The name of this classic pasta derives from the resemblance to a butterfly, as farfalla is “butterfly” in Italian. In the old days, the shape was called “stricchetti” for the pinch in the middle made by hand. That pinch gives farfalle an extra firmness in the center, and also makes it one of the hardest shapes to industrially produce.
Farfalle is often referred to as “bow-ties” for obvious reasons, not just here in the US but also in Italy. It’s called fiocchetti in Umbria, and nocchette in Abruzzo and Puglia for the resemblance to a knotted ribbon. Here are a few of our favorite farfalle recipes: