Bigoli are the typical Venetian pasta and can only be found in Venice (where they are still produced). The Bigoli are a long pasta, like very long big spaghetti.  In the original recipe they are prepared with wheat flour, water and salt. The main characteristic of this pasta is its roughness, which allows it to hold sauces and condiments. This peculiarity is given by the type of preparation: it is called preparation “a trafila” (coater),  using traditional copper presses originally operated by hand. There are some variations of this pasta, which is obtained by varying the type of flour. By using the Saracen flour you obtain dark bigoli  or by adding the squid ink you get black pasta.

Bigoli in salsa and Bigoli with mussels

Bigoli in salsa and Bigoli with mussels



1 spoonful of extra virgin olive oil
1 thinly diced white onion
2 spoons of dry white wine
6 salted sardines (rinsed) (or 8 anchovies in oil)
320 gr bigoli (Venetian long spaghetti) or spaghetti


Finely dice the onion. Place a spoon of olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat and place the onion in it. Fry very very gently and keep adding a spoon or two of wine to avoid the browning of the onion. Rinse the sardines under cold running water, take the bones and innards off and cut the sardines in very small pieces. As soon as the onion is nice and soft but still white add the sardines and keep cooking for a little longer until it become a very thick paste.

Onions and sardines for Bigoli in Salsa

In the meantime bring a pan full of salted water to the boil. As soon as the water boils, drop the bigoli or spaghetti in it. Cook al dente and drain. Place the bigoli back on the pan where you cooked them and mix them with the prepared sardine sauce and gently cook for 1 minute longer.