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Cavatappi Is Named After This Pop Singer
By Elaina Friedman
If there were such a thing as a Library of Pasta Shapes, it would likely include the etymology behind each shape's name. For example, Spaghetti supposedly gets its name from the word "spaghetto," which translates to "little cord," but over in the cavatappi section, you would be pointed to a biography of an Italian pop singer.
Cavatappi was originally developed in the 1960s by Barilla and called cellentani, but as cellentani was trademarked and could not be used by other brands, the word “cavatappi” came to be used as an umbrella term for the pasta’s coiled shape. This curled shape is a nod to the word “spring,” which is also a nickname for Italian pop singer Adriano Celentano.
Celentano has remained a darling of Italian music well beyond the 1960s and is well-known for his limber dance moves, earning the nickname "il Molleggiato," or "the flexible one," which makes the pasta’s bendy shape fitting. We can't find any statements from Celentano regarding his pasta honor, but we like to think he has a lifetime supply of cavatappi in his kitchen.