How Did Penne Pasta Get Its Name

Penne – Wikipedia


Penne lisce: the exterior of this pasta has a smooth surface
Type Pasta
Place of origin Italy
Variations Penne lisce, penne rigate, pennoni, mostaccioli

Penne (Italian:) is a type of pasta that is extruded into cylinder-shaped pieces with its ends chopped at an angle. ” Penne” is the plural form of the Italian wordpenna (which means feather but also penas), which comes from the Latin wordpenna (which means feather or quill). Penne is a cognate of the English wordpen. When this format was developed, it was supposed to be a replica of the steelnibs found on the then-ubiquitous fountain pen.


In 1865, Giovanni Battista Capurro, a pasta maker from San Martino d’Albaro (Genoa), received a patent for a diagonal cutting machine, which gave rise to one of the few pasta shapes that can be traced back to a specific date: the penne. Using his innovation, fresh pasta was sliced into a pen form without being crushed, in sizes ranging from 3 cm (1 in)mezze penne (half pens) to 5 cm (2 in)penne (pens).

Description and variations

Cooked The ridged surface of the mezze penne rigate is visible. There are two primary types of pasta in Italy:penne lisce (smooth) andpenne rigate (furrowed). The latter has ridges on each penna, while the former does not. Pennoni (sometimes known as “large quills”) are a broader variation of the pasta dish penne. In English-language contexts, a variation is referred to as mostaccioli by various manufacturers, and it can have a smooth or ridged texture depending on the maker. The pasta dish penne is generally cooked al dente, and its form makes it particularly well suited for sauces such as pesto and marinara, as well as arrabiata.

See also

  • Ligurian cuisine
  • A list of Italian foods
  • A list of pasta
  • A list of wines


In Italy and across the world, penne is a short pasta tube that is popular with everyone. Invented in the Ligurian region, this adaptable pasta form may be used in a variety of different pasta dishes and is quite versatile.

What does the word ‘penne’ mean?

It is not difficult to comprehend that the term ‘penne’, or the singular ‘penna,’ in Italian, literally translates as ‘pen.’ Given that the shape of this pasta resembles the nib of an old-fashioned pen or quill, it’s clear that the name was inspired by the resemblance in appearance. Many pasta shapes are named after objects that they resemble in appearance. Farfalle, for example, means ‘butterflies’ in English, and conchiglie, which means’shells’. My question is, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I suppose that in many circumstances, we will never know!

A machine capable of cutting pasta diagonally without breaking it was invented by pasta maker Giovanni Battista Capurro, who lived in San Martino d’Albano near Genoa.

Until then, cutting pasta was done by hand with scissors, resulting in an uneven and jagged edge on the finished product, which was not ideal. It’s interesting to note that the initial form of this pasta was colored with saffron, as was customary in medieval times.

Rigate and lisce (grooved and smooth).

In Italy, penne pasta comes in two varieties: rigate (meaning grooved) and lisce (which means smooth). It goes without saying that rigate feature grooves on the surface of each penna, whereas smooth pennas are, well, smooth! Penne is a form of pasta that may be used in a variety of dishes and is hence popular across Italy and the world. The fact that it is cylindrical ensures that the sauce is able to penetrate the pasta pieces completely. The grooved variant also allows the sauce to stick to its surface, resulting in a rich and delicious mouthful with every bite!

Recipes with penne.

As previously said, penne is believed to have originated in Liguria. Because of its widespread acceptance, it is now eaten throughout the Italian peninsula, including Sicily and Rome. When served with heavier meat or tomato-based sauces, this pasta form is most often encountered; it is less usually encountered when served with seafood or light creamy sauces. Aside from baked pasta meals and pasta salads, it is a highly popular ingredient in many other recipes. A traditional penne pasta recipe from Rome is the ‘arrabbiata,’ which means’sauteed in tomato sauce.’ With the pasta comes a spicy tomato sauce prepared from tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and garlic that is provided on the side.

Pasta alla Valdostana (Valdostana Pasta) Pasta produced using a variety of flours is now available on the market.

Additionally, whole wheat pasta and tricolore (meaning three colors) pasta, prepared with spinach and tomatoes, are available for purchase (or other vegetables).

Mezze penne are penne that are half the size of regular penne, while pennoni are pennoni that are bigger.

Check out some of our penne recipes.

  • The following are examples of pasta dishes: pasta alla Valdosta, pasta alla Vodka, all’ arrabiata, pasta alla Pizzaiola, and pasta alla Pizzaiola.

What is Penne Pasta? (with pictures)

Spinach, which may be eaten with penne pasta, prepared by Mary McMahon Penne is a tube-shaped pasta that has its origins in Campania, a region in the southern Italian province of Naples. It is perhaps one of the most well-known pasta forms, and it can be found in most markets and grocery stores that carry pasta. It is also available online. It is also possible for cooks who have access to a pasta extruder to produce their own penne if they choose. Recipes for dishes cooked with it may be found on the menus of many Italian restaurants, particularly in the United States, where consumers seem to enjoy its form.

  1. The term “penne” derives from the Italian word for “pen,” which refers to the angled ends of the tube, which are reminiscent of the tip of a quill pen, and is used to refer to the slanted ends of the tube.
  2. The tubes are typically just a few millimeters in length and breadth, around the length and width of a pinkie finger.
  3. Whole-wheat penne pasta can be created by combining whole-wheat flour with other ingredients.
  4. It is possible to get whole-wheat and white-wheat varieties, as well as gluten-free pastas manufactured from rice, maize, and other materials.
  5. Best penne is often produced from durum wheat, a variety that is recognized for its hardness and resistance to breakage.
  6. Picky eaters are frequently served penne spaghetti by their parents.
  7. Its hollow form also aids in the distribution of sauces, resulting in penne pasta meals that are equally and aesthetically pleasingly sauced.
  8. In the summer, penne may be covered with chopped tomatoes and herbs to make a light pasta salad that is refreshing to eat.
  9. The fact that it is non-perishable makes it a valuable staple to have about the house, for as long as the penne is not exposed to moisture, it will remain perfectly edible.
  10. DelightedCooking researcher and writer Mary McMahon has enjoyed the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer since she began contributing to the site some years ago.

