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45 Types Of Pasta Shapes | A-to-Z | Defined | Photos | Uses 

Comprehensive list of 45 of the most used pasta types from around the world. Enjoy an “A to Z” list of all kinds of pasta.  

  1. Farfalle pastaAngel Hair

– Long, thin noodle with a round shape. It can be used with light sauces and vegetables as well as traditional Italian sauces. Although it resembles another spaghetti, another long and thin pasta, Angel hair is much finer.

  1. Bucatini

Bucatini pasta

– [bukaˈtiːni], also known as perciatelli [pertʃaˈtɛlli], is a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center. The name comes from Italian: buco, meaning “hole”, while bucato or its Neapolitan variant perciato means “pierced”.

Bucatini is common throughout Lazio, particularly Rome. It is a tubed pasta made of hard durum wheat flour and water. Its length is 25–30 cm (10–12 in) with a 3 mm (1/8 inch) diameter. The average cooking time is nine minutes. In Italian cuisine, it is served with buttery sauces, pancetta or guanciale, vegetables, cheese, eggs, and anchovies or sardines.

One of the most common sauces to serve with bucatini is the classic Amatriciana sauce. It is traditionally made with guanciale, a type of cured meat taken from the pork jowl. [3]

Similarly, ziti [ˈdziːti] are long hollow rods which are also smooth in texture and have square-cut edges; “cut ziti” are ziti cut into shorter tubes.[4] There is also zitoni [dziˈtoːni], which is a wider version of ziti.

  1. Campanelle

Campanelle pasta

[kampaˈnɛlle] (Italian for “bellflowers” or “little bells”), is a type of pasta which is shaped like a cone with a ruffled edge or a bell-like flower. It is also sometimes referred to as gigli. It is intended to be served with a thick sauce,or in a casserole. In Italian, campanelle can also refer to “handbells.”

(“Bells”) Campanelle pasta resembles a small cone with a ruffled edge. It is also known as gigli pasta. Campanelle pasta can be paired with lean proteins, vegetables or sauces of any base. These shapes can also be a treat in a cold pasta salad.

  1. Cappelletti

Cappelletti pasta

– A kind of pasta similar to tortellini, a stuffed pasta. Unlike tortellini, that use a meat-based filling, cappelletti are usually stuffed with Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grana Padano or Robiola. They are typical for Romagna, Italy, (Ravenna, Forlì, Cesena, Rimini). Cappelletti pasta is folded and then twisted to form the shape of a small hat. On occasion, this pasta is sometimes referred to as an alpine hat.

  1. Cavatappi

Cavatappi pasta

[kavaˈtappi] is macaroni formed in a helical tube shape. Cavatappi is the Italian word for corkscrew. It is known by other names, including cellentani, amori, spirali, or tortiglione.[1] It is usually scored with lines or ridges (rigati in Italian) on the surface. Cavatappi is a type of macaroni, or thick, hollow pasta that is made without using eggs. It may be yellow in color, like most pastas, or have vegetables or a food coloring added to make it green or red. It can be used in a variety of dishes to include salads, soups, and casseroles.

(“Corkscrew”) The tight spiral locks-in the flavor, allowing the shape to pair with both simple and sophisticated sauces. Pair Cavatappi with sauces of any base or partner it with vegetables or lean protein and this pasta is sure to impress. Also, these shapes are great when used in pasta salads.

  1. Casarecce

Casarecce pasta

– (from casereccio which means “homemade“) originates from Sicily, and are short twists of pasta, which appear rolled up on themselves.Casarecce pasta is shaped like a very narrow, twisted and rolled tube. This pasta is best used when served with chunky sauce and can be used in a variety of casserole dishes.

  1. Cavatelli

Cavatelli pasta

[kavaˈtɛlli] are small pasta shells from egg-less semolina dough that look like miniature hot dog buns. Cavatelli in a literal sense, means “little hollows”. Ricotta cavatelli adds ricotta cheese to the dough mix.[1] It is commonly cooked with garlic and broccoli or broccoli rabe.

