How Many Pasta Shapes Are There

So, How Many Pasta Shapes Are There?

So, how many different types of pasta are there? English Nearly 350 distinct forms of pasta are thought to exist, with approximately four times as many names as there are varieties of pasta. Due to the fact that some kinds may have distinct names in different languages, or even in the same language: in Italy, for example, names change depending on the location or area in which the type is found. Furthermore, pasta makers and cooks may come up with new forms or rename existing ones, resulting in an almost limitless number of options.

In Italian, all pasta types are referred to as by their plural names.

For example, spaghettini (the smallest), spaghetti (the usual size), and spaghettoni (the largest) (largest).

Many areas of Italy have developed their unique pasta shapes, such as bigoli (thick, noodle-like spaghetti) from Veneto; strozzapreti (literally ‘priest strangler’) from Emilia-Romagna; trofie (ideal with pesto) from Liguria; andorecchiette (or, ‘small ears’) from Puglia, to name a few.

  1. The most straightforward method to categorize pasta is into three types: long, short, and soup.
  2. Spaghetti and vermicelli are examples of predecessors in the first group of foods.
  3. For example, at the end of the nineteenth century, ditalini rigatiwere also known asgaribaldinias a tribute to Garibaldi; mafalde and mafaldinewere named in honor of Princess Mafilda of Savoy (or perhaps the daughter of a pasta maker!
  4. Pasta, regardless of its name or shape, is a simple dish that is synonymous with Italy, and it is always sure to satisfy everyone.
  5. Please also also our Foodie Guides to Pasta and Egg Pasta, as well as our recipes.
  6. This is due to the fact that some types might have different names in different languages, or even in the same language: for example, in Italy, the name of a type can vary depending on the location or area in which it is found.
  7. As a result, the possibilities become limitless!
  8. In Italian, all of the pasta varieties are referred to as by their plural names.
  9. For example, spaghettini (the smallest of the three formats), spaghetti (the standard style), and spaghettoni (the largest of the three formats).

Several different regional pasta shapes have evolved over time: for example, I bigoli, which are similar to spaghetti, are a Venetian specialty; gli strozzapreti, which come in many varieties, are a typical Emilia-Romagna specialty; the trofie (which are delicious with pesto) are liguri; and the orecchiette (also known as “little orecchie”) are pugliesi.

The most straightforward way to categorize pasta is to divide it into three types: long shapes, short shapes, and shapes for soups.

The first group consists of such forerunners as spaghetti and vermicelli, among other things.

It is possible that the names and shapes of pasta corta have changed over time; for example, at the end of the nineteenth century, rigati ditalini were known as garibaldini in honor of Garibaldi; mafalde and mafaldine were so named in honor of the Princess Mafalda of Savoy (or perhaps in honor of the daughter of a pasta manufacturer!) Regardless of the name or the shape, pasta is a simple dish that is synonymous with Italy and that, without a doubt, will satisfy everyone at some point.

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

  • The 17th of October is National Pasta Day, a day dedicated to honoring one of the world’s most cherished dishes. There are over 50 different varieties of pasta, and the number grows much larger when you include in all the different sizes. The 54 primary varieties of pasta, as well as some recommendations for what to serve them with, have been compiled in one place. More articles may be found on the Insider homepage.

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

Spaghetti. 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.


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.

Caramelle.ajborges/Shutterstock That’s also where the name originates from: those caramel candy that everyone’s grandmothers seem to have in their possession. It is also available in a variety of vibrant hues.

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.

Gemelli. 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.

See also:  What To Put In Pasta

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

Campanelle. Photograph courtesy of Valerie Nik/Shutterstock The hollow core is ideal for catching sauce and other liquids.

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.

Rigatoni. Images courtesy of Eddy Buttarelli /REDA CO /Universal Images Group/Getty Images. As with penne, rigatoni is sliced straight across, 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 stick to them. rigatoni al forno is a traditional rigatoni dish.

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.