Mary holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Goddard College and enjoys reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors in her spare time.

DelightedCooking researcher and writer Mary McMahon has enjoyed the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer since she began contributing to the site some years ago. Mary holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Goddard College and enjoys reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors in her spare time.

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Why is it called penne pasta?

Penneis one of the most well-known Italian pasta forms, and it is popular across Italy and the rest of the globe. Penne is a small cylinder-shaped pasta with angled edges that translates to the word “pen.” It derives its name from the shape of the pasta, which is short and cylindrical. The design was inspired by the form of a quill. Italy In the second place, what is the distinction between macaroni and penne pasta? Well… Penne pasta are these interestingly formed small tubes. although the tube is rather large.

Penneis is straight, whereas Macaroniis is curved.

Italian pronunciation: Penne is an extruded form of pasta consisting of cylinder-shaped pieces with their ends chopped at a little angle.

Penne is derived from the Latin penna (meaning feather or quill), and is a cognate of the English word pen.

Gemelli is Italian for “twins.” Gigli is Italian for “lillies.” Lasagna is Italian for “cooking pot.” Linguine is a French word that means “small tongues.” Lumaconi is Italian for “snail shells.” Macaroni = Although the term literally relates simply to the pasta, others believe that it is derived from a word that means “happy” or “blessed.”

The Stories Behind 15 Pasta Shapes

The narrative of the Venetian adventurer Marco Polo bringing noodles back from China is well-known to most people in the world. Although it is a humorous anecdote, it is also inaccurate: When Marco Polo embarked on his famous expedition to China at the end of the 13th century, pasta had already gained widespread popularity in Italy. In addition, while the Chinese may have been eating noodles for thousands of years before pasta was introduced to the nation, this does not necessarily imply that the meal traveled in a straight line from one country to another.

  • In addition to Arabia, this early Arabian pasta made its way to Greece; the ancient Greek term for ribbon isitrion, and some scholars believe that this is linked to the Arabic word for “noodle,”itriyya.
  • The temperature of the region makes it an ideal location for the cultivation of durum wheat, which is the fundamental ingredient of pasta, along with eggs and water, among other things.
  • In addition, dried semolina pasta has a long shelf life due to its high moisture content.
  • In Asia, rice flour is used to make noodles, and even wheat noodles, such as those found in some Chinese recipes, are manufactured from a wheat type other from durum, which is used to make rice noodles.

The spaghetti you eat is delicious, and you adore pasta. Nevertheless, have you ever considered the process through which your favorite pasta shapes came to be? Look no farther than this list, which was drawn from one episode of the YouTube series Food History.

1. Lasagne

One of the earliest known pasta forms, lasagne, may be traced back to ancient Rome, via ancient Greece, where it first appeared. Today, lasagne is the broad, flat noodle that was traditionally used to create it. Lasagna is a cheesy, tomato-based meal that is beloved among many food enthusiasts (and 100 percent of cats who hate Mondays). In a pre-Garfieldworld, lasagne (known aslaganon in ancient Greece andlaganum in Rome) looked much different from what we know now. The tomato didn’t arrive in Europe until the 16th century, and some fascinating components were utilized in proto-lasagna before the tomato made its way across the pond to Italy.

With directions to layer grated cheese and seasonings in with the pasta, this lasagna recipe from the 14th-century Italian cookbookLiber de Coquina appears to be a bit more familiar.

2. Vermicelli

If pasta comes from Europe and noodles come from Asia, what is the difference between the two types of noodles? You might place it in either camp depending on the recipe you choose, although it initially appeared as a pasta dish in Italy some six centuries ago, according to some sources. In The Art of Cooking Sicilian Macaroni and Vermicelli, a recipe book produced by 15th-century culinary great Martino da Como, one of the first references to vermicelli may be traced back to the 15th century.

  • As one of the first celebrity chefs in Western culture, he is regarded as a pioneer of modern cookbooks.
  • A long, thin pasta with a worm-like shape, vermicelli is named after the Italian word for small worms.
  • Despite the fact that the thin noodles are utilized in meals like as pho and bun bo hue, do not expect to find the wordvermicellion on any Asian menus.
  • Instead of this, a number of regional names for long, slender noodles are employed.

3. Macaroni

The macaroni pasta form is the other type of pasta described in the title of Martino da Como’s cookbook. The origin of the word macaroni is a subject of considerable debate, but here’s one fascinating hypothesis that makes a lot of sense. Macaria is the name of one of Heracles’ daughters in Euripides’ play Heracles’ Offspring, which narrates the narrative of Heracles’ children. An oracle has warned Demophon, the king of Athens, that the only way to preserve his city is for him to sacrifice a lady from a noble family, and Demophon proclaims that this is the only way to do it.

Because Greek mythology is nothing if not jumbled, there is an account of anotherMakaria in theSuda, which may be thought of as a type of encyclopedia of ancient history.

What is the connection between all of this and pasta?

Even today, the meal offered following a burial service in the Greek Orthodox tradition is referred to as amakaria.

When the Greeks arrived in the colony of Neapolis (modern-day Naples), they discovered a barley-based food that the natives named makaria, which means “barley dish.” Between then and the release of Kraft’s blue box, the grain used to produce the dish was changed to durum wheat, and the dish’s name was changed to maccheroni.

Whatever the origin of the term, macaroni ultimately found its renowned culinary partner, and they were both delighted.

“Makerouns,” according to the Forme of Cury, a 14th-century cookbook compiled by King Richard II’s cooks, is made with grated cheese and melted butter sandwiched between two layers of spaghetti noodles.

