As someone that’s been doing a lot of self-diagnosing via TikTok lately, I’m recently convinced I’m prone to an atypical level of hyperfixation on things like the indie sleaze revival, Vanderpump Rules’ #Scandoval, and 30-year-old cold cases. But if there’s one thing that benefits from having a shopping addiction and engaging in obsessive deep dives on niche corners of the internet, it’s a career as a shopping writer. When it comes to things like… I don’t know, gifts for shrimpaholics, I’m wicked smaht. So when the food-trend dial started to turn towards pasta, oh, I was in, big time.
Maybe you’ve noticed the uptick in pop culture’s pasta obsession. We cycle through trending foods every few years—remember when all we could talk about was pizza?—and in recent years, while these trends have varied from tacky to tasteful, pasta has slowly become… sexy? Pasta’s hot. It’s [often] red, slurpy, and saucy—Italian food just oozes sex appeal, so it’s no wonder that it started to make its way into high fashion (and even onto lingerie). Let’s not forget in late 2021 when Parade launched the kitchen collection with bras and undies in pasta and juicy tomato prints, and this past winter, you could not escape Rachel Antonoff’s sold-out pasta puffer (unless, you know, you didn’t have social media).
We love it when the merch gods smile upon us and give us new ways to express our love of carbs (at least in a non-“cringe adults Disney-bounding” type of way). Some pasta gifts are undeniably better than others: We wouldn’t go out in a corny pasta version of that iconic Beatles shirt, but we would absolutely decorate our table with these Dada-esque farfalle and fusilli candles when serving up a big Sunday feast for friends. TL;DR: There are a lot of good pasta gifts out there, and we bet that none of these selects will be regifted.
The best pasta home decor
A literal spaghetti plate
The good folks over at Seletti never disappoint, and this porcelain plate that rides the fine line between grotesque and gorgeous is part of the brand’s ongoing collaboration with Toiletpaper magazine.
Pasta shapes beach towel
Impress your pals sulla spiaggia (that’s “on the beach” in Italian) with how many obscure pasta shapes you know. Even if you’re the type of beachgoer to pack a Tupperware of spicy fusilli in your tote, you’ll never need to worry about spilling pasta sauce food all over your towel and leaving sauce stains, since it’s virtually all black.
Christmas in July?
These delightfully detailed pasta Christmas ornaments will be appetizing additions to your tree next year. We know it’s the last thing on your mind, but it’s never a bad idea to stock up on gifts early, especially when they’ll likely sell out during prime-time gift-buying season.
Pasta is your religion
We believe in the strength of spaghetti to tell us what’s written in the stars and make informed life decisions. Finally, here’s a tarot deck we can learn quickly (since we’re pasta experts). The creators of the deck designed it to be “rooted in [their] queer Italian American identities,” and the 78-card set includes cultural icons such as Sophia Loren, Sophie, and Marsha P. Johnson alongside all your favorite pasta shapes.
The wrapping is half the gift
When it comes to this unique wrapping paper, that’s one spicy meatball—just make sure the gift is as good as the wrapping.
The best pasta candles
Have you heard about D.S. and Durga’s elusive Pasta Water candle? It’s like the sophisticated older sibling of a Yankee Candle, with scents that evoke the cooking of pasta including starchy wheat, salt water, and light herbal notes.
From the same collection as the aforementioned porcelain Seletti plate, this candle might invoke an out-of-body experience considering the scent has notes of tomato leaves, pimento, sage, and pink pepper. Warning: Do not light on an empty stomach.
If food-scented candles aren’t your jam, there’s always this gorgeous plate of spaghetti-shaped candle that’s so appealing, you won’t actually want to burn it.
The best pasta clothing and jewelry
You know what they say about wearing your heart on your sleeve… same goes for a piece of pasta on your wrist, on your ears, or in your hair. Lisa Says Gah!’s dangly farfalle hoops are perfect for your next trip to Sicily (and then you can hop on over to España and enjoy something from the brand’s Tapas Collection). These farfalle barrettes, on the other hand, give us Schiaparelli vibes and we’re imagining the looks we’d get if we wore 20 at once.
Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a tiny little piece of penne (or macaroni) dipped in gold or silver.
Feel weird wearing college merch now that it’s been over a decade since you graduated? Tell people you studied at the University of Bucatini, with a major in al dente.
When it comes to gifts for pasta lovers, socks are a no-brainer, especially in the classic #Bertolli colors.
The best pasta cookbooks and kitchen gear
Weed leaf pasta
Whether or not you use infused butter on these cannabis-leaf-shaped noodles, they’ll slap.
‘American Sfoglino: A Master Class in Handmade Pasta’ by Evan Funke
VICE food writer Adam Rothbarth recommended this stunning cookbook for any spaghetti-head looking to level up their at-home pasta game. Snag one of his favorite pasta makers to get started.
‘Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking’ by Marcella Hazan
You can’t go wrong with the 30th-anniversary edition of this classic cookbook by none other than the queen of Italian cooking, everybody’s nonna, Marcella Hazan.
Replace every gadget in your kitchen with pasta
We might just go wild and buy Monkey Business’ entire line of pasta kitchen accessories, but if we had to pick our absolute favorite it’s undoubtedly the Farfalloni pot holders, which you can get in a grande pack that includes a ravioli spoon rest and penne garlic peeler.
Ah yes, penis pasta
A classic for a bachelorette party, a romantic evening in, or pranking friends.
It’s not over ‘till the fat guy sings
If you’re always too busy multitasking to remember to set a timer for the perfect al dente noodles, just pop good old Al into the pot with your pasta and you’ll know when it’s done when he starts to serenade.
Waiter, more Parmesan!
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.
The post All Hail Penne—Here Are the Best Pasta Gifts for Carb Lovers appeared first on VICE.