Depending on who you ask, Setaro’s cappelletti ("little hats") is either modeled on the shape of either a military trooper's cap or the headwear of a medieval Catholic cardinal. They were first crafted in Emilia-Romagna, where the same name is sometimes given to a stuffed pasta similar to tortellini.
The history of many pasta shapes is lost to time, having been invented through a combination of home cooks’ ingenuity, creativity, and necessity. Over time, pasta origin stories become something of a local legend, and different regions will claim to having created the same shape—with totally different histories. No matter their sartorial inspiration, the curvy, swirling rounds of cappelletti are a stylish addition to every pantry.
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.