4. Tonnarelli

Macaroni and cheese can also be found in the famous Roman meal cacio e pepe, which translates as “macaroni and cheese.” Cheese and pepper are the primary components in this dish, which also includes some starchy pasta boiling water and tonnarelli pasta, which is commonly used in this preparation. The shape of tonnarelli is similar to that of spaghetti, although the edges are often squared off rather than circular. Originally from the Abruzzo region of Italy, east of Rome, De Cecco, an international pasta company with roots in the region, refers to tonnarelli as “the regional equivalent of Maccheroni alla Chitarra.” Achitara is a contraption that is used to produce pasta from scratch.

Through the employment of its many wires, it is possible to feed thin sheets of uncooked pasta dough through it, resulting in flat areas being sliced into thin strips.

5. Stroncatura

Stroncatura is a sort of pasta that originates in the southern Italian region of Calabria. It’s similar to linguini, however there are a few key distinctions to note: It’s a little darker and has a coarser texture than regular coffee, and for most of its history, it was prohibited. A traditional method of making stroncatura was to collect debris from pasta manufacturing floors and mix them with water to make a smooth dough. Upon completion, the product had a sour flavor and a porous surface that was ideal for sticking to spaghetti sauce.

Authorities were concerned about a lack of regularity as well as poor sanitation.

Today, stroncatura is produced in considerably more hygienic environments.

Once the mud was eliminated from the equation, it became possible for both the Italian government and its Michelin-starred chefs to join on board.

6. Tortellini

Many antique pasta forms have obscure origins that are difficult to trace. Despite the fact that both Bologna and Modena claim to have invented tortellini, no one knows for certain where the packed, ring-shaped pasta originated. In accordance with one tradition, the recipe was devised by an innkeeper from Castelfranco Emilia, an Italian town located between Bologna and Modena and known for its wine. Once upon a time, the Roman goddess Venus came to his inn and the innkeeper was able to spy on her via the keyhole in her door, catching a sight of her navel of the process.

When he saw it, he rushed to the kitchen and came up with the belly-button-shaped dumpling that is today known as tortellini (button dumpling). Let’s hope the genuine origin story wasn’t as disturbing as the movie portrays it to be.

7. Spaghetti

Despite the fact that spaghetti is undoubtedly the most renowned noodle to have come out of Italy, the details of its early origins are hazy at best. We already know that the term “spaghetti” means “small strings,” and that the plural version of the single “spaghetto” is “spaghetti.” Despite the fact that spaghetti had been produced inSicily from at least the 1100s, it would not become widely popular until it came in the United States centuries later. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, spaghetti was one of the few Italian foodstuffs that could be found in the United States.

People who are obsessed with the details will tell you that real Italians would never serve the two items together, and they’re probably correct, but the history of spaghetti and meatballs isn’t quite that straightforward.

As early as 1632, according to David Gentilcore, a history professor at the University of Leicester, a comedy theater character expresses a desire for “a huge bowl of macaroni with meatballs on top,” and this is according to Gentilcore’s research.

8. Penne

You might be shocked to realize how many pasta forms are relatively new to the culinary scene. It was in 1865 when Italian pastamaker Giovanni Battista Capurro devised a machine that cut tiny tubes of pasta dough at an angle, thereby creating the first penne. On March 11, that same year, he received a patent for his penne machine, making penne one of the few pastas that can be traced back to a specific date.

9. Cavatappi

Cavatappi didn’t appear on the scene until the 1960s, at the earliest. The Italian pasta manufacturer Barilla produced a novel tubular corkscrew-shaped pasta known as Cellentani about this time period. As the name implies, Adriano Celentano was an Italian pop singer whose dynamic stage presence earned him the nicknamemoleggiato, which translates as “springs” in English. As Barilla explains on its website, “since the form is similar to that of a coiled spring, everything made sense.” The name cavatappi was really developed later as a generic term for the pasta form due to the fact that Celentano was trademarked by Barilla and was therefore unavailable.

10. Gemelli

Gemelli is Italian for “twins,” and while it is made from only one strand of pasta, it has the appearance of a double-helix structure.

11. Mafaldine

A lovely Italian princess, Mafalda of Savoy, is claimed to have inspired the name Mafaldine, which means “beautiful hair.” Despite the fact that the form preceded the princess, the tale behind the name in the early twentieth century was compelling.

12. Orecchiette

Orecchiette have been consumed since the 12th century; the phrase literally translates as “small ears.” Adorable!

13. Strozzapreti

Strozzapretimeans are Italian for “priest chokers” or “priest stranglers,” and the dish is said to be named after a priest who ate them too hastily and choked to death. It’s less charming now.

14 and 15. Marille and Mandala

Not every type of pasta form has had a long-lasting cultural effect on the world. In 1983, Voiello, a pasta producer owned by Barilla, commissioned famed Italian automotive designer Giorgetto Giugiaro to develop a new pasta for them. Giugiaro’s design was eventually adopted by the company. Known as Marille, his creation was intended to be both sweet and visually pleasing in its appearance. Each piece featured two tubes instead of one, and the tubes had grooves on the inside to allow for more sauce to be absorbed into each mouthful.

Panzani, a French pasta manufacturer, attempted a similar effort in 1987 when it recruited French designer Philippe Starck to construct a pasta form that he had designed.

Added protection in the center, as well as extra-thick walls to make it more difficult to overcook, kept the structure from collapsing.

Urban Dictionary: penne

According to Wikipedia: Penne (pronounced /pni/ in the United Kingdom and /pne/ in the United States) is a type of pasta that is cut into cylinder-shaped pieces. It is the plural version of the Italianpenna, which comes from the Latin penna (penna means penna) (meaning “feather” or ” quill “). Penne are prepared in two primary forms in Italy: “penne lisce” (smooth) and “penne rigate” (furrowed), with ridges on each penna in the latter. N.B. The phrase “penis” in the Urban Dictionary is sometimes confused with the term “pene,” which is the right name for “penis” in Italian and Spanish.

