Learn how to shape cecamariti pasta that can even be made with leftover bread dough.
Cecare is a dialectal form of the verb accecare. Mariti is the plural of marito, husband. I remembered seeing an entry for cecamariti in the Encyclopedia of Pasta by Oretta Zanini De Vita: it was time to learn more.
There are at least two types of pasta called cecamariti. The special characteristic of the one discussed here is that it is made with bread dough. When one thinks about it, it makes sense that, in an environment in which women made bread at home, a piece of dough would be used to make pasta.
Finding a recipe was a bit of a challenge, as those in Italian instruct you to get “500 g of bread dough”, while the one in English uses active dry yeast. I decided to try using some of my sourdough starter (pasta madre). Later, I made the dough using instant yeast. Below I give both recipes.
The procedure I use to shape cecamariti is personal, based on Zanini De Vita’s description and the drawing in her book. You can see my hands at work in the video here.
As usual, I recommend to start with a small amount of dough (impasto), so you can give yourself time to learn the hand movements without being overly worried about how much more dough is waiting to be processed.
The pasta cooks quickly and profits, in my opinion, from a light sauce. In the photo above you see it dressed with my usual tomato sauce, but I have also made it with chèvre melted with a small amount of butter and also used it in my recipe for poulet yassa (Senegalese chicken).Print
Simona Carini is an Italian food and memoir writer, photographer, recipe developer and blogger. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two cats.