Lasagne.stockcreations/Shutterstock Lasagna is produced by layering lasagna noodles with a variety of ingredients such as spinach, meat, tomato sauce, onions, cheese, and just about anything else you can imagine. Furthermore, lasagna is one of the world’s oldest pasta dishes, with roots that may be traced back to the ancient Greeks.

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.

Garganelli. Euripides/Shutterstock “Typical garganelli pasta recipes involve serving it with a meat ragu, which is often Bolognese or alla salsiccia (with sausage),” according to the Pasta Project website. Garganelli derive their name from the Italian word for esophagus, “garganel,” which refers to a tube-like structure akin to a stoma.

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


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?

Follie d’ulivo, courtesy of alpenkoch/Shutterstock According to the Agricola del Sole, it “pairs well with any sauce, both red and white in color.”

Lorighittas are known for their distinct braided shape.

Lorighittas. Photo courtesy of Rene Johnston/Toronto Star/Getty Images Food Republic states that lorighittas are “called after the Sardinian phrase for the iron rings used to hook horses,” which means “hitch horses.” Something is in the process of loading. More:FeaturesFoodPastadinner It denotes the presence of an expanding section or menu, as well as the presence of previous and next navigation choices.

Why Does Pasta Come in So Many Shapes?

Many people believe that pasta originated in Italy, yet the first known noodles were discovered in China during an archeological expedition. It was discovered that the noodles were manufactured from two varieties of grain that had been farmed in China for more than 7,000 years in a bowl buried beneath 10 feet of soil! Despite the fact that there are hundreds of distinct varieties of noodles, pasta may be divided into many categories, including longpasta (spaghetti, angel hair), tubes (penne), soup pastas (orzo, alphabet), filled pastas (tortellini, ravioli), and unusual forms (tortellini, ravioli) (farfalle,fusilli).

Farfallepasta, for example, is sometimes referred to as “butterfly” or “bowtie”pasta due to its form.

A variety of forms, for example, will handle different sauces better than other shapes.

Flat noodles are frequently served with cream sauces, but round pastas appear to hold on to tomato sauces more well. Specialpastashapes, such as ravioli and manicotti, are required for stuffed pasta. What’s your favorite type of pasta?

Wonder What’s Next?

We’ll be hitting the trail with man’s best friend, as well as a super-sniffer designed just for hide-and-seek.

How Many Different Pasta Shapes are There?

We’re all familiar with the forms of spaghetti, penne, rigatoni, and other types of pasta, but did you realize there are over 350 distinct types of pasta? Yes, you are correct. If you’re looking for a real Italian supper, you may pick from hundreds of different varieties of pasta whether you’re cooking at home or eating out. Continue reading to learn more about the enthralling realm of pasta. Groups of Pasta Generally speaking, pasta may be divided into several categories. As an example, there are several types of pasta groups such as the long pasta, the tube pasta, and the soup pasta groups, the packed pasta groups, and the unusual form pasta groups.

  1. Spaghetti and angel hair are considered long pastas, whilst penne is considered a tube pasta.
  2. It is not only that there are many distinct forms, but many different varieties of pasta are known by more than one name as well.
  3. Pasta ShapesSo, why is it that there are so many distinct types of pasta?
  4. Texture and sauce are important considerations.
  5. In general, cooks utilize a variety of pasta shapes and sizes based on the type of sauce they intend to cook with the pasta.
  6. As an alternative, if he creates an extremely rich and thick sauce, he will serve it with an equally rich and thick pasta, such as rigatoni, whose grooves will contain the rich and flavorful sauce for maximum flavor absorption.
  7. Ravioli, manicotti, and huge shells are just a few of the possibilities available when it comes to packed pasta.
  8. Try something different with your spaghetti this time and see how it goes.
  9. There are several recipe books available on the market that are devoted just to pasta shapes, how to prepare them, and what sauces to serve with them.

A Brief History of Pasta Shapes & Sizes

When researching the amount of distinct pasta shapes that exist, it immediately becomes apparent that the number may easily reach 1,000 when different cultures with variants combining enriched flour, rice, gluten-free foods, whole wheat, and other components are taken into consideration. It is estimated that there are approximately 350 different types of pasta made in Italy, each with its own set of unique contours, ridges, diameters, and lengths—characteristics that lend themselves to specific sauce applications—all of which are enjoyed by pasta lovers hailing from all corners of the flavor and texture spectrum.