  • wrote on March 02, 2009 Noun1: An Ivy League university in the center of the city of Philadelphia, performing its function.
  • 2: A place where you may earn a degree that will provide you with a broad range of work opportunities once you graduate; this is especially true if you attend theWharton School of Business.
  • Unknown individual: “Hey, I heard you were accepted into all of your colleges!
  • So you’re planning on attendingPrinceton, correct?” Random Guy2: “No, I chose to attend Penn in order to pursue what I am passionate about while maintaining a regular existence.” “Nice!” says a random stranger.

A visual guide to every type of pasta

Updated2021-10-17T11:02:06ZMacaroni. Photograph courtesy of Marie C Fields/Shutterstock

  • Updated2021-10-17T11:02:06ZMacaroni. Stock photo by user Marie C Fields

Spaghetti translates to “little strings” in Italian. It’s perhaps the most famous and beloved pasta worldwide.


MaraZe/Shutterstock Spaghetti is available in a variety of forms, including spaghetti alla chitarra, spaghettini, and spaghettoni, among others. Spaghetti is most commonly eaten with tomato sauce or meatballs, but there are a variety of other recipes that may be made with pasta.

Linguine means “little tongues.” It’s wider and flatter than spaghetti.

Linguine. SherSor/Shutterstock Bavettine, bavette fini, radichini, trenette, and linguettine are some of the other names and variants for this dish. In most cases, linguine is served with pesto.

Fettuccine translates to “little ribbons.” It’s flatter than linguine.

Fettuccine. Images courtesy of Romulo Yanes/Condé Nast/Getty Images Fettuccine comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and is also known by other names such as lasagnette, fettucce, ramicce, and sagne. It is fettuccine Alfredo that is the most well-known fettuccine dish, and it is made with a thick cream sauce.

Tagliatelle’s name originates from the Italian verb “tagliare,” which means to cut. It’s similar to fettuccine but is generally a bit narrower.

Tagliatelle. Image courtesy of Natasha Breen /REDA CO /Universal Images Group / Getty Images As stated by Barilla, tagliatelle is “great for soaking up every last drop of sauce,” and it may be served with “meat or Bolognese sauces,” as well as topped with “options like as nuts, cheese, tomato, and basil,” among other things.

Scialatielli is essentially tagliatelle that’s cut into shorter pieces.

Scialatelli.Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock A chef named Enrico Cosentino came up with the idea for scialatielli, which was first conceived in the 1960s, making it one of the most recent forms of pasta to be developed.

Pappardelle’s fun name comes from the verb “pappare,” which means to “eat with childish joy and pleasure.”

Pappardelle. Corina Photograph courtesy of Daniela Obertas/Shutterstock Pappardelle is the largest of the ribbon-shaped pastas, and according to Barilla, it is best served with a “thick rabbit ragu,” but it is also good with “slow-cooked meat of any type.”

Mafaldine is another flat pasta, with wavy edges. It was named after Princess Mafalda of Savoy.

Mafaldine. Aleksandra Duda courtesy of Shutterstock Because of its link to Princess Mafalda, it is often referred to as reginette, which literally translates as “little queens.” Toss mafaldine with “game sauces, ragu Napoletano, seafood or shellfish sauces, and white sauces created from soft cheeses with the addition of ginger, horseradish, or saffron,” according to Taste Atlas. The pasta tripoline, which is similar to ravioli in appearance but only has ridges on one side, is also available.

Capellini, aka angel hair pasta, translates to “thin hair.” It’s a thin form of spaghetti.

Pasta aglio olio (angel hair). Photograph courtesy of Brian Yarvin/Shutterstock According to Barilla’s website, capellini goes well with “simple light tomato sauces, broths, consommés, and soups, or in light dairy sauces like parsley crème,” among other things.

Bucatini is another spaghetti-like pasta, though it has a hole in the middle. The word translates to “hollow straws.”

Bucatini. Photograph courtesy of Liudmyla Chuhunova/Shutterstock Because bucatini is hollow, it varies from spaghetti in that it is thinner and longer in length, similar to penne-style noodle. The bucatini dish known as Bucatini all’amatriciana is named after the Italian town of Amatrice, and it is the most popular in the world. The most important component is guanciale, which is cured pig cheek. There is another form of pasta known as perciatelli that is essentially identical to bucatini in flavor and appearance.

Bigoli gets its name from how it’s made: with a pasta press called a bigolaro.

Bigoli. ChiccoDodiFC/Shutterstock Bigoli is a type of pasta that is thicker and softer than spaghetti. There are occasions when it is prepared with duck eggs.

The word pici derives from “appiciare,” which means “to stick.” It’s basically fat, hand-rolled spaghetti.

Pici.gowithstock/Shutterstock What distinguishes pici from other crafts is that each piece is unique — no two pieces of pici are the same length or thickness owing to the fact that they are all handcrafted. It goes well with a variety of different foods.

Maccheroni alla molinara translates to “the miller’s wife’s pasta.”

Maccheroni al molinara (mozzarella pasta). Photograph courtesy of Mark Gail/The Washington Post/Getty Images Similarly to macaroni alla molinara, maccheroni alla molinara is another very long, hand-rolled, thick type of noodle that is formed into loops.

Even more impressively, according to The Washington Post, the components are initially 5 feet long before they are assembled.

Vermicelli means “little worms” and is longer and thinner than spaghetti.

Vermicelli. Kritchai7752/Shutterstock Many other nations’ cuisines, like as Vietnamese cuisine, have included vermicelli into their recipes. Pasta Fits, on the other hand, suggests topping it with “any sauce,” or incorporating it into a salad or stir-fry.

Ravioli is the most famous of the “stuffed pastas.” It can be filled with meat or cheese.

Ravioli.janosmarton/Shutterstock The two pieces of pasta are frequently glued together with a fork, resulting in ridges on the pieces.

Tortellini is small and ring-shaped, and it is stuffed with meat or cheese.

