Food Encyclopedia

Browse Alphabetically
macaroni

Pronunciation: [mak-uh-ROH-nee]

Categories: Pasta Dishes, Italian

Legend has it that upon being served a dish of this food, an early Italian sovereign exclaimed "Ma caroni!" meaning "how very dear." This semolina-and-water pasta does not traditionally contain eggs. Most macaronis are tube-shaped, but there are other forms including shells, twists and ribbons. Among the best known tube shapes are elbow (a short, curved tube); ditalini (tiny, very short tubes); mostaccioli (large, two-inch-long tubes cut on the diagonal, with a ridged or plain surface); penne (large, straight tubes cut on the diagonal); rigatoni (short, grooved tubes); and ziti (long, thin tubes). Most macaronis almost double in size during cooking. The Italian spelling of the word is maccheroni.