  1. The finished result, which is often made from simple, modest materials such as wheat, eggs, salt, and water, is true culinary alchemy.
  2. At reality, the route through which pasta arrived in the Bel Paese (“Beautiful Country”) is basically inconsequential.
  3. The origins of pasta in this culinary capital and its diverse areas are a source of constant discussion, with most recalling the primary school lesson on Marco Polo and his journeys to the Far East as the source of inspiration.
  4. Even if this is possible, some hypotheses contend that pasta had been present in and around the nation even before Polo’s travels east.

At reality, the route through which spaghetti arrived in the “Beautiful Country” is basically inconsequential. What matters is that it got there, and that we are now all receiving the fruits of its efforts.

A Lesson In Shapes

A set of tools was not used to cut the pasta into random shapes in order to demonstrate the cook’s proficiency with a set of tools. As a matter of fact, each pasta form was created with a specific function in mind — some were designed to be used for soups, some for meat sauces, and yet others were created to be used to cradle more delicate sauces in their enticing grooves and folds. Cavatelli (also known as “gavadeels” in some Italian households), a small shell-shaped pasta from southern Italy near Calabria, holds chunky sauces in its partially opened crannies, whereas the broad pappardelle (from the Tuscany region) is strong enough to withstand hearty meat sauces and other heavy sauces.

Then there are the forms that appear to have been fashioned expressly for onedish and one meal alone, which is a little confusing.

See also:  Pasta Whose Name Is Italian For Feathers

An enormous flat sheet of pastry is topped with meats, cheeses, sauce, and cream to create a delectable casserole of sorts that may be traced back to Naples during the Middle Ages in its culinary origins.

Pasta Zero

Which pasta form was the first to be created, and was there a pasta primordial from which all other pasta shapes sprang from? It all depends on who you talk to, really. The first written records of pasta date back to the 13th century, when four pillar pastas—macaroni, ravioli, gnocchi, and vermicelli—began to appear all throughout the Italian peninsula. And while we think of pasta as a common peasant food, it was originally served to the wealthy in elaborate preparations that ranged from sweet to savory, with ravioli, for example, being stuffed with ingredients such as pork belly, cow udders, roast pork, hard and fresh cheeses, sugar, herbs, spices, and raisins, among other things.

However, it was the creation of thetorchio, a pasta pressing machine, in the 17th century that had the most impact on the dissemination of pasta across the Italian countryside.

Pasta And The Modern World

In spite of the fact that the majority of pasta forms have been around for countless numbers of generations, new patterns are continually being cut and stretched by creative cooks all over the world. Another fascinating modern variant is the semi-obscurecaramelle, a stuffed pasta commonly filled with cheese, veggies, and/or meat and twisted closed on both ends, which gets its name from the candy wrappers that are used to make the dish. Traditional molds are continually being recast, and new, imaginative products are being developed as the culinary industry begins to pay attention to diners suffering from maladies such as gluten sensitivity.

A stroll down any supermarket’s pasta aisle will certainly reveal a couple of lesser-known shapes nestled among the recognizable geometry of mainstream favorites such as stringy spaghetti, cylinder-shaped penne, and tube-shaped rigatoni, among other shapes.

Traditional molds are continually being recast, and new, imaginative products are being developed as the culinary industry begins to pay attention to diners suffering from maladies such as gluten sensitivity.

The variety of pasta options is virtually limitless. As a result, grab a fork and twirl, scoop, or slurp everyone’s favorite starchy dish, which should be slathered in some high-quality homemade pasta sauce, of course!

33 Types of Italian Pasta and Their Uses

On certain nights, there’s nothing better than boiling some noodles and whipping up a batch of spaghetti (with an optional side of wine!). A straightforward and traditional supper. However, there are several varieties of pasta available. So let’s have a look at the most prevalent ones. What a world of possibilities there are with pasta. There are a plethora of styles and forms to choose from. The standard marinara and tomato sauces work well with this dish, but you may also get creative with creamy, herby creations.