Tortellini. Photograph courtesy of Ivano de Santis/Shutterstock Tortellini also have a shape that resembles navels, earning them the moniker “belly buttons.” These tortelli (bigger in size) and tortelloni (smaller in size) are interchangeable (only filled with cheese or vegetables). Another variation with a similar form is cappelletti, which literally translates as “little hats.” In addition, they are frequently stuffed with cheese.

Caramelle is stuffed and shaped to look like a piece of candy.

Tortellini. Shutterstock photo by Ivano de Santis To make up for this, tortelloni are sometimes known as belly buttons since they resemble navels. These tortelli (bigger) and tortelloni (smaller) are virtually interchangeable (only filled with cheese or vegetables). Cappelletti, which literally translates as “little hats,” is another similar-looking type. Cheese is commonly used as a filling for these sandwiches.

Creste di galli gets its name from its shape — it looks like the crest on a rooster.

Via Virtu Studio/Shutterstock, the Galli crest is depicted. Creste di galli also has a mohawk-like appearance and, according to Pastosa, “possesses maximum sauce-retention due to its tubular form and ruffled edge.” Creste di galli is available in a variety of colors. Quadrefiore is a four-sided variation that is comparable to quadrefiore.

Busiate is a type of long macaroni. Its name comes from the Sicilian word “busa,” which means reed.

Busiate. Photograph courtesy of Natalia Aggiato/Shutterstock It is possible to prepare busiate by spinning the pasta around a long pin, such as a knitting needle, or by winding the spaghetti around a branch. The most typical food produced with busiante ispesto alla trapanese, an antipasto made with red tomato pesto, which is the most popular dish created with it.

Trofie is the best pasta for pesto.

Trofie courtesy of Marina Bakush/Shutterstock. The fact that it comes from the same region of Italy as basil pesto Genovese, the most well-known of all pesto sauces, or the fact that the pesto gets stuck in the spirals, are also possible explanations.

Fusilli is a corkscrew-shaped pasta, but it has a much tighter spiral.

Fusilli. Cristina Ionescu/File:/ Fusilli noodles have a similar appearance to springs. The term “fuso,” which means “spindle,” is derived from the Italian word for “fuso.” Fusilli is a great choice for cold pasta salads because of its firm texture. One of the other variations is the radiatori, which has the appearance of a squashed fusilli with a ridge along one of its long sides.

Rotini is frequently mislabeled as fusilli in the US, but the two are different. Rotini has external-facing grooves. It means “twists.”

Rotini. Photograph courtesy of Narin Eungsuwat/Shutterstock According to Barilla, rotini is ideal for “light tomato sauces (with or without finely chopped vegetables), dairy-based sauces, or oil-based sauces,” as well as “light tomato sauces.” It’s also a good addition to spaghetti salad.

Gemelli, or “twins,” is a single S-shaped piece of pasta twisted into a spiral.


Photograph by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post/Getty Images Contrary to rotini and fusilli, this pasta has the appearance of a double helix or double corkscrew, albeit it is still made of a single piece. Gemelli pasta is also recommended by Barilla for use in pasta salad.

Farfalle, or bow tie pasta as it’s known in the US, means “butterfly.” Do you see the resemblance?

Farfalle. Photograph courtesy of Ildi Papp/Shutterstock Farfalle should be used in “light sauces with vegetables or fish, dairy-based sauces, simple oil-based sauces, or in pasta salads,” according to Barillare. It’s also known by the names fiochetti, fiocconi, farfalloni, galla genovese, strichetti, and nocchette, among other variations on the theme.

Tripolini are similar to farfalle, but they have deeper “baskets” at the ends.

Tripolini. Photo credit: AN NGUYEN/Shutterstock Tripolini is a kind of canestrini, which literally translates as “small baskets.” When it comes to sauces, its baskets are “great scoops for sauces, especially types of fish and meat ragù in bigger sizes, and when it comes to soups and broths, the texture is delicious in smaller ones.”

Conchiglie means shells, which is the name used by Americans.

Conchiglie. Photograph courtesy of Daila Jansone/Shutterstock Shells are an excellent choice for any heavy sauce since the pocket-like form keeps the sauce inside the shell. Conchiglie are also available in a variety of hues, including black squid ink and green spinach. There is a smaller variation known as cicioneddos that is also available.

Cavatelli, or “little hollows,” look similar to hot dog buns.

Cavatelli. Renee Comet is a photographer for The Washington Post and Getty Images. Cavatelli is typically served with broccoli rabe, or just with garlic and broccoli—or you can make it even creamier by mixing in ricotta into the dough.

Campanelle, which loosely means “bell flowers” or “little bells,” is a cone-shaped pasta with a ruffled edge.

Cavatelli. Renee Comet is a photographer for The Washington Post/Getty Images. A common combination of cavatelli with broccoli rabe includes garlic and broccoli; however, ricotta can be added to the dough.

Ditalini, which translates to “thimbles,” has many names, like tubettini or magghietti.

Ditalini. GolubSergei/Shutterstock Ditalini are often twice as tall as they are wide, and they are widely used across Sicily as a type of bread. Ditalini is frequently used in the preparation of pasta e fagioli, a sort of soup consisting of pasta and beans.

Gnocchi are dumpling-shaped, and they are made with potatoes.

Gnocchi. stockcreations/Shutterstock On the top, there are ridges that distinguish gnocchi from other pasta dishes. These may be created using either fork or gnocchi board.

Penne is a hollow type of pasta, named for its pen-like shape.

Penne. Photograph courtesy of Natalia Pshenichnaya/Shutterstock Penne may be distinguished by the diagonal holds that it has at either end. It is particularly ideal for thicker sauces and meals such as penne alla vodka, which is well-known around the world. Trenne is identical to penne, with the exception that it is more triangular in shape.

Rigatoni’s name comes from the Italian word “rigato” which means ridged, or lined. Rigatoni is typically larger than ziti or penne.

Rigatoni. Eddy Buttarelli/REDA CO/Universal Images Group/Getty Images; courtesy of the photographer. In addition, rigatoni is sliced straight, as opposed to the diagonal cut of penne. When opposed to smoother pastas, such as ziti, the ridges on rigatoni make it easier for sauces and cheese to adhere to the pasta. Rigatoni cooked in the oven is a traditional rigatoni dish.

