‘Badly Cut’ Pasta!
In Italian, the word ‘maltagliati’ literally means ‘badly cut’! In fact, these squares, rhombus or irregularly shaped flat pasta pieces started life as the remains of rolled out tagliatelle pasta dough, or re-kneaded ravioli cuttings.
Although once just a way for housewives to use up leftover pasta dough, nowadays, maltagliati pasta is sold by a lot of pasta companies. When buying dried maltagliati, you can find it cut into slightly different shapes. It sometimes has ruffled edges and sometimes it’s irregular depending on the pasta maker. In general, homemade versions are often quite irregular. Commercially produced maltagliati, on the other hand, is more uniform.
Maltagliati pasta around Italy.
This type of pasta is popular throughout Italy but particularly in Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Puglia , Abruzzo and the Marche. Locally, it may also have different names. For example, in the Valtellina, they make tiny maltagliati from leftover pizzoccheri dough and call it ‘pizzoccherini’. In Liguria, maltagliati is also called ‘martaliai’ and they often add cheese to the dough.
In Lazio, this pasta is known as sagne ‘mpezze and in Puglia, it’s also called ‘pizzelle’ whereas in Abruzzo they call it ‘pettole’or sometimes ‘fregnacce’. Sagne pasta also from Abruzzo is a type of maltagliati.
Traditional maltagliati pasta recipes.
Italians serve Maltalgiati pasta in different ways, either in broth or with a sauce. Again recipes can vary from region to region. In Emilia-Romagna, maltagliati is considered a typical local product. This is not surprising since tagliatelle originally came from this region. There, they often make this pasta from leftover tagliatelle dough. The most popular way to cook these pieces of pasta is in a bean soup. Here in Veneto, they also use it in ‘pasta e fagioli’ (pasta and beans).
In Puglia, they often serve maltagliati with chickpeas. In the Marche, they eat this pasta with a duck or lamb sauce, with chicken liver ragu or with wild asparagus. As you can imagine, you can find many versions of maltagliati pasta with various names and in many different recipes throughout Italy.
The first recipe I posted for maltagliati comes from Sicily, maltagliati con l’aggrassatu. I decided on a Sicilian recipe because I bought the pasta in Sicily. I actually bought it in Corleone, a small village famous for its mafia population! This pasta recipe has a delicious sauce of braised veal and onions. You can read more about it by clicking the above link.
I’ll be adding other maltagliati recipes soon. Do you know this pasta? Have you ever eaten it?
Other maltagliati pasta recipe to check out.
- Pasta with chicken livers and porcini mushrooms.
- Homemade corn and wheat pasta triangles with pancetta.
We’ve been making maltagliati from scratch, which is fun since you don’t have to be terribly precise while cutting. Had no idea there was a real Corleone town and that they make it! Would be wonderful to find a source here in the U.S.
Thanks for your comment Deb, I’ve actually never made any type of maltagliati myself but it’s on my to make list. Yes lots of companies sell dried versions. I’m sure if you search online you’ll find a seller. Corleone is not an interesting place to visit but they do have a mafia museum and it is/was home to a number of mafia familys!
Badly cut sounds like you’re describing my cooking skills. Hahaha! This is awesome. Thanks for sharing!