Capellino (singular) is a diminutive of capello, hair, which in Italian is countable. Capellini is the plural.
My mother does not like to cook very thin pasta, so it was only when I stayed with my aunt Lucia that I ate capellini and capelli d'angelo (angel hair). My recollection is that she would make capellini with a light sauce, while she cooked nests of capelli d'angelo in broth. She probably used De Cecco, which distinguishes the two kinds of pasta, capellini and capelli d'angelo. Barilla, on the other hand, appears to use the two names as synonyms and makes capellini, also known as capelli d'angelo, in Italy, while in the US it makes angel hair, also known as capellini.
In any case, capellini are thinner than spaghetti and they cook faster. It is easy to overcook them and, if that happens, they become scotti.
Though they have nothing to do with food, there are a number of fun Italian expressions that use capello, two of which are:
- avere un diavolo per capello (literally, to have a devil for each hair, meaning to be furious)
- salvarsi per un capello (to have a narrow escape).
Angelo is angel and the one somewhat food-related thing I will say here is that lunedì dell'Angelo is Easter Monday. It is a holiday and the tradition for that day, at least in central Italy, is to go on a day trip in the country (fare una scampagnata) and have a picnic, weather permitting. The holiday is also called Pasquetta (diminutive of Pasqua, Easter).
[This post was inspired by Lori Lynn of Taste With The Eyes]
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the capellino audio file [mp3].
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