Spaghetti capri is a type of pasta that originates from the Campania region of Italy. It features long, thin strands, similar to spaghetti, but is thinner in width. The name “capri” comes from the picturesque island of Capri, located off the coast of Naples in the Bay of Naples.
What makes spaghetti capri different from regular spaghetti?
The main difference between spaghetti capri and regular spaghetti is the size. Spaghetti capri has a diameter of around 1.5-2mm, while regular spaghetti is usually around 2-2.5mm thick. This makes spaghetti capri thinner overall, with a more delicate texture.
In addition to being thinner, spaghetti capri is traditionally smoother in texture than regular spaghetti. The extrusion process used to create spaghetti capri results in a very smooth surface and uniform shape. Regular spaghetti has a slightly rougher, porous texture in comparison.
The smooth, thin strands of spaghetti capri are able to absorb more sauce than thicker varieties of pasta. This leads to a more even coating and distribution of sauce on each delicate strand.
What ingredients are used to make spaghetti capri?
Spaghetti capri is made using just a few simple ingredients:
- Durum wheat semolina flour
The durum wheat semolina flour gives spaghetti capri its vibrant yellow color and smooth texture. Durum wheat is harder than other wheats, and its high protein content results in perfectly al dente pasta.
Water and semolina flour are mixed and kneaded to form a cohesive, elastic dough. During processing, the dough is pushed through dies to form the long, thin strands characteristic of spaghetti capri. As it passes through the dies, the texture becomes smoothed and polished.
A small amount of salt is typically added to bring out the flavors of the wheat-based pasta. While simple, these ingredients combine to create the delicate pasta ribbons that make spaghetti capri unique.
How is spaghetti capri produced and extruded?
The production process for spaghetti capri is very similar to other types of extruded pasta like spaghetti. It starts with mixing and kneading the durum wheat semolina flour and water to form a dough.
The pasta dough is then pushed through dies made of bronze or Teflon. The dies form the dough into the long, thin strands and give the pasta its signature smooth surface.
As the strands exit the dies, they are subjected to a drying process. Gentle heat is applied to evaporate excess moisture from the pasta. Drying gives the strands their firm, dense texture and prevents the pasta from becoming soggy when cooked.
After drying, the long strands are cut to their final length based on the desired thickness and packaged for sale. The result is delicate, bronze-extruded ribbons of pasta ready make an exceptional plate of spaghetti capri.
What thickness options are available for spaghetti capri?
One of the hallmarks of spaghetti capri is its extra-thin dimensions. However, there are a few different thickness options available:
- Thin – Around 1.5mm in diameter. This is the thinnest spaghetti capri.
- Standard – Approximately 2mm in diameter. The most common thickness.
- Thick – Around 3mm in diameter. Comparable to thin spaghetti.
The thin version is perfect for lighter sauces or when a more delicate texture is desired. The standard thickness works well in most pasta dishes. Thick spaghetti capri has a slightly firmer bite but can still be paired with a wide range of sauces.
No matter the thickness, spaghetti capri cooks up pliable and smooth. Its thin shape means it cooks quickly as well. Many brands indicate the thickness on the pasta packaging to guide consumers.
What types of dishes is spaghetti capri traditionally used in?
In the Campania region where spaghetti capri originates, it is often paired with fresh, light tomato or seafood-based sauces. A few classic sauce pairings include:
- Spaghetti alle vongole – Spaghetti with clams, white wine, olive oil, parsley and garlic.
- Spaghetti con polpette – Spaghetti served with fried Italian meatballs.
- Spaghetti con pomodoro – A simple, bright sauce made with fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil and garlic.
- Spaghetti con pesto – Featuring the rich herb and nut flavors of fresh basil pesto.
The thin strands are also commonly paired with seafood like shrimp, mussels, calamari or crabmeat. Smooth cream-based sauces or classic aglio e olio work nicely as well.
Outside of Italy, spaghetti capri can be substituted in any dish calling for thin spaghetti. Its delicate texture pairs nicely with a wide variety of sauces.
What recipes showcase spaghetti capri?
Here are a few excellent recipes that highlight spaghetti capri:
Spaghetti Capri with Shrimp and Scallops
This seafood pasta dish is full of flavor. Garlic, white wine and lemon blend beautifully with sweet shrimp and scallops.
