Paccheri with datterini and basil

8′ reading time

Paccheri are a type of durum wheat semolina pasta, traditionally Neapolitan. It is a simple and quick dish to prepare, but which has an excellent presence and a very tasty flavor.

The term derives from the ancient Greek (from “πας” (everything) and “χειρ” (hand)) of the first founders of Parthenope and still used in our language as a “pacca“, or a slap given with an open hand, without hostile intentions.

Hence the name of the type of pasta, much larger than the norm, usually accompanied by succulent sauces. Here are some examples of how the term “pacchero” is also used with the meaning of slap, in some popular expressions:

stare sotto al pacchero = to be under someone’s commands
dare un pacchero a mano smerza = slap with the back of the hand

recipe preparation time icon
  • Preparation Time:
    10 minutes
recipe cooking time icon
  • Cooking Time:
    10 minutes
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  • Difficulty Level:

Ingredients (for 4 people)

  • 400 g of paccheri
  • 300 g of datterini tomatoes
  • 1 white onion and / or 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 6-7 Basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • Salt to taste


  1. Put a pot of water on the stove for the paccheri. When it boils, add a little coarse salt and the paccheri.
  2. In the meantime, take the cherry tomatoes, rich in beneficial substances for the body, wash them and cut them in half.
  3. Put the oil in a saucepan and add the finely chopped onion. If you prefer a more rustic flavor, replace the onion with a clove of garlic. Or, for a more decisive knowledge (but not too much, as it is softened by the datterini tomatoes), you can add both garlic and onion.
  4. Sauté over medium heat and add the chopped tomatoes, a few basil leaves and a pinch of salt.
  5. Cover with a lid, if you see that the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.
  6. Cook the sauce with fresh cherry tomatoes over medium heat for about ten minutes (the cooking time of the pasta)
  7. Drain “al dente” and season mixing well.
  8. Serve the paccheri, adding a few fresh basil leaves to decorate.
  9. If you like, you can also add grated Parmesan cheese.



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