You might be able to guess the inspiration for the name of this calamarata pasta from Setaro. The short, wide rings are indeed inspired by the rings of squid called calamari. Naples, known as the pasta capital of Italy, is a coastal city with a thriving seafood industry. It should come as no surprise that an enterprising pasta maker would have come up with a way to combine the two. The result is this comically deceptive pasta that measures about the same width as paccheri, but half the length—in fact, it can sometimes be found under the (much less fun) name mezzi paccheri. Maybe because of its delightfully misleading shape, calamarata is beloved across the south of Italy, from Campania to Sicily. Fun fact: This is Aunt Raffy’s favorite pasta shape.
Since 1939, the Setaro family have been making pasta on a winding street in Torre Annunziata in Naples. Their factory is on the same street, in fact, where Giada's grandfather once made his own pasta. The semolina flour they use is minimally processed, creating a more flavorful product than those commonly found in the U.S. The company air-dries its pasta in the cool, salt-tinged breezes that blow in through wild rosemary bushes from the Mediterranean coast, a practice that makes for a delightfully chewy finished product.