An ancient Liguria fresh pasta shape: gasse

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In Liguria there are countless historical pasta shapes. “Gasse” are one of them. Literally they mean loops and they are an ancient Genoa pasta shape that few people still remember.

You know I love bringing to light historical food finds, not only to let them live again on our table but also because some recipes as so freaking easy and beautiful!

I found this recipe in one of the most ancient Genoese cookbook, “La vera cuciniera Genovese, facile ed economica” published by Emanuele Rossi in 1865.

The author there describes the name of this pasta as follow:

CHIAMASI GASSE NEL DIALETTO GENOVESE CERTE PICCOLE E CORTE STRISCE DI PASTA RIPIEGATE SU SE STESSE E CONGIUNTE ALLA ESTREMITÀ IN MODO DA DARE LORO L’ASPETTO DI CAPPII O GALANI (CIÒ CHE APPUNTO SIGNIFICA LA VOCE GASSE)

“CALLED GASSE IN THE GENOESE DIALECT CERTAIN SMALL AND SHORT STRIPS OF DOUGH FOLDED ON THEMSELVES AND JOINED AT THE END IN ORDER TO GIVE THEM THE APPEARANCE OF LOOPS OR NOOSE (WHAT PRECISELY MEANS THE VOICE GASSE)

La vera cuciniera Genovese, facile ed economica” (Page.75, Recipe.135)

They are in fact rings of pasta, similar to Neapolitan paccheri, created by bending on them and sealing the edges of small strips of fresh pasta.

How to give prominence to a single shape of fresh pasta if not accompanying it with a very simple but excellent seasoning?

Butter, sage and parmesan. This is the trio that most of all, in my opinion, brings in triumph the delicate taste of fresh pasta wrapping it in a melting, fragrant embrace.

To season my Genoese gasse I used Frascheri butter, a butter obtained only with fresh milk produced in Liguria, the perfect protagonist of a simple first course where the few ingredients really make the difference, especially if excellent and Ligurian!

Need more inspirations and information on Liguria fresh pasta?

If you are curiose about Liguria pasta shapes you can have a look at my Liguria Food guide – Italian Riviera Tradizional pasta and where to buy ” there you will find an overview of all the shapes of pasta kneaded in Liguria since ever and some places where you can buy it.

If you are a fan of ravioli, then you cannot miss my Liguria Food guide – Italian Riviera stuffed pasta , where I recollect all the most famous dumplings & friends you can eat here.

In both articles you will find the link to get to the recipes on my blog!

Ciao! I’m Enrica

a home cook, food researcher and experience curator bred and born in Liguria.
I study, tell, cook, share and teach Ligurian cuisine and the culture surrounding it.
Here we celebrate Liguria’s gastronomic diversity and richness through its recipes, producers, traditions and shops.

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