Just having returned from Verona, I’m full of it. Bigoli I mean. It’s a rather thick spaghetti. But it’s not spaghetti at all. The production of Bigoli requires a very special extruding tool called a bigolaro. You can even by the hand cranked machine, a torchio, on Amazon.
In my opinion, bigoli is best with gravy-like sauces. I’m talking asino here, donkey. Or horse if you must. Or duck. In fact, bigoli was traditionally made from buckwheat pasta and duck eggs, so it has an affinity for duck.
The picture of the bigoli with lake fish sauce above was taken at the Ristorante La Plume in Pescheira del Garda, an interesting town (for a day trip) that is a fortified island in the southeast corner of Lake Garda. The restaurant is one of those fancy looking places out of town that you have reservations about because you think they only serve tour buses and rich folks from New Jersey, but the menu sounded like it served local lake fish and it turned it was an excellent choice for lunch.
The other memorable bigoli dish I had was with donkey sauce in the Osteria al Duca which is right in the house they label as Romeo’s house in Verona. Another decent restaurant in which some bus people did show up. We snagged a table out front and watched the tourists take pictures of the plaque calling the brick wall they were looking at as the one that Romeo lived behind when he wasn’t crawling all over sweet Juliet’s balcony. See below for that.
Bigoli is thick and chewy, which is the reason I think it makes a fine match with those duck and meat gravy type sauces. And it’s an excuse to go to the Veneto, which is quickly moving up on the list of my favorite Italian regions. You should go.
And if you can’t get to the Veneto because you’re stuck in Tuscany, the pasta called pici is almost the same.
Here’s more on Bigoli and a picture of a bigolaro.