You may experiment with different vegetables and proteins.

In contrast, while any type of pasta is a simple and tasty dish, there are an astounding number of different kinds of noodles you may cook to create your own unique pasta dish.

Types of pasta

There are a plethora of different sorts of pasta. The good news is that they may be divided into a few distinct categories: short pasta, long pasta, sheet pasta, filled pasta, and dumpling pasta, among others. Long pasta can be hand-rolled or created using an extruder, while many forms of short pasta (though not all) must be made with an extruder in order to get the particular shapes that distinguish them.

Long Pasta

These are the long, thin ribbons and strand pasta forms that you’re looking for. If you want to prepare them with creamy sauces, choose components that are only extremely small in size and have very few chunks, if any at all.

Angel’s hair

Angel hair pasta is a long, thin noodle that is thinner than spaghetti in consistency. It goes well with mild oil-based and cream-based sauces. Anything that is too substantial may overrun it. Pair it with a classichomemade marinara sauce for a typical Italian supper to complete the experience. Shredded chicken or shrimp scampi are also excellent sources of protein for this dish.


It has a similar appearance to regular spaghetti. However, it is more rounded, and there is a hole in the centre of each noodle, creating a hollow core in the middle of each noodle. As a result, it is a little thicker than regular spaghetti noodles. When used in soups, pasta dishes, and casseroles, it retains a lot of the sauce that is added. That is bucatini’s superpower, to put it mildly.


Fettuccini is a flat spaghetti noodle that looks similar to a flat spaghetti noodle. It’s a noodle that’s thicker and denser in texture. In contrast to other forms of long pasta, because it is quite wide, it works well with chunky meat sauces. Without a doubt, creamy alfredo sauce combined over fettuccine is a winning combination.


Who doesn’t enjoy a good spaghetti dish? It is formed like angel hair and bucatini, and it has a cylinder shape. Its thickness, on the other hand, lies midway in the center.

Even while it isn’t nearly as thin as angel’s hair, it is significantly thinner than bucatini. Combining meatballs with pasta is always a traditional pairing. Are you tired of the same old spaghetti? Make pesto shrimp spaghetti to add a unique touch to the dish.


Linguine is similar in appearance to fettuccine, although it is not as broad. In seafood meals, it’s a typical noodle combo, especially when used with white wine sauces with clams and mussels. With linguine noodles, any cream-based or white wine-based sauce tastes like a culinary dream.


If you believe that the width of long pasta can’t go any broader than fettuccine, you are mistaken. Pappardelle pasta noodles are even better at blending with rich, meat-based sauces than fettuccine pasta noodles. While it is most typically used in raguorbolognese, it is also excellent in seafood pastadishes and other meals that call for shellfish. Given its size, tenacity, and sturdiness, you can slam it with any heavy sauce.


It’s quite simple to make the mistake between tagliatelle and fettuccine. In fact, in certain regions of Italy, tagliatelle is referred to as fettucine by chefs. Both forms of pasta have the appearance of flattened spaghetti and are about the same width, although tagliatelle will have a somewhat thicker bite to it. It’s also capable of handling heavy meat sauces, but it’s also capable of handling cream or tomato sauces.


Consider the term “thin.” Vermicelli noodles have a slim profile. There are two types of vermicelli: Italian and Asian. The former is produced from semolina, while the latter is a rice noodle. In a light spaghetti-like meal, mix vermicelli with olive oil and canned tomatoes, or use them in stir-fries and soups to add a little texture and flavor.

Short Pasta

Slightly shorter noodles are available in a variety of forms, each of which will catch sauces in a different way. It is particularly effective with thicker, chunkier sauces that contain meat and vegetables. Because of their distinctive designs, the majority of short varieties of pasta are produced using an extruder machine that cuts the shapes with a mold.


Campanelle pasta is one of the less well-known types of pasta available. This little bell-shaped flower has been rolled up in the shape of a cone with ruffled edges, resembling a small bell-shaped flower. Thicker sauces will be easily absorbed by the hollow middle, and you could even use it as a substitute for elbows in macaroni and cheese recipes.


