Act Italian: Fare la Scarpetta

In Venice, I ordered strozzapreti with seafood.

It was garlic-y perfection and I quickly decided that no I would not share, and inhaled it all.
strozzapreti with seafood

The sauce, with bright parsley in hearty fish broth was my favorite bit.

empty plate of Italian food

I politely stared at my empty plate and waited patiently for Jimmy to finish his meal.

And when I could not stand it any longer, I had to fare la scarpetta.

Fare la scarpetta

“Fare la scarpetta” translates literally to “make a little shoe.”  It refers in practice to cleaning your plate with a bit of bread.

If you want to dine like an Italian, tear off a small piece of bread and sop up all your sauce. Your finger is the leg, propelling your “little shoe” of bread along the saucy dish.

It is the closest you can come to (politely) licking your plate, and a ritual that any lover of pasta sauce should adopt.

To be honest, it is usually reserved for tomato sauce pastas, but I am a rule breaker and enjoy my scarpetta with many flavors.

Buon appetito!


9 thoughts on “Act Italian: Fare la Scarpetta

    • Natalie says:

      Good point! The garlic was sweated in the sauce (not chopped into the pasta). There was no smell of garlic, but there was a flavor– which I liked!

      • Alison says:

        I try to move ever closer to authentic Italian when I cook but the one obstacle I have yet to overcome is my love of deeper garlic flavor. I’m with you: I’ll take the garlic over the perfection!

    • Natalie says:

      Hi Evan! It was Da Baffo in Campo Sant’Agostin. We liked it so much that we went back twice — the spritz was amazing too!

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  2. Charlotte says:

    Hello! I just found your blog as I’m in Italy right now near Orvieto and am doing this with all my meals 🙂 especially the gluten free vegetarian spaghetti we had with a pomodoro sauce, yum! *slurp* p.s. I love that it means to make a little shoe, so sweet!

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