I was shopping in Ocean State Job Lot the other day and found a brand of imported pasta I hadn't seen before: Maltagliati, made by Pastificio Fabianelli S.p.a. in Arezzo, Italy. Certified by the USDA as organic (if that's important to you) and made of 100% Durum wheat semolina, it was a bargain at a dollar a pound. Also, as you can see by the picture at right, it featured a totally appealing early-20th century logo of an Italian chef looking pretty damn pleased with himself and his steaming-hot plate of spaghetts, so I really couldn't help but buy a couple of packages.
I'm glad I did, too. It cooks up beautifully, maintaining it's al dente character and not getting "sticky" even though I had to hold it in the water a little longer than I liked while the sauce was heating up. Excellent stuff - I'm going to get over there and buy some more while they still have some. (That's the perils of shopping at a job lot store - they'll be selling something you get hooked on, only to run out and never carry it again.)
One thing, though... Maltagliati strikes me as a pretty strange name for a pasta brand. The word translates as "badly cut," and in Italy it's used to describe randomly-shaped bits of pasta scraps left over from cutting standard shapes. Maltagliati are usually used in soups like minestrone or pasta e fagioli and in the past few years it's gotten so popular that some manufacturers package bags of intentionally-produced pasta pieces as maltagliati.
This PDF brochure from Pastificio Fabianelli describes their Maltagliati brand pasta and includes a chart of the shapes available. It's in English.
Click here to go to Pastificio Fabianelli's main website, which is Flash-based and completely in Italian.