Maltagliati tube pasta is a type of tubular pasta which is characterized by being short and wide with diagonally cut ends. This pasta shape is not immensely common, but you may be able to track it down at an Italian market or specialty store. If you have a pasta extruder at home, you can also try your hand at making maltagliati tube pasta, along with other tubular pasta shapes. This pasta can be used in most recipes which call for tubular or hollow pasta.
This pasta shares its name with a type of flat pasta which is cut into rough shapes. In both cases, maltagliati means “badly cut,” although maltagliati tube pasta is not as coarsely cut as the flat version. The name may be a reference to the wide angles of the cuts, or to the rough shape of the pasta, which is often wider than it is long. Maltagliati tube pasta is more sturdy than the flat pasta shape with the same name, making it suitable for a wider range of dishes.
The short, fat structure of this pasta can hold up to chunky or heavy sauces, and the ridges along the sides can help to hold thin or runny sauces. Maltagliati tube pasta also works well in baked pasta dishes, and it can be included in soups and cold pasta salads as well. Like other tube pastas, maltagliati tube pasta is sometimes a hit with younger eaters, and it can be served with mild sauces which appeal to more sensitive tastebuds.
Pasta companies which produce maltagliati tube pasta may offer it in a variety of flavors; spinach is a common variation. The best maltagliati tube pasta is probably the most basic, made with hard durum wheat. Durum wheat is an ideal wheat for pasta since the hardness allows shaped pasta to hold their shapes, even when they are cooked a little too long. In addition to keeping its shape, the pasta will also retain a chewy, resilient texture rather than turning mushy. This trait is extremely useful for baked pastas, which are cooked twice, and pastas thrown into soups, as a pasta in a soup can turn soft with reheating.
Cooking times for maltagliati pasta vary, depending on the thickness of the pasta. As a general rule, it is a good idea to test pasta several times while it cooks, and pour cold water on it after it drains to stop the cooking and prevent the pasta from sticking together.