This Just In: A pasta “State of the Menu”

As the leading brand of pasta and category expert since 1877, here at Barilla we keep a close eye on the trends in pasta both with consumers and on the menu. We recently got a fresh look at the menu data for 2022, and have a few highlights to share with our foodservice friends and customers.

“Cacio” rising star

If there’s one pasta flavor or sauce you should consider adding to the menu, it’s cacio e pepe. Literally “cheese and pepper” this is a classic, simple pasta dish from the Lazio region that may be an early ancestor to today’s mac and cheese. For the second year in a row, Cacio e Pepe was the top growing pasta type on menus – up 58% in 4-year growth, and expected to keep growing another 18% in the next year.  

Try Chef Yury’s elegant take on cacio e pepe, with a tempura-fried squash blossom!

Going Truffle Hunting

Another standout in the data is truffle – as oil, shaved, or even as a truffled hot sauce, the heady aroma and deep flavor of truffle seems to have caught hold with American diners. Truffle items make up 3 of the top 10 growing pasta flavors!

Chef Lorenzo’s “orzotto” with truffled burrata is a perfect way to tap into truffles for the fall and winter season, and a trending cheese to boot.

In Top Shape

You know the basics – spaghetti, penne and elbows are everywhere and have been for what seems like forever. But the growth in menuing is happening in other cuts that are still widely available, but help differentiate one restaurant’s pasta menu from the others. Cavatappi – or as we at Barilla call it, Cellentani – tops the list for the 2nd year running, along with Bucatini, Pappardelle and Rigatoni.