Tortiglioni is similar to rigatoni, but the grooves spiral around the pasta instead of straight down.

Tortiglioni. Photograph courtesy of Evgenii Emelianov/Shutterstock The word “torque” derives from the Latin verb “to torquere,” which literally translates as “to twist.”

Pastina, which literally means “little pasta,” is the smallest type of pasta available. It comes in different shapes like stelline, pictured below.

Pastina. Toasted Pictures courtesy of Shutterstock Others include corallini, grattini, tempestine, and a number of additional types. Pastina is typically used as a component in Italian soups and stews.

Acini di pepe, which translates to “grains of pepper,” is a small bead-like type of pasta.

Acini di pepe is a kind of pepperoni.

Images courtesy of Romulo Yanes/Condé Nast/Getty Images Because of its tiny size, acini di pepe is commonly used in soups. It has a texture similar to couscous.

Orzo, also known as risoni, is Italian for “barley,” though the pieces are rice-shaped and sized.

Orzo. Photograph courtesy of Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket/Getty Images Orzo can be prepared into a pilaf, roasted, or eaten on its own or as a component of a soup, such as minestrone, or tossed in a salad.

Orecchiette gets its name from its shape — orecchiette means “little ears.”

Orecchiette. Mike O/Shutterstock Orecchiette are shaped like miniature ears because of a slight dip in the centre of the pasta. Among the dishes made with orecchiette is orecchiette alla cime di rapa, which is just pasta with broccoli rabe as the vegetable (aka rapini). According to some recipes, orecchiete is best served with vegetable sauces, while others recommend serving them with meat or capers. Cencioni is a similar-looking pasta that is a bit larger and flatter in shape – it has the appearance of a flower.

Lasagne is, of course, used in lasagna. It’s just flat sheets of pasta.

Orecchiette. Mike O/Shutterstock Orecchiette are shaped like miniature ears because they have a slight dip in the centre. Iorecchiette alle cime di rapa (orecchiette with the leaves of broccoli rabe) is a typical dish made using orecchiette (aka rapini). According to some recipes, orecchiete is best served with vegetable sauces, while others recommend serving it with meat or capers. Cencioni is a similar-looking pasta that is a bit larger and flatter in shape — it has the appearance of a flower on top.

Fazzoletti, which means “handkerchief,” is thinner than lasagne.

Fazzoletti. Photograph courtesy of Alvaro German Vilela/Shutterstock In addition, unlike lasagne, it usually features wavy ridges at the extremities of the dish. It is recommended that fazzoletti be served “with little more than butter and Parmesan, or a sprinkle of garlic-infused olive oil,” according to the New York Times.

Malloreddus means “fat little calves.” It contains saffron and looks similar to casarecce, except with ridges.

Malloreddus. Photograph by Paolo Certo/Shutterstock ‘Made from a semolina dough that is generally dyed with a little saffron,’ these little dumplings have an elongated, graceful conch form that is ridged on the exterior to capture sauce,’ states the Geometry of Pasta. “They are served with sauce on the side.”

Garganelli is also called maccheroni al pettine. It’s a ridged form of pasta that looks like a wrap.

Malloreddus. Shutterstock image by Paolo Certo ‘Made from a semolina dough that is generally dyed with a little saffron,’ these little dumplings have an elongated, graceful conch form that is ridged on the exterior to capture sauce,’ states the Geometry of Pasta. “They are traditionally served with tomato sauce.”

Fileja is a Calabrese pasta that looks similar to casarecce, but it’s hard to find outside of Calabria.

Fileja. Ghischeforever/Shutterstock According to the Pasta Project, fileja is shaped like an extended screw and is “the ideal Southern Italian pasta for rich or spicy sauces.” One of the few forms of pasta that is traditionally manufactured without the use of eggs is rigatoni.

Cannelloni, or manicotti, is a large and hollow shell typically stuffed with meat or cheese.

Cannelloni. Classic Stock/Getty Images courtesy of J. Graham Cannelloni and manicotti are similar in appearance, with the exception that cannelloni is smooth while manicotti has ridges.

Pipe rigate looks like a snail shell. It’s characterized by its two separate ends: one is open wide, the other is almost fully closed.

Pipe rigate is a kind of rigate. SunTime/Shutterstock According to Pasta Fits, it “pairs beautifully with chunky, cream- or oil-based sauces,” and “pairs favorably with meat sauces.”

Rotelle is known to Americans by another name: wagon wheels. Rotelle means “little wheels.”

Rotelle. UNYKA/Shutterstock Barilla describes rotelle as the “ideal choice for pasta salad,” and proposes that it be served with “light tomato sauces (with or without finely chopped vegetables), dairy-based sauces, or oil-based sauces.” Rotelle is also available in a variety of sizes.

There is also a flower-shaped version known as fiori, which, of course, means flower in Italian.

Anelli, which means “little rings,” is frequently found in canned soups.

Anelli. Furiarossa/Shutterstock It’s National Noodle Ring Day on December 11, and according to Pasta Fits, “anelli aficionados may celebrate by eating annelli.” According to Pasta Fits, anelli is commonly found in canned soups in the United States, but it may also be found in an Italian meal called timballo, which also contains meat and cheese.

Calamarata is another ring-shaped pasta that’s named for its resemblance to squid, or calamari.

Calamarata. Photograph courtesy of Jiri Hera/Shutterstock Because of its etymological origins, it is occasionally colored black with squid ink and is usually served with fish dishes.

Foglie d’ulivo means “olive leaves” — see the resemblance?

Calamarata. Photograph courtesy of Jiri Hera/Thinkstock Because of its etymological origins, it is occasionally colored black with squid ink and is commonly eaten with seafood.

Lorighittas are known for their distinct braided shape.

Calamarata. Photograph by Jiri Hera/Shutterstock Because of its etymological origins, it is occasionally colored black with squid ink and is commonly eaten with fish.

