Pasta Desserts

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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During the Renaissance, pasta was a luxury food reserved for special occasions and often paired with other expensive items, such as sugar and cinnamon. In Italy today, many sweets are made with pasta, from Sicily’s centuries-old pistachio couscous to modern creations such as chocolate-stuffed pasta shells and pasta chocolate truffles. All kinds of shapes are used in sweets recipes, including long pastas like spaghetti and tagliatelle. In Sicily, forkfuls of cooked spaghetti are fried and then topped with honey, orange zest, and crushed pistachios. In Emilia-Romagna, fresh raw tagliatelle are tossed with cocoa powder, crushed almonds, and sugar, and then baked in an open crust for a crunchy-chewy treat called torta ricciolina (curly pie).