Consider a tube-shaped pasta that is somewhat open at the ends and has rolled edges that are not completely attached. Casarecce is similar to a noodle that has been gently coiled and twisted. Sauces will also be caught well in the middle.


It is often referred to as double elbow pasta because of its hollow, spiral-shaped form. The various twists and turns provide a large amount of surface area for the sauce to cover and adhere to, as well as additional chew due to the length of the dish. With fact, it’s fantastic in macaroni and cheese.


There are many grooves and fissures in this spiral-shaped noodle, which allows it to catch more sauce and dressing.

It’s strong enough to combine with a richer sauce, such as marinara or meat sauce, without falling apart. However, it is also frequently used in pasta salads.


Radiatori noodles may be used in soups and casseroles, among other things. It’s not as ubiquitous in grocery shops as it could be, but it’s a distinctive form. It has the appearance of a futuristic spiral. Is it fair to suggest that it resembles a little parking garage?


Rotini is a corkscrew-shaped pasta that is widely available. It features a tighter spiral than fusilli, making it more difficult to break. However, it is similar to fusilli in that it absorbs many sorts of sauces effectively. It can handle anything from thick and beefy to oil-based to creamy in texture. It’s especially delicious in this one-pot chicken cacciatore recipe.


You first encountered elbow macaroni noodles while participating in a kindergarten craft project. However, as an adolescent and an adult, you most certainly developed a fondness for foods coated in cheese. It’s in the shape of a little half-circle. Apart from being a fantastic noodle choice for pasta meals, it is also a good choice for casseroles.


Although it may sound foreign, bow tie spaghetti is a simple dish. It may be found in a variety of creamy pasta dishes as well as pasta salads (and perhaps even as an accompaniment to elbow macaroni for your children’s painting project). It seems like there isn’t much you can’t do with this style of pasta.


Gemelli pasta noodles have the appearance of two thin strands that have been twisted together. It is, however, deceiving you with a trick on your eyes. It’s only one noodle that has been bent to appear like that. It holds sauce well, and it’s a popular noodle choice for adding green vegetables and herbs to spaghetti and pasta salads, among other things.


It is probable that penne is already a household favorite in your home. It is a hollow cylinder-shaped noodle with slanted sides that is hollow within. It features ridges that make its texture great for capturing sauce, and it is made of plastic. It is sometimes referred to as mostaccioli in some circles. In addition to being used in a variety of pasta dishes, it is a frequent noodle seen in casseroles. In a thischicken piccata pastadish, I combined the mixture with chicken and zucchini.


Rotelli is a pasta dish that looks a lot like something you’d find in a kid’s soup (and frequently is!). This colorful wheel design is perfect for catching all of the different sorts of sauces and components in a soup or pasta dish. It’s a compact and manageable size.


Rigatoni has the appearance of the penne’s sister noodle. It’s likewise cylinder-shaped, and its texture has ridges in it, as well. Penne is somewhat stumpier and less slender than spaghetti, and it does not have the sloping margins that are characteristic of spaghetti. As with penne, the ridges and gaping center will retain sauce, resulting in every mouthful being cheesy, creamy, and tasty in its own right. I use it in my creamy butternut squash pasta dish, which is delicious.


These noodles are frequently linked to the form of ears, and it’s not hard to understand why.

While it is a versatile sort of pasta that can be used in a variety of dishes, cream sauces are particularly fond of it. The little dips in their cores may appear insignificant, yet they are quite effective at capturing sauce and taste.


Ziti is a type of pasta that appears very similar to penne in shape and appearance. Also thin and hollow, but with straight edges and no ridges in its texture, it has a smooth appearance. Baked ziti is a popular dish on the menus of Italian restaurants, making it a good candidate for a casserole. Those who prefer it mixed with a little olive oil or tomato sauce for a quick midweek pasta meal are in luck.


It is merely another name for shells, which is conchiglie. These may be found in a number of sizes, ranging from micro to small to medium to large. The fact that they make their own macaroni is undoubtedly their claim to fame, but their open cores make them ideal for enclosing any form of cream sauce or a robust meat sauce.


