March 19, 2012 - Fearlessly Archived - Still a fun read, price & availability may have changed.
Catcher in the Rigatone
With penne-like hallows and deeply furrowed ridges, this well-known cut of tubular pasta is designed to be an efficient, effective sauce catcher.
Our Rigatoni is produced near the Sicilian gulf of Casteldaccia, well known for its significant role in the history of pasta proliferation. It’s crafted according to traditional, artisan methods using the purest water of the Madonie wildlife reserve and the sun-kissed grains from ancient Roman wheat fields in the Simeto Valley. And it carries the stamp (literally) of the bronze-die difference. As the dough is slowly fed through traditional bronze molds, some of which have been used for more than a century, the pasta acquires a markedly rougher texture that allows for even more effective capture and adherence of sauce. It’s great paired with our Three Cheese Pomodoro Sauce, and it carries the chunkiest of meat sauces well, too. At our price of 99¢ for each 16 ounce package, Trader Joe’s Italian Rigatoni captures value as well as it does sauce.
Culinary Curiosity: The name Rigatoni comes from the Italian rigare - “to make channels/to mark with lines.” We love it when name follows form and leads to excellent function.
To the Tooth: Al Dente (al-DEN-tay) : Al dente comes from an Italian phrase “to the tooth,” which comes from testing pasta’s consistency with your teeth. When cooked properly, pasta should be a bit firm, offering some resistance to the tooth, but still tender. It’s not simply a matter of texture, though. Interestingly, pasta cooked al dente has been shown to have a lower glycemic index.