Spaghetti Capri Carbonara
A decadent carbonara with spaghetti capri’s thin strands coated in a rich, creamy sauce of eggs, pancetta, cheese and black pepper.
Summer Spaghetti Capri
Fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella make this light pasta dish perfect for warm weather.
One-Pot Spaghetti Capri and Meatballs
All the delicious flavors of spaghetti and meatballs made easy in one pot.
Spaghetti Capri Aglio e Olio
A simple, classic Italian recipe that lets the taste of the pasta shine through.
The thin shape and smooth texture of spaghetti capri allows any sauce to evenly coat each strand. Feel free to substitute it into your favorite spaghetti recipes.
What are the best sauce pairings for spaghetti capri?
Here are some recommended sauce pairings that complement spaghetti capri wonderfully:
|Sauce||Key Ingredients||Flavor Profile|
|Marinara||Tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, herbs||Bright, acidic|
|Alfredo||Butter, cream, parmesan||Rich, creamy|
|Pesto||Basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic||Herbaceous, nutty|
|Carbonara||Eggs, pancetta, cheese, pepper||Indulgent, savory|
|Bolognese||Tomato, meat, wine, herbs||Hearty, meaty|
|Vodka||Tomato, cream, vodka||Smooth, slightly sweet|
Light tomato sauces allow spaghetti capri’s flavor to shine through. Rich, heavy sauces like alfredo and carbonara coat each strand evenly. And flavorful sauces like pesto or bolognese pair nicely with the delicate pasta.
What wine pairs best with spaghetti capri?
The thinner strands and delicate texture of spaghetti capri call for lighter, more acidic wines that won’t overpower the pasta. Here are some excellent wine pairing options:
- Pinot Grigio – The high acidity cuts through heavier sauces.
- Chablis – The crisp, clean flavors complement seafood sauces.
- Vermentino – Notes of citrus and herbs enhance vegetable or pesto sauces.
- Barbera – Cherry and spice notes pair nicely with tomato-based sauces.
- Chianti Classico – The medium body and savory flavor complements meat sauces.
Sparkling wines like Prosecco and Cava also make a nice pairing. Their effervescence cleanses the palate between bites.
Full-bodied wines and higher alcohol wines tend to overwhelm spaghetti capri’s subtler flavors. Focus on lighter, food-friendly Italian wines or crisp whites.
Are there any key tips for cooking spaghetti capri?
Here are some tips for cooking up the perfect pot of spaghetti capri:
- Use plenty of water – This thin pasta cooks quickly so make sure it has room to move around.
- Salt the cooking water – Add 1-2 tablespoons to properly season the pasta.
- Test doneness early – Start checking for doneness after 2 minutes. It can overcook quickly.
- Reserve some pasta water – Helps thin out thicker sauces so they coat the strands better.
- Slightly undercook – It will continue to cook a bit more when mixed with the sauce.
- Rinse briefly after draining – Cool it down to stop further cooking.
- Add pasta to sauce, not vice versa – Coats evenly and avoids clumping.
Mastering these simple tips will help you cook spaghetti capri perfectly al dente every time.
Where can I buy spaghetti capri?
There are a few options for purchasing spaghetti capri:
- Grocery stores – Check the pasta aisle at well-stocked grocery stores, especially Italian/gourmet markets.
- Online – Many pasta brands sell spaghetti capri through their websites or online stores like Amazon.
- Specialty food stores – Italian markets and gourmet stores often carry more unique pastas.
- Direct from Italy – Ordering directly from Italian brands guarantees authenticity.
Popular brands offering spaghetti capri include De Cecco, Barilla, Rustichella D’Abruzzo, and Benedetto Cavalieri. Look for “spaghetti capri” on the packaging.
While it originated in Italy, spaghetti capri has become more widely available around the world. With its thin, delicate strands, it’s perfect for seafood dishes,gentle sauces, or anytime you want a pasta with a refined texture.
Spaghetti capri is a thin version of classic spaghetti that originated from the island of Capri off the coast of Naples. Its delicate strands are extruded through bronze dies to create an extra-smooth texture, perfect for absorbing light sauces. This specialty pasta can be substituted into a variety of dishes, especially seafood and vegetable-based recipes. With a diameter around 1.5-2mm, spaghetti capri cooks up quickly with a refined, al dente bite. Tracking down this unique pasta may take some searching, but its thin texture and versatility make spaghetti capri a worthwhile addition to any pantry.