Garganelli – Discover this Pasta From Emilia Region [with Recipe]


Garganelli is one of the most loved Pasta types in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, along with tortellini and tortelloni.

Meanwhile, the other two types are the most known around the world, Garganelli Pasta is as good and unique as the other types.

Let’s have a look more in-depth about them.





Garganelli Pasta Origin and Curiosities

The birth of the garganelli is coloured with a mystery: two cooks at the service of two families of high lineage contending for maternity of this pasta.

Some swear they were born in the kitchen of Caterina Sforza, wife of Girolamo Riario, lord of Imola and then of Forlì from 1473 to 1488.

There are those who strongly argue that pasta with the rifled egg still very much in vogue today was born in 1725 thanks to the cook of Cardinal Marco Cornelio Bentivoglio, papal legate in Emilia Romagna.

It is said that the cook was preparing the Cappelletti and that, having been left without filling (legend says that some pet had eaten it), in order not to throw away the squares of egg pasta, she took what she had under her hand, a loom comb and a spindle to spin the hemp, rolled the pasta and gave it the characteristic shape of a striped pen that we know well. He then made it into capon broth prepared for cappelletti and brought it to the table with great success.

Once served to his wealthy guests, the cook received stunning feedbacks and some incredible curiosity from diners. They were so satisfied and impressed that would ask her to repeat the dish in the future.

There is no shortage of people who want the origin of the garganello to have a poor connotation and that it was born in some country canteen in the plain between Imola and Lugo di Romagna.

Whether the theory “sforzesca” (Milan’s ruling family at that moment), the “bentivogliesca” theory (Bologna’s ruling family) or the one about the poor origins, the name of the garganello seems to derive from the dialectal term “garganel” which indicates the gargarozzo, that is the oesophagus in italian. This pasta seems to resemble the “gargarozzo” of a chicken and just as a “gargarozzo” is filled with food, so a garganello is filled with sauce.

From 1989 to the beginning of September in Codrignano (Bologna), every year the Sagra del Garganello is held, usually between August-September.





How Garganelli is Made

Be that as it may, legend or not, the poetry of the gesture is undeniable: the preparation of the pasta has remained as it once was. It is therefore necessary to wrap a small handkerchief of pastry cloth around a stick and then push it on the comb so as to close and scratch the back of the macaroni.

While once, in traditional country cooking, garganelli were eaten in capon or beef broth, today they are mainly eaten dry with meat sauce or seasoned with peas, truffle and mushrooms, pumpkin and sausage, red radicchio and ham. They are superb paired with two other excellent Romagna products, Squacquerone cheese and shallot.

The most commonly used condiments are ham, peas and plenty of Parmesan cheese, or a tasty sauce made using sausage paste.

Basic recipe to make at home the legendary garganelli romagnoli, which in Emilia are also called Stricchetti …but they are the same thing. An excellent pasta, of good consistency and suitable for any sauce.


Garganelli Dough

The minimum recommended dose is: 4 eggs of pasta: from which you will get about 450 gr of fresh pasta, which should be enough for 4 people. We use durum wheat flour gr 200 – soft wheat flour gr 100 – 4 eggs. It is kneaded in the usual way.

To prepare the Garganelli you will need a special tool: the “comb” which was originally a hand loom comb. The problem is that it is difficult to find, but it can be very well replaced with a dumpling-curler: it is a simple tool that can be found in every market or household store well stocked.

The passage on the striped board allows a better “grip” of the sauce on the pasta, but the function of this passage is above all the sealing of the garganello, so press well ….

It will also be useful to provide a resting time for the pasta, so that it does not crush or breaks during cooking. They are cooked in meat broth and served sprinkled with plenty of Parmesan Cheese. But they are increasingly appreciated dry, especially with Bolognese meat sauce or served with a nice greasy and crunchy sauce, refreshed by shallots.

If you wish, the garganelli, once well dried, freeze without problems.




Garganelli Bolognese Recipe

The ragù alla bolognese (or Bolognese sauce) , one of the symbols of Italian cuisine in the world, is a seasoning based on minced meat, typical of Emilia Romagna Region.

Now I am writing you my recipe for this very famous sauce, interpreted in many ways, especially for the choice of meat to use and the cooking time.

I prepared the garganelli with the Bolognese sauce last Month to my foreign friends and they really liked it!

I propose you my revisitation of the recipe that is traditionally made in the family relatives house in Bologna.



  • 350 gr. of minced pork meat
  • 350 gr. beef
  • 150 gr. of minced bacon
  • 2 bottles of italian passata sauce
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of triple concentrate of
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • salt q.b.
  • fresh ground pepper to taste



  1. Chop not too finely (I use the food processor) the onion,  the carrot and celery (removing first the filaments).
  2. In a high heavy-bottomed pot put the olive oil, when well hot add the chopped vegetables: the onion, carrots and celery, let the onions, carrots and celery sweat slowly and always stirring.
  3. Combine the bacon with the rest of the meat, pour it into the pot, fry until the meat is nice and browned, stirring of from time to time.
  4. Combine the bacon with the rest of the meat, pour it into the pot, fry until the meat is nice and browned, stirring from time to time.
  5. Add the passata and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bring to simmer and let cook slowly for about 1.5 / 2 hours, stirring frequently.
  7. When the sauce has reduced enough to be mixed with pasta, let is rest covered with a lid for 30 minutes.
  8. Then cook the garganelli, combine together and add a knob of butter.
  9. Remember to be generous with Parmesan Cheese!





This is one of the most favourite type of Pasta personally, his particular shape gives a interesting texture and can be combined with different type of sauce. Now that you have one of my two best recipes you can certainly try what I’m talking about. I am quite sure that you will not be disappointed by neither of the two recipes.

Just in case you have a question or a doubt about the cooking, you can leave a comment below and i will reply as soon as possible.

Otherwise, enjoy your meal!




Other Popular Articles About Traditional and Authentic Italian Cuisine


Bottarga – The Mediterranean Style Caviar.


Cavatelli – The “Gnocchi” From Southern Italy. [Homemade Recipe]

go back to Mediterranean Cuisine



0 / 5 Average Stars 4.73


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *