In Italian, “vero” is the word for “real”, and in the case of Vero Lugano, the name suits the brand perfectly. This artisan pasta company from Matera Basilicata produces small-batch pasta in authentic and classic Italian shapes. The region of Matera is famous for producing high quality durum wheat since the 14th century, and at Vero Lucano pasta, a consortium of artisan bakers makes each batch by hand, using bronze dyes. This process of extruding the pasta through the bronze dye or mold makes for a pasta that’s coarser, more ridged and more porous, which means the sauces cling rather than slide off – perfecto!
Paccheri is a broad, cylindrical short pasta, larger than say rigatoni, but smaller than cannelloni. Their large volume, their ridges and its tubular shape lends itself for hefty, hearty sauces like meat ragouts, and succulent Bolognese that fill the empty spaces and cling to the ridges. Creamy sauces filled with seasonal vegetables are also a great partner for paccheri, like a spring peas and mint pesto. Pair paccheri with a flavorful seafood and shellfish pasta, with squid and clams – amazing.
You can also use this large pasta like you would use shells, such as a in a casserole, topping it with shredded Parmigiano or Gruyere finishing it with “au gratin”. Stuffed and baked paccheri are a weeknight lifesaver, as are sausage ragu, braised chicken, the list goes on and on! Make it vegetarian with a lentil Bolognese or a tomato and mushroom sauce. This is a very versatile ingredient that you’ll want to have handy for a variety of spectacular and filling meals.