Orzo is sometimes confused with grains, but it is actually a sort of pasta, and it is likely the tiniest of the little pasta types. It has a texture similar to rice, and it is frequently used in orzo pasta salads. It may also be used to lend a wonderful texture to soups.


When it comes to little pasta forms, Ditalini is likewise on the smaller end of the range, as is rigatoni. Ditalini is similar to ziti noodles in that it is made up of multiple smaller noodles that are sliced together. A prominent component in minestrone soup, as well as in pasta Fagioli, is fennel seed powder.

See also:  How Do You Make Pasta Salad

Sheet Pasta

Sheet pasta noodles are exactly what they sound like: they are thin and flat, like a sheet of paper (but small dimensions of course).


This is by far the most popular variety of sheet pasta available. Its form is defined by the ruffled, ornamental margins that surround it. Without a doubt, it’s utilized to produce lasagne, where it’s sandwiched between ricotta cheese and meat sauce in a classic dish (vegan versions are popping up everywhere). No-boil lasagne noodles can be purchased that have been precooked and dried. The moisture from your cheese and sauce is sufficient to rehydrate the noodles, so you won’t have to prepare them separately before baking them in the oven.

Filled Pasta

There is one thing that all of these noodles have in common. They may be stuffed with a variety of fillings, including cheesy, ooey-gooey, veggie, and protein-based options. It provides up a plethora of possibilities for incorporating flavor into your pasta meals.


Tortellini reminds me of miniature air tubes gliding down a river, which is how I like to imagine them. Alternatively, little donuts. It is available in a variety of flavors, including cheese and meat. Tortellini can be drenched in sauces or served in a brothy tomato soup, depending on your preference. Because it already has a lot of flavor crammed within the filling, it’s also delicious tossed in a little olive oil and parmesan cheese before serving.


Ravioli are square and packed with cheese. When it comes to store-bought ravioli, the smaller the better, but don’t be shocked if you’re offered huge ravioli at some Italian restaurants.

It has a ruffled appearance and the edges are squeezed tightly together. You’ll find them loaded with a variety of ingredients, including cheese, veggies, and meat.


Consider manicotti to be the equivalent of large penne noodles. It has the same texture and form as the original, but it is somewhat bigger. And do you have any idea what that means? More room for cheese and sauce to be stuffed within. My family like it when it is cooked in a casserole dish. It also enjoys a hearty meaty bolognese sauce smothered in the middle.


Cannelloni noodles are a cross between lasagne noodles and manicotti noodles, and they’re delicious. It’s a tube-shaped pasta (similar to manicotti) with no ridges on the outside (like lasagna). It starts out as a sheet pasta that is rolled into tubes and then dipped in sauce. It’s loaded with cheese and tomato sauce, similar to how manicotti noodles are stuffed.

Jumbo shells

A cross between lasagne and manicotti noodles, cannelloni noodles are a delicious combination. Unlike manicotti, it is a tube-shaped pasta with no ridges (like lasagna). Initially, it is made as a sheet pasta that is rolled into tubes of various sizes. It’s packed with cheese and tomato sauce, similar to how manicotti noodles are prepared.


Mezzelune pasta is similar in appearance to potstickers, however it is a tad flatter in shape. It’s a flat spaghetti that’s hand-rolled from the beginning. Firstly, it is cut into ovals that are filled with stuffing before being folded in half and sealed with pinched corners before boiling.

Dumpling Pasta

In this category, there is just one sort of pasta that you should be familiar with, and that is.


Gnocchi is made in a different way than hand-rolled and extruded pasta, with the potato serving as the basic component and the addition of flour and egg. As a result, the dumplings are thick and compact in size. Both home cooks and professional chefs alike like getting creative with gnocchi, dousing it in creamy sauce, substituting butternut squash for conventional riced potato, or dressing it up for the holidays with a pumpkin sage sauce, to name a few ideas.

