Literally translated as "large propellers," eliche grandi from Setaro has an elegantly loose spiral and curving edges that, when cooked, relax and wrap appealingly around anything it is tossed with. Eliche sits at the far end of the pasta twist spectrum that begins with rotini (the most tightly curled) and passes through fusilli (the middle ground).
This eliche grandi is a super-sized version of a graceful corkscrew that brings the drama to any dish. The subtle differences between these corkscrew shapes shows just how deeply Italian cooks think about their pasta. Seemingly minor variations in form can radically change the way it works in a recipe, and every pasta shape is best suited to a different preparation. While you can always substitute one for another (Italians hate to let anything go to waste!), every kind of pasta has its own perfect destiny.
Since 1939, the Setaro family have been making pasta on a winding street in Torre Annunziata in Naples, known as the pasta capital of Italy. 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 pasta than those found in the U.S. Setaro employs the traditional method of air-drying 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.