Your Go-To Pasta Guide [With Pictures]

A walk down the pasta aisle might leave you feeling dizzy and dizzy. There are so many different forms, styles, and sizes to choose from. Make use of this simple guide to understand which varieties of pasta you should choose for your next pasta night dinner.

Small Pastas

Smaller pasta forms, which are referred to as “macaroni” in certain circles, are found in the 1- to 2-inch range. Serve them with thick, chunky sauces or bake them into creamy casseroles for the finest results. However, the tiniest of the little are best used in soups due to their robust forms.

  • Bowtie-shaped pieces called after the Italian term for “butterfly,”farfalla, which means “butterfly.”
  • Orecchiette are little shells that are concave and somewhat flattened. The name “little ear” comes from Southern Italy, where it was first used.
  • Rotini: Tight corkscrews that are particularly effective in holding on to rich sauces and dressings. You may also come across them referred to as “fusilli.”
  • Orzo: Orzo is a type of little noodle that is formed like grains of rice. These are frequently used in garden salads, pasta salads, and soups
  • Nevertheless,
  • Ditalini are little tube-like structures that are typically found in pasta and fagioli dishes. In Italian, the name literally translates as “little thimbles.”
  • Stelline: Stelline are tiny, star-shaped noodles that may be prepared in 5 minutes or less. Ideally, they should be used in soups rather than sauces or meat-based recipes because they tend to be lost in the sauce.


Despite the fact that long, ribbon-cut noodles are commonly referred to as “spaghetti,” there are several variants on the classic dish. Pesto, fresh tomatoes, and sauces based on wine or butter are all excellent pairings for these noodles.

  • Spaghetti: A long noodle with a medium density that is the industry standard (and most popular).
  • Capellini: This fragile pasta is made up of ultra-thin strands that measure between 0.85 and 0.92 millimeters in diameter. If overdone, the pasta will fall apart. It’s commonly referred to as “angel hair” spaghetti.
  • Vermicelli: A traditional noodle that is similar to spaghetti but significantly thicker in texture and shape. In Italian, this phrase translates as “tiny worms.”
  • Linguine are pasta strands with rounded edges that are broader than spaghetti.
  • When fashioned from egg-enriched dough, tagliatelle is a medium-wide and toothsome noodle that can hold its own against rich, meat-based sauces.
  • Fettuccine: In Italian, fettuccine are flat, thick noodles with a name that translates as “little ribbons.”
  • Pappardelle: Pappardelle are large, broad, flat noodles that are somewhat broader than fettuccine. Frequently, an egg is added to the dough to make it more tender.
  • It is similar to spaghetti in appearance, but bucatini differs in that it has a large hole going through the middle, rather than the usual spaghetti strands. It is also known as perciatelli in some circles.
  • Lasagna is made with sheets of pasta that have been rolled out to a medium thickness. A typical Italian American casserole (or soup) is made by layering sauce, cheese, vegetables, and/or meats into a casserole dish that is baked (or simmered) in the oven.


Due to the fact that they are manufactured by pushing dough through a die to generate various forms, tube-shaped pastas are also known as “extruded pasta.” Bronze dies are employed in artisan pasta-making techniques to provide a rougher texture than is typically found in commercially produced pasta.

  • Penne are cylindrical-shaped pieces that come to a little point on both ends, forming a cylinder shape. The name comes from the Italian wordpenna, which literally translates as “pen.”
  • Rigatoni: Rigatoni are slightly curved, tubed-shaped pastas that are typically bigger in size than penne. The term “rigato” is derived from the Italian word rigato, which literally translates as “ridged” or “lined.”
  • Macaroni: Technically speaking, the term “macaroni” refers to a broad category of dry pasta forms that are tiny and medium in size. Elbow macaroni, the little curved tubes that are commonly used in mac & cheese and pasta salads, has become somewhat synonymous with the term “macaroni” in America.
  • Cannelloni: Smooth tubes that are baked after being stuffed with a variety of ingredients.
  • Manicotti are large tubes that are similar to cannelloni but have ridges on the inside. This form has its origins in Italian American cuisine and is likewise baked after the filling has been removed.
  • The hollow, straw-shaped noodles known as ziti are thinner and narrower in width than rigatoni, and they are typically used in saucy, cheese-topped casseroles.


Several types of pasta are designed expressly to handle additional components such as cheese, meat, and vegetables. These sorts of pastas are best served with a light sauce such as butter, cream, or tomato sauce to enable the taste of the filling to really show through.

  • Ravioli are two flat sheets of pasta that are rolled together to produce a dumpling-like structure that is filled with a filling (most typically cheese).
  • Tortellini are little ring-shaped pasta dishes that can be filled with cheese, meat, or other ingredients. Tortelloni is a kind of tortellini that is nearly twice the size of tortellini.
  • Cappelletti are little, filled pasta shells that are folded diagonally to approximate the form of a hat
  • Cappelletti are also known as hat pasta.
  • Agnolotti: Small, crimped pillows filled with contents that are similar to ravioli in consistency.
  • Fagottini: Small bundles of pasta that are generally filled with vegetables such as carrots, onions, and green beans, as well as ricotta cheese
  • Fagottini are a kind of gnocchi.
  • Mezzelune: packed semicircles with cheese and occasionally vegetables or meat
  • A type of pie.

Barilla Penne Pasta & Recipes

Preparing a lovely dish of Penne for the ones you care about the most takes only 11 minutes, and you may communicate your feelings in that time. Penne, which literally translates as “pen” in Italian, is one of the most well-known and much enjoyed pasta forms in the country. It derives its name from the shape of the pasta it is made from. Inspired by the quill of an old-fashioned ink pen, the tube-shape with slanted ends was created. Barilla® Penne is prepared with ingredients that are not genetically modified.

Perfect for.

Its enormous diameter and ridges make Penne an excellent choice for keeping sauces on the whole surface, both inside and outside!