Specialty types of pasta

You’ve probably seen an increase in the number of specialized pasta varieties available on grocery store shelves. Producers are developing gluten-free versions of their products that use only beans or lentils as the primary component. It’s also possible to purchase whole grain pasta, indicating that there is a need for more nutritious methods to enjoy our favorite pasta recipes.

How is dried pasta made?

You’ve seen the pasta section of the grocery store, so you’re aware that you have alternatives to choose from. If you were to traverse the world, you would come across hundreds of different varieties of pasta, some of which had various names in different parts of the world. However, there are around 20 to 30 of them that are the most frequent in the United States. They are produced using one of two methods: hand-rolling or extrusion. The majority of pastas are made with only two simple ingredients: flour and eggs.

After the flour and egg (or water) are combined, the dough is kneaded until it forms a ball that is flattened out and cut into various shapes.

The second process, extrusion, is used to manufacture the vast majority of the varieties of pasta marketed commercially.

Although the recipe may vary, the egg is often substituted for water, and semolina flour is frequently used in place of all-purpose flour in most cases. Semolina is a coarse flour made from durum wheat that is a touch darker in color than ordinary flour. It is used to make pasta and bread.

Fresh pasta versus dried pasta

While fresh pasta will always be a pleasant experience, dried pasta may be a good option for heartier meals that require the noodles to hold up to robust sauces and more vigorous cooking (like in casseroles). Because it has a more sensitive feel, freshly rolled pasta will cook more quickly than dried pasta.

Selecting and storing pasta

Fresh pasta may be stored in the refrigerator for up to two or three days after it has been cut and shaped, depending on how long it will be used. Keep it in an airtight container at all times. You may even freeze it for up to two weeks if you want to save time. It is advisable to consume dried, store-bought pasta from a box within a year of purchase. When choosing a type of pasta, take the sauce into consideration. Long and thin noodles go well with lighter sauces such as those made with olive oil or cream.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Many Shapes of Pasta

07Aug You’ve probably tasted baked Ziti and bolognese pasta, as well as typical tonnarelli with cacio e pepe. You probably even know the names of a dozen different varieties of pasta by heart. However, we believe you’d be astonished to find that there are literally hundreds of different sorts and shapes of pasta (all of which are wonderful). Discover all you ever wanted to know about the numerous different forms of pasta right here.

Classifying Pasta

Generally speaking, the approximately 350 various varieties of pasta may be divided into four categories:

  • Four basic groups may be distinguished among the approximately 350 distinct varieties of pasta available:

Many different types of pasta shapes may be classified into numerous categories, and the variances in forms and regional practices result in a lot of overlap. In reality, all of these pasta forms exist because their distinct textures add a level of sophistication to different sauces and meals. When it comes to Italian cookery, the way a pasta retains a sauce is really important. An equally rich and savory sauce calls for a pasta that is just as powerful, with deep grooves that can keep the sauce in place.

When selecting the correct pasta, it’s not only about the texture; it’s also about the tastes.

When it comes to soups and packed meals, there are many different varieties of pasta to choose from, but again, there are many choices in those categories.

We urge you to make a reservation right now so that you may come in and enjoy our freshly produced pastas in all of their fascinating shapes and varieties.

Pasta Types and When To Use Them

There are roughly 350 different varieties of noodles available, as well as an even greater number of sauces to pair them with. When it comes to creating your next pasta dish for one of your culinary arts classes, the possibilities are endless. How are you expected to determine which method is the most effective? Even while there is no “proper” or “wrong” method to match spaghetti noodles with sauces, there are certain general rules that chefs follow to ensure that their pasta meals are well received by their consumers.

