Natalini, the Christmas pasta!

This is one of the typical, Christmas dishes in Liguria. It is a kind of macaroni pasta with a very long tradition.


They are prepared in the zones ofย  Genoa and Savona.


They are a type of dry pasta well known in Genoa already in early 1300 (!). Historically it was always prepared in broth and with sausages. Thus this pasta takes a part of the Christmas tradition and in Genoa, it is also called natalin or natalini.

How do they look like?

They are similar to the smooth penne, they are about 20-25 cm long and their characteristic shape is slightly oval because they are dried slowly and laid on looms. Their impractical form is justified by a synonym of guarantee. In the times when the pasta makers used craft dies, only the presence in the mixture of the optimal quantity of starch and flour allowed their elongated shape.




The broth must be perfect, made with three types of meat (chicken, beef and pork). What is more, the Genoese add also small pieces of sausages to the broth that represents wealthiness and money. It is a wish of the well and rich year that is to come.


  • The brand of paste I’ve found has the explanations written in many different languages. It means that it is exported what means that probably you can find it in your country!
  • A pasta with very similar shape exists also in Southern Italy and it is called ziti. Also there it is prepared in the Christmas time. However, the ziti are baked in the oven with tomato sauce and scamorza cheese.

Buon Appetito!


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