Fedelini is a kind of pasta that is shaped much like spaghetti but is thinner, being only slightly thicker than vermicelli. The name of the pasta translates to "little faithful ones." This is not an incredibly common type of pasta outside of Italy. There are some companies that make fedelini and distribute it outside of Italy, but just as there are few recipes that call specifically for fedelini, there are also few stores that keep it in stock. Outside of Italy, it is much more common for recipes to call for other types of thin pasta such as vermicelli or angel hair.
This kind of pasta is generally considered to be appropriate to pair with marinara sauce and thin pesto sauce. This is because the thinner strands of the pasta do a better job of collecting the thin sauce than larger pasta, ribbon-shaped pasta, and tube pasta. This allows for better transfer of the sauce from plate to mouth and, therefore, also offers a better transfer of the flavor.
Thicker, cream-based sauces are more commonly paired with wider pastas such as fettucini and linguini. Fedelini is not commonly paired with red sauces made with meat. Instead, these sauces are usually paired with a thicker pasta such as spaghetti. This is because thicker sauces tend to overpower delicate pastas such as fedelini and vermicelli so that the flavor of the pasta itself is nearly lost.
Sometimes fedelini is served simply with olive oil and garlic with perhaps a few herbs as garnish. This simple dish sometimes incorporates lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Those who love a simple pasta dish like this usually prefer a thin pasta such as fedelini.
This dish is just as simple to make as it is delicious. First, saute three to four thinly sliced garlic cloves in four tablespoons (60 ml) of olive oil. Remove it from heat when the garlic is a light gold color.
Drop half a pound (225 grams) of fedelini into boiling water. Cook for six to eight minutes depending on one's preferred firmness. Strain the pasta, then add three tablespoons of butter (about 45 grams) and a third of a cup (75 grams) of parmesan cheese. Add this to the saute pan and heat together for a minute or two. Advanced cooks can prepare the olive oil and garlic while also preparing the pasta.