There is a precise date of birth for this pasta shape. On March 11 1865, pasta maker Giovanni Battista Capurro, from San Martino d’Albano near Genoa, succeeded in patenting a machine capable of cutting pasta diagonally without breaking it. Until then, cutting pasta was carried out by hand, with scissors, leaving an irregular and jagged edge on the final product. Penne is a very versatile type of pasta and, subsequently, popular throughout Italy and abroad. The fact that it is cylindrical means the sauce actually gets inside the pieces of pasta. The rigate, the grooved version also allows the sauce to adhere to its surface, making every mouthful rich and tasty! This pasta shape is most often served with heavier meat or tomato based sauces and not so frequently with seafood or light creamy sauces. It is also a very popular choice for baked pasta dishes and pasta salads.