Gemelli Pasta for all the Holy Twins

Today I am adding another idea to the pasta for feast days collections. Gemelli is a pasta that is a single s-shaped strand twisted into a spiral. To the eye it appears as twin tubes twisted around one another.  The name derives from the Italian word for "twins" because it looks like twin tubes. Gemelli is ideal for lighter, smoother sauces which will cling to the twists, such as pesto or butter/oil sauces. It is also common in pasta salads.

Because of the connection to twins, gemelli is an ideal pasta to use on the feast days of any twin saints, of which there are a few: 
  • Sts. Cosmas and Damian (whose feast day is today - September 26)
  • Sts. Crispin and Crispinian (October 25)
  • St. Scholastica (February 10) and St. Benedict (July 11)
Also, the name Thomas is from the Aramaic name Ta'oma' which meant "twin" (Didymus in Greek). So St. Thomas the Apostle is often referred to as the twin and this pasta would fit his feast day (July 3) as well. 

There are a variety of recipes for using gemelli. Here is a simple one to try.

Gemelli with Mozzarella, Tomatoes, & Arugula


1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound small cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup firmly packed baby arugula leaves
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 pound gemelli
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, finely shredded


In a small bowl, combine the garlic and the 1/4 cup olive oil and let stand for 20 minutes to allow the garlic to infuse the oil. Strain and discard the garlic. Add the tomatoes, sea salt and pepper to the oil.

Rinse the arugula and dry thoroughly. Add the arugula to the serving bowl with the other ingredients and toss to mix well. Cover the sauce and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours before using.

Cook the pasta in boiling water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and transfer the pasta to the bowl with the sauce. Toss well, adding up to a few tablespoons of the cooking water if needed to moisten the sauce so that it coats the pasta well.

Divide the pasta among warmed shallow bowls. Top with the cheese, dividing it evenly, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

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    1. Thanks for the great link to some additional twin related saints!