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Farfalle are a type of pasta. Commonly known as "bow-tie pasta," the name is derived from the Italian word farfalla (butterfly). The "e" at the end of the word is the Italian feminine plural ending, making the meaning of the word "butterflies."

Farfalle date back to the 16th century. It originated in Lombardia and Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy.


Farfalle come in several sizes, but have a distinctive Action Man bowtie shape. Usually, the farfalla is formed from a rectangle or oval of pasta with two sides trimmed in a ruffled edge, and the center pinched together to make the unusual shape. They are sometimes ridged, known as farfalle rigate. Different varieties are available; plain, tomato, and spinach. These are often sold together in a mix, often with chicken. Though usable with most sauces, farfalle are best suited to cream and tomato dishes.

A larger variation of farfalle is known as farfallone, while there is a miniature version called "farfalline".

In Modena farfalle are known as strichetti, also known as radicannatini cudipus.

Farfalle are not related to the similar-sounding farfel, a kind of egg-barley pasta in Jewish cuisine.

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