Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

April 24, 2018


With The Locals-The Art Of Cingul’


I don’t really have much of a bucket list probably because being anywhere in Italy is always at the top. I’m happiest when I’m here and when I’m not, I’m dreaming about when I’ll come back. Anyone who really knows me knows that my other great passion is food and cooking so yesterday I combined my two loves-I learned to make cingul’the pasta native to Calitri-the birthplace of my grandparents.



When I knew we would be spending time here this spring I enlisted the help of B.( an American who moved to Calitri and just happens to be our neighbor here) to help me find m a class to learn the art of cingul’.  B. knew two local women who were happy to help out and they volunteered to give up their morning to give us a hands on class. Lina was the teacher while her friend Titti acted as translator and I was happy to say that I understand most of what was being said!


We started with making the dough which is just two ingredients-semolina flour and hot water-no eggs involved in this pasta. I did attempt this once at home but now realize that I used the wrong flour and didn’t knead nearly long enough-this dough needs fifteen minutes of serious kneading. No wonder mine were a bit too heavy.


Lina was quite patient with us and if I thought kneading the dough was difficult, it was nothing compared to the actual forming of the cingul‘. There’s certainly an art to this and I now have a new found respect for my grandmother whipping up batch after batch of this delectable pasta. I have no doubt with some practice I will be able to properly form the dough, but let’s just say that the ones in the photo below were Lina’s, not mine.



You can see from the photo at the top that we made quite a few cingul‘, but I’ve yet to cook them. We popped ours into the freezer for tomorrow’s supper. The photo of the finished product is from our favorite restaurant in town-Tre Rose. I can only hope that the ones we made are as good as these were. I was instantly transported right back to Sunday lunch at my grandmother’s table.


12 thoughts on “With The Locals-The Art Of Cingul’

  1. Just seems like a fantasy
    The local women the kick back to your childhood – surely your
    Grandmother is watching 💜🍷
    Thanks for transporting me too🌷

  2. Janie – You look so happy! What an incredible and memorable experience! No doubt, you have mastered this skill. Can’t wait to be in Italy again!😍

  3. Complimenti! They look a bit like upside down orecchiette! Ciao, Cristina

    • You are close; they are inside out ( or right side in) orecchiette. But the dough is eggless and from only semolina flour. It was a great morning. Barbara aka B.

  4. Fabulous pasta and even better memories!

  5. What a fantastic day you had and that pasta looks like what I need right now.

  6. I just went to Calitri too! My grandparents were from here. It was important for me to take my daughter here for a visit. From your posts – it seems you bought a place here. I’m thinking about it. But I don’t speak Italian or dialect. Titti (who I met and who made bus reservations for my daughter and myself) said to just watch Italian TV. That was how she learned English (by watching English TV). Anyway, these were called cavetelli in my house, I thought. I could be wrong about the name as I was a kid and am now 50! Anyway, I checked out this town two times. Once a few weeks ago and another 10 years ago. I would love to connect with you, explore opportunities; seriously thinking of thinking of my later years and what I want to do! Thank you for your blogs. This is truly a magical place; hard to think anyone would ever leave.

    • Hi Jacqueline-now we haven’t bought a place-we rent an apartment through Emma at Ports D’Oriente. We love being there and have considered buying a place but we aren’t in a position right now to pick up and move to Italy and it would be hard to maintain a rental if we weren’t there very often. I know Titti-we met her a few years ago and I always catch up with her in the tourist office when we’re in town. I studied Italian at a local college and that’s helped a lot but I know nothing of the local dialect. Please feel free to email me with any What are your grandparents names?

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