“See, these are the eyes of a thief… I gave them this name because of a man who was a washed up thief, and I had to kick him out of the shop: he stole with everything he could, down to his toes” recounted a pasta maker from Pontedera in 1858 (Sul vivente linguaggio della Toscana (On the living language of Tuscany), 1865). In Tuscany, this type of pasta was once called “Occhi di Ladro” (thief eyes in English), which rather recalls calamari rings. In fact, we can find this name in the “Catalogo del Nonno” (Grandfather’s catalogue) of the 1960s presenting Fabbri pasta (made by Renzo, third generation and owner of the company).
Cylindrical and smooth (without ridges), calamarata is a typical pasta shape from southern coastal areas of Italy. To make it, the pasta maker uses the same die as that of maniche di frate (or paccheri), but about three quarters shorter (about a quarter of a pacchero).
Calamarata is particularly suitable for seafood recipes, for example with tomatoes and squid (or shrimp). It also lends itself very well to creamier sauces like a carbonara.