Penne can be served with a variety of sauces, including chunkier meat or vegetable-based sauces, refined dairy-based sauces, such as a mushroom cream sauce, tomato sauces, and spicy sauces. In addition to baked casserole dishes (known as “pasta al forno”), penne is also good on its own.

Suitable For

More Information about Allergens


Additional Information about Allergens


Preparation: Bring 4 to 6 quarts of water to a boil, season with salt to taste. Fill a pot halfway with boiling water and add the contents of the packet. Gently stir the ingredients together. Bring the water back to a boil. Boil the pasta, uncovered, for 11 minutes, stirring regularly, until it is authentically “al dente.” Boil the pasta for an extra 1 minute if you want it more tender. Remove the pan from the heat. Drain the water well. Make a quick sauce using your favorite Barilla sauce and serve immediately.

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Penne Pasta

Penne, sometimes known as pen, are a sort of pasta with a cylindrical form that is manufactured from durum wheat flour. All penne forms are distinguished by an oblique cut, sometimes known as a “nib” or “quill,” and they may be seasoned with a variety of sauces due to their hollow shape, which effectively retains the sauce in place. What do you prefer: smooth penne or rigate penne? The decision is entirely subjective; there are individuals who prefer one variety over the other, but both are quite flexible and may be used for any seasoning or preparation.

Penne rigate are popular across Italy and internationally, and their names vary depending to the area of Italy in which they are produced.


When it comes to pasta, the term “pen” refers to a sort of cylindrical pasta that is manufactured from durum wheat flour. Almost all penne forms are defined by an oblique cut, often known as a “nib” or “quill,” and because of their hollow shape, they may be seasoned with a variety of sauces. penne rigate or pasta al dente (smooth). The decision is entirely subjective; some people prefer one variety over the other, but both are quite flexible and may be used for any seasoning. Each pen has lines running through it, and this roughness causes them to be crunchy as you chew it.

The “spole” is the name given to them in Umbria, while the “maltagliati” are the name given to them in the south.

Penne Arrabbiata– Spicy Penne Video Recipe

Photos of bare Italian grocery shelves were uploaded on Twitter less than 24 hours after Italy reported a COVID19 epidemic in the northern Italian region of Lombardy. In this case, the subject of the social media craze revolved on one of Italy’s most beloved culinary traditions: pasta. Lonely packets of silky penne pasta, often known as penne lisce, remained perched on the devastated shelves of the supermarket. All of the penne rigate, also known as ridged penne, had been devoured. While the president of Lombardia, Attilio Fontana, appealed to Italians to refrain from irresponsible shopping while assuring them that emergency measures were in place, debate about pennelisce erupted, becoming a hot subject on Twitter in Italy and spreading around the world.

  • —?‍♂️ (@diodeglizilla) The date is February 23, 2020.
  • “I keep staring at this shot I took earlier at the grocery, and I believe that the penne lisce is the largest victim of this infection,” I say.
  • @LaskaJuventus Tweeted “Pasta lisce is a heinous crime against humanity.
  • There has long been a misconception that smooth penne does not hold sauce as well as penne with grooves, and this has fueled the debate.
  • It is also claimed by certain Italian chefs, like Gennaro Esposito, the renowned Neapolitan chef, that the ridged pasta is inferior because it becomes overdone on the exterior when it is cooked in the oven.
  • Due to its similarity to the nib of an old-fashioned quill, the machine used to cut industrialized penne lisce was devised in Genoa in 1865 by a pasta business.

At the period, ziti pasta had become popular in Southern Italy, and it was dried in long tubes before being cut by hand, resulting in’maltagliati,’ which literally means ‘with faults.’ According to the popular Italian website Gambero Rosso, southern Italians favor lisce since it is the ancestor of ziti, which may explain why it is the most popular dish in the region.

  • It’s been years since Maureen B.
  • “All of the first industrially manufactured forms were lisce until someone discovered that striations would grip the sauce,” she explains.
  • This may be accomplished regardless of the shape of the pasta by selecting a product that has been extruded through bronze and dried slowly at a low heat.
  • During an email interaction with her this week, we debated whether the American taste for ridged penne may have had an impact on Northern Italians’ cooking styles.

The Martelli family has been making “Classiche”—smooth penne—near the border of Liguria in Tuscany since 1926, and it is said to be “one of a kind.” They are proud to be the only pastificio in Italy that produces exclusively penne lisce, as well as four other traditional pasta dishes: spaghetti, spaghettini, fusilli, and macaroni and cheese (maccheroni and cheese).

  1. In the industrial pasta production industry, teflon-drawn pasta is prevalent.
  2. In addition to creating texture, the ridges on industrial penne help to conceal faults in the quality of the pasta materials they are made from.
  3. The tomato sauce, which is known as ‘angry’ pasta because it is made with olive oil, garlic, and red chili peppers, is hot and spicy.
  4. After hearing all of the commotion about penne on February 24th, I went to Eataly in Milan, interested to perform my own tasting experiment.
  5. Located in Le Marche, Mancini harvests their own durum wheat, which has earned the company a cult following among chefs both in Italy and abroad.
  6. Even among the industrial brands De Cecco and Barilla, there was no penne lisce to be found in the pasta aisle, which had over fifty different varieties of pasta.

In response to an image that appeared on Twitter depicting Marie Antoinette clutching a book, a Barilla box of smooth penne lisce was substituted with the words “if they don’t have any more bread, they eat smooth penne.” The conversation on Twitter quickly shifted from negative thoughts about penne to how grocery companies are saving thousands of euros by knowing about their customers’ tastes and preferences.

The manufacturing of penne lisce accounts for around 10% of total penne output at Barilla worldwide.

“Paccheri, traditionally a smooth form, are now appearing in ridged variations.

“They are still uncommon, although I have seen them at restaurants.” Despite what some ridged pasta devotees may believe, Fant contends that the scarcely discernible rough surface of a good-quality pasta—regardless of where it is consumed—is far more essential than the obvious ridges on the surface.

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