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What is Fedelini?

Diane Goettel
Updated May 16, 2024
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Fedelini is a kind of pasta that is shaped much like spaghetti but is thinner, being only slightly thicker than vermicelli. The name of the pasta translates to "little faithful ones." This is not an incredibly common type of pasta outside of Italy. There are some companies that make fedelini and distribute it outside of Italy, but just as there are few recipes that call specifically for fedelini, there are also few stores that keep it in stock. Outside of Italy, it is much more common for recipes to call for other types of thin pasta such as vermicelli or angel hair.

This kind of pasta is generally considered to be appropriate to pair with marinara sauce and thin pesto sauce. This is because the thinner strands of the pasta do a better job of collecting the thin sauce than larger pasta, ribbon-shaped pasta, and tube pasta. This allows for better transfer of the sauce from plate to mouth and, therefore, also offers a better transfer of the flavor.

Thicker, cream-based sauces are more commonly paired with wider pastas such as fettucini and linguini. Fedelini is not commonly paired with red sauces made with meat. Instead, these sauces are usually paired with a thicker pasta such as spaghetti. This is because thicker sauces tend to overpower delicate pastas such as fedelini and vermicelli so that the flavor of the pasta itself is nearly lost.

Sometimes fedelini is served simply with olive oil and garlic with perhaps a few herbs as garnish. This simple dish sometimes incorporates lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Those who love a simple pasta dish like this usually prefer a thin pasta such as fedelini.

This dish is just as simple to make as it is delicious. First, saute three to four thinly sliced garlic cloves in four tablespoons (60 ml) of olive oil. Remove it from heat when the garlic is a light gold color.

Drop half a pound (225 grams) of fedelini into boiling water. Cook for six to eight minutes depending on one's preferred firmness. Strain the pasta, then add three tablespoons of butter (about 45 grams) and a third of a cup (75 grams) of parmesan cheese. Add this to the saute pan and heat together for a minute or two. Advanced cooks can prepare the olive oil and garlic while also preparing the pasta.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel , Former Writer
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"

Discussion Comments

By Ruggercat68 — On Feb 02, 2015

I think one of the chefs on the food network used fedelini, but only because her Italian aunt was visiting her and she wanted to create an authentic Italian pasta dinner. She made a side dish very much like the one described in the article. I think the chef said she made the fedelini using a special setting on her imported pasta cutting machine. She couldn't find the dried version at any grocery store in her city.

By mrwormy — On Feb 02, 2015

I found fedelini in a European grocery store one time, but I didn't see a compelling reason to buy it instead of domestic angel hair pasta. I can see why people might be interested in a type of pasta sized between spaghetti and vermicelli, though. Sometimes vermicelli can be almost too thin, but spaghetti is too thick for the sauce you're using.

Diane Goettel

Diane Goettel

Former Writer

"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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