There are several distinct types of pasta. There are over 350 distinct varieties of noodles, which may be divided into several categories, so when a recipe calls for a certain type of noodle, you have a little wiggle space. These are the groups:

  • Long Angel hair, fettuccine, fideo, fusilli, lasagna, lasagne, linguine, mafalda, pappardelle, reginette, spaghetti, tagliatelle, thin spaghetti, vermicelli
  • Fettuccine, fideo, fusilli, lasagna, lasagne, linguine, mafalda, pappardelle, reginette, spaghetti, tagliatelle, Tube Bucatini, casarecce, cavatappi, elbow, manicotti, penne, penne mostaccioli, penne rigate, pipe rigate, pipette rigate, riccioli, rigatoni, tortiglioni, tubini, ziti
  • Bucatini, casarecce, cavatappi, elbow, manicotti, penne, penne mostaccioli Soup: Acini de pepe, alphabet, ditalini, orecchiette, orzo, pastina
  • Soup: alphabet, ditalini, orecchiette, orzo, pastina Ravioli with tortellini stuffed with meat sauce
  • Shape that is unique anellini, campanelle, cappalletti, cavatelli, conchiglie, egg noodles, farfalle, farfalline, gemelli, gigli, radiatori, rocchetti, rotelle, rotini, ruote, tripolini
  • Anelli/anellini, campanelle, cappalletti, cavatelli, conchiglie

How do I know which sauces to serve with which noodles? Sauces are held in different ways by different forms of noodles. Generally speaking, rich, powerful sauces go well with thicker, heartier noodles, whereas light sauces go well with more delicate noodles. It goes without saying that while cooking filled pasta, you must use large shells or manicotti noodles because it would be difficult to pack smaller shells or noodles. In accordance with the website Good Food, the following are some tips for combining your noodles with sauces:

  • How do I know which sauces to use with which noodles? Difficulty retaining sauces in various forms of noodles Generally speaking, rich, powerful sauces work well with thicker, heartier noodles, whereas light sauces work best with more delicate noodles. It goes without saying that while creating filled pasta, you must use large shells or manicotti noodles because it would be difficult to pack little shells or noodles. Several suggestions for combining your noodles and sauces have been provided by Good Food:

Pasta Cooking Suggestions Because every pasta is not made equal, you can’t expect to cook it all the same way every single time you make it. There are, however, a few tips and procedures to follow to ensure that your noodles turn out just way you want them.

  • It is preferable to use too much water while boiling pasta rather than not enough. If you use too little water, the noodles will become glued together. Never cook two different varieties of noodles at the same time. Noodles of varying shapes need varying amounts of time to prepare
  • The noodle will take longer to cook if you break it in half and there is a white line in the centre
  • Immediately after draining the noodles, rinse them with cold water to prevent them from overcooking. Nobody likes gooey spaghetti
  • It’s a no-no. As soon as you drain the noodles, pour the sauce over them to prevent them from drying out and sticking together.

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How many pasta shapes are there in Italy?

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  • The following types of pasta: spaghetti, linguine, fusilli lunghi (long noodles), vermicelli, capellini, spaghettini, bucatini
  • Tagliatelle, pappardelle, fettuccine, mafaldine, stringozzi, trenette
  • Tagliatelle, pappardelle, fettuccine, mafaldine, stringozzi, trenette
  • Penne, rigatoni, macaroni, paccheri, tortiglioni, trenne, manicotti, ditalini, and cannelloni are some of the pasta varieties available.

The following types of pasta: spaghetti, linguine, fusilli lunghi (long spaghetti), vermicelli, capellini, spaghettini, bucatini; and The following pasta dishes are available: tagliatelle (pappardelle), fettuccine (fettuccine al dente), mafaldine (maffaldine al dente), stringozzi (stringozzi), trenette (trenette al dente). Manicotti (manicotti are little pasta balls), ditalini (ditalini are small pasta balls), cannelloni (cannelloni are small pasta balls).

  • Fusilli (corkscrew pasta)
  • Farfalle (bow-tie/ butterfly pasta)
  • Orecchiette/ conchiglie (small ears/ shells pasta)
  • Fusilli (corkscrew pasta)
  • Fusilli (corkscrew Spaghetti, tagliatelle, ravioli/tortellini, and other pasta dishes

How many distinct sorts of pasta shapes are there, taking this into consideration? There are 350 different kinds. What is the total amount of pasta produced in Italy? Italy is the world’s leader in both pasta consumption and pasta quality, ranking first in both categories. Over 3 million tons are created every year, out of the 13 million tons produced worldwide, while one plate out of every four is “made inItaly,” with more than ten million tons produced in Europe alone.

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