What's The Thinnest Pasta Shape In The World?
Angel hair pasta is commonly cited as being the world's thinnest, but the accolade actually goes to su filindeu, an unfathomably intricate pasta which also happens to be the rarest and most expensive pasta on earth.
There’s plenty of pasta shapes that qualify as “thin”. Linguine, pici and vermicelli are among our favourites, but ask anyone to name the thinnest pasta shape they can think of and you’ll almost certainly get “spaghetti” as the reply. As it turns out though, there’s a couple of very special shapes that are even thinner.
Angel hair pasta (Capelli d'angelo in Italian) with its ultra-thin strands is often cited as the thinnest of all the pastas. We’ve no idea where they get the numbers from - or what qualifies them to come up with such a rigid definition - but some pasta aficionados state that the thickness of angel hair pasta strands must be between 0.78mm and 0.88mm for it to be worthy of the name.
There’s no doubt that angel hair strands are insanely thin. They need just minutes to cook and as we’ve found out the hard way, they turn from being beautifully al dente to inedible mush within seconds if you don’t watch them like a hawk.
There is however, one style of pasta that sees angel hair and raises it. The accolade for the thinnest (and rarest) pasta on earth goes to su filindeu. The tiny strands are so difficult to create that the secrets to making it are known by just a handful of women in a remote part of Sardinia.
Hold a sheet of it up to the light and you’ll think you’re looking through translucent silk rather than pasta. We regard it as one of the finest examples of intuitive cooking in the whole of the gastronomic world.
Don’t expect to be able to enjoy su filindeu without some serious legwork. It’s a nightmare to get hold of and you’ll have to max out your credit card if you find some for sale.
We’re lucky enough to have been able to track it down and cook with it… and we documented our riff on a very traditional su filindeu recipe here.