Italians are notoriously protective of their food, particularly when it comes to pasta. Each region has its own specialty, and the perfect sauce to go with it. Italians call this a marriage. Marrying the wrong sauce and pasta is practically a criminal offence in the eyes of an Italian. If someone paired a Bolognese sauce with a lamb-stuffed ravioli, it would be a national incident. Nonna’s would faint. Heads would roll. 

So, you get the idea. Pasta is a serious business. Lucky for families visiting Italy, no matter where you go, you’re bound to encounter some of the best carb-a-licious meals of your life. You just have to know where to order a tagliatelle and when to opt for a penne. 

Got a favourite pasta? Here’s where you should go to get it.

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It's a pantry staple with one rule - keep it simple, stupid.

Penne simply translates to ‘pen’ or ‘quill’, to reflect its shape. The cylindrical pasta is cut diagonally at both ends like the tip of an old-school ink pen. 

Penne is often married with an Arribbiata sauce, a spicy tomato base with plenty of garlic and dried red chillies.