful collection of pasta dishes. I’ve already pinned the post so I can access the recipes. Now, I’m looking at your Vesuvio pasta and it looks just like the Trottole pasta I have in my pantry. I especially like your seafood and pasta recipes. Finding calamari is not difficult but octopus will be a bit of a challenge but I’m determined to find it. Brava!!

  • Avatar
    Chandice Probst
    July 5, 2020 5:58 pm

    I was JUST searching authentic Italian pasta recipes…love that I found this. Thank you so much!

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    July 5, 2020 5:38 pm

    What a wonderful pasta recipes round up. Totally love all the dishes especially rigatoni pasta alla parmigiana. I made it for lunch and we all loved it.

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    Felicia Austin
    July 4, 2020 9:07 pm

    I love all pasta and this list is the holy grail! I especially love the look of the vesuvio pasta!

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    Gail Montero
    July 4, 2020 7:16 pm

    We were just in Naples around this time last year and I enjoyed the pizza and pasta there! What a yummy collection!

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    Amy Liu Dong
    July 4, 2020 9:47 am

    I loved pasta in any form, I already tasted some of these but would love to try the others like Pasta arancini and Caccavelle pasta alla Sorrentina.

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    July 4, 2020 8:29 am

    Amazing collection of pasta recipes. Bookmarked to try few of them in this list. Thanks for sharing

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    July 4, 2020 6:56 am

    Since I’m not able to visit Italy as we planned this year, I think these Napolitano and Campanian dishes are the next best thing.

  • Avatar
    July 4, 2020 6:52 am

    What a delicious post! I can imagine every single one of these dishes sitting in front of me and me enjoying them.

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    July 4, 2020 3:11 am

    I love all of the seafood pasta recipes, they are my absolute favorite. I love this collection.

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    Jere Cassidy
    July 4, 2020 3:03 am

    Great post to see your pasta recipes. I want to try them all. Curious which one is your favorite.

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    July 4, 2020 2:54 am

    I’m fascinated by the Taglioline pasta pie and the Caccavelle pasta alla Sorentina (though I seem pretty unlikely to be able to find that particular pasta!) I really enjoyed seeing the great range of dishes in this set.

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    July 3, 2020 4:45 pm

    Love this blog post! I learned so much and I cannot wait to give some of these delicious pasta recipes a try!

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    July 3, 2020 7:23 am

    what an amazing round up, i’m so starving and this is just making me crave pasta! they all look fabulous!

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    Anindya Sundar Basu
    July 3, 2020 4:16 am

    Love pasta in any form and will try this out at the earliest . Thanks a lot for the recipes

  • Avatar
    July 2, 2020 7:03 pm

    Wow all of these authentic Neapolitan pasta recipes looks delicious. I chose to make Pasta la Genovese and it was so good.

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    July 2, 2020 5:19 pm

    I was in Italy last summer for my cousin’s wedding, and your post really took me back to the sights and flavors I loved so much while I was there. I keep meaning to recreate some of the recipes we enjoyed, and I was so excited to see the recipe ideas on your list! Thank you for the inspiration to get cooking and relive my wonderful time in Italy!

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    July 2, 2020 3:59 pm

    Love all your recipes. Pasta is one of the best meal option for my family and I am storing these on my list of awesome dishes. Very interesting.

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    July 2, 2020 6:30 am

    So many wonderful choices here! I really miss Italy and can’t wait to go back. The mushroom and lemon pasta dishes look particularly good!

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    Sondra Barker
    July 2, 2020 5:36 am

    I am a pasta lover so I can’t wait to try all of these dishes! They all look so amazing

  • Avatar
    Bernice Hill
    July 1, 2020 11:08 pm

    What a collection of great pasta dishes…I’ve never seen arancini made with pasta before!! If Naples and Campania are a pasta lovers dream, I’m dreaming of visiting!!

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    Taleen | Just As Tasty
    July 1, 2020 9:35 pm

    I feel like I’ve learned so much from this post! I love seafood pasta, so I’ll definitely be bookmarking a few of these recipes. Thanks!

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    Stine Mari
    July 1, 2020 4:10 pm

    Your recipes always make me so hungry. Is the Caccavelle pasta alla Sorrentina really one huge pasta shell filled? That sounds so cool, I would love to try it.

  • Avatar
    Travel Clans
    July 1, 2020 10:52 am

    looks fantastic! So many great recipes to try!

  • Avatar
    Lesli Schwartz
    June 30, 2020 11:11 pm

    Wow, there are so many good Italian pasta recipes in this post I would have a hard time picking even a few! So, I’ll lean towards the seafood pasta dishes. Everything looks so amazing!

  • Avatar
    June 30, 2020 10:43 pm

    Give me all the pasta recipes!

  • Avatar
    June 30, 2020 7:22 pm

    All of these dishes look amazing! I can’t decide which is my favorite. I’ve never seen the pasta pie before and I’d love to try it. What an informative post!

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    Aditi Bahl
    June 30, 2020 6:15 pm

    Absolutely loved your post. 12 amazing pasta recipes and all compiled together in one post. I am saving this surely for the future. Pasta is a staple for us and is surely trying each one in the next meal.

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    Nart at Cooking with Nart
    June 30, 2020 7:10 am

    These 12 pasta dishes all look so good but the Tagliolini pasta pie is the most interesting to me so I’m gonna try that one first!

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    June 30, 2020 3:26 am

    So many great recipes to try!

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    June 30, 2020 2:39 am

    Arancini is one of my faves!!

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    June 30, 2020 12:48 am

    Linguini and clams is a personal favorite recipe. It is even what I had on my first date with my now husband! Pasta love!

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