Conchiglie (Shells in Small, Medium, and Large) [koŋˈkiʎʎe], commonly known as “shells” or “seashells” is a type of pasta. It is usually sold in the plain durum wheat variety, and also in colored varieties which use natural pigments, such as tomato extract, squid ink or spinach extract. The shell shape of the pasta allows the sauce to adhere to it. A miniature variety called conchigliette is also available.

  1. Ditalini

Ditalini pasta

[ditaˈliːni] (Italian: “small thimbles”, also referred to as tubettini) is a type of pasta that is shaped like small tubes. The literal translation from the Italian language to English is “small thimbles”. It has been described as “thimble-sized” and as “very short macaroni”. In some areas it may also be called “salad macaroni.” During the industrial age in Apulia, Italy, increased development of ditali and other short-cut pastas occurred. In contemporary times, it is a mass-produced pasta. It is used in several dishes, and is commonly used throughout Sicily.

  1. Egg Noodles (Medium and Wide)

(From “Nudel,” German meaning paste with egg) – This size of Egg Noodle can be baked, tossed in soups or salads, or topped with cream, tomato, cheese or meat sauces. Go beyond the traditional Stroganoff and use Wide Egg Noodles to create soups, salads and casseroles. Or, top with a variety of sauces.

  1. Macaroni

fried mac and cheese sliders

– (/ˌmækəˈroʊni/, Italian: Maccheroni) is dry pasta shaped like narrow tubes. Made with durum wheat, macaroni is commonly cut in short lengths; curved macaroni may be referred to as elbow macaroni. Some home machines can make macaroni shapes, but like most pasta, macaroni is usually made commercially by large-scale extrusion. The curved shape is created by different speeds of extrusion on opposite sides of the pasta tube as it comes out of the machine.

 

  1. Farfalle

Farfalle pasta

– (“Butterflies”) Bow Ties brighten any meal with their interesting shape. Thick enough for a variety of sauces, or a perfect addition to a number of salad or soup recipes.

  1. Farfalline

Farfalloni pasta

-Farfalline is a small version of the bow tie or butterfly shaped pasta. This versatile shape can be used as the base of any dish. Bake it, stir it into soups, or create great salads and stir-fry dishes.

  1. Fettuccine

Fettuccine pasta

Fettuccine this thick ribbon-like pasta is often paired with thick meat-based sauces. One of the more popular pasta recipes is the rich fettuccine alfredo sauce.

  1. Fideo

Fideo pasta

Fideo Short thin strands of pasta that are slightly curved. Fideo pasta is commonly partners with veggies and lean proteins to be used in various soup recipes.

  1. Fusilli

Fusilli pasta

– (“Twisted Spaghetti”) This long, spiraled shape can be topped with any sauce, broken in half and added to soups, or turned into a beautiful salad. Fusilli also bakes well in casseroles.

  1. Gemelli

Gemelli pasta

– (“Twins”) Add a touch of style to any dish with this distinctive shape. Gemelli pairs nicely with meat, cream, seafood and vegetable sauces.

  1. Gifli

– (“Lilies”) Gigli is a fluted edge piece of pasta that has been rolled into a cone shaped flower. It is also known as campanelle. Gigli is perfect for heavier sauces, like cheese, meat and tomato or it is a perfect addition to a number of casseroles.

  1. Lasagna

(/ləˈzænjə, -ˈzɑːn-, -ˈsɑːn-/; Italian: [laˈzaɲɲe]; singular lasagna) are a type of wide, flat pasta, possibly one of the oldest types of pasta. Lasagne, or the singular lasagna, commonly refers to a culinary dish made with stacked layers of pasta alternated with sauces and ingredients such as meats, vegetables and cheese, and sometimes topped with melted grated cheese. Typically, the cooked pasta is assembled with the other ingredients and then baked in an oven. The resulting lasagne casserole is cut into single-serving square portions.

  1. Lasagne

Lasagne pasta

– This wide flat-shaped pasta is arguably one of the oldest types of pasta. The word Lasagne refers to a dish made with Lasagne sheets alternating with sauces and other ingredients in many languages.

(/ləˈzænjə, -ˈzɑːn-, -ˈsɑːn-/; Italian: [laˈzaɲɲe]; singular lasagna) are a type of wide, flat pasta, possibly one of the oldest types of pasta. Lasagne, or the singular lasagna, commonly refers to a culinary dish made with