How to Make Maccheroni al Ferro

Written by: Sarah Ubertaccio



Time to read 2 min

Maccheroni al ferro are rustic tubes of pasta made by wrapping a piece of semolina dough around a thin rod, known as a ferretto.

Where do Maccheroni al Ferro come from?

Here in the U.S., when we hear the word “macaroni” most of us immediately think of macaroni and cheese and the small elbow-shaped pasta that goes along with it. However, in Italy, particularly throughout the south, maccheroni is a generic name used to refer to many different types of pasta, some long, some short. The name may be spelled differently from region to region and each maccheroni can vary in shape and size.

So what about maccheroni al ferro? These are short, tube-shaped pasta typical of Calabria, although you might find them in other southern regions, too.

How do you make Maccheroni al Ferro?

Maccheroni al ferro are made from a semolina pasta dough (durum wheat flour and water). A small piece of dough isrolled around a thin stick or rod known as a ferretto to form a tube, sometimes open, sometimes closed.

What is a ferretto per la pasta?

A ferretto, also simply known as ferro (iron) in Italian, is a thin stick used to make pasta. It’s often made of brass and usually has square edges, but can also be round or twisted. We sell a pair of square and twisted ferretti in our shop!

Maccheroni al Ferro

Prep time

20 minutes, plus resting

Cook time

5 minutes




360 grams  semolina rimacinata flour*
180 grams lukewarm water
10 grams olive oil

Special Equipment


Prepare the semolina pasta dough ( see recipe here ), adding in the olive oil along with the water. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Cover and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Unwrap the dough and slice off 1/8 of the dough, keeping the rest wrapped up to prevent it from drying out.

Roll out the smaller piece of dough into a rope, about 3/4-inch thick.

Cut the rope into 3/4-inch square pieces.

Place your ferretto on top of one square and press down, leaving about 3 inches of the rod open at one end. Using the heel of your hand, pull the dough and the rod towards you, pressing down on the piece of dough as you do so so that it wraps around the rod.

Continue in this way until a 3 to 4-inch tube has formed. Slide the maccherone off one end and set aside on a baking sheet lined with a tea towel or piece of parchment paper.

Continue rolling out the maccheroni until all the dough is used. Be sure to spread them out on your tray so that they don’t stick.

Cook in salted, boiling water for about 5 minutes, or until al dente. Serve with a simple tomato sauce or try this creamy artichoke sauce.

Buon appetito!

Sarah Ubertaccio