Rigatoni Pasta by © Sophie W. Smith
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The most commonly used cut in southern and central Italy, rigatoni (rih-gah-TOE-nee) are large, ridged, slightly curved tubes of pasta with square-cut ends. The name comes from the Italian “rigato,” the past participle of “rigare,” to draw a line. They are excellent for chunky meat sauces and cheese sauces because the ridges, or grooves, catch the sauce. The large diameter of rigatoni tube, as well as the penne and mostaccioli tubes, make them ideal to catch pieces of meat or vegetables in the sauce—the entire surface, both inside and out, works to adhere the sauce. A famous preparation, it includes a sauce of plum tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes, pancetta or bacon, and grated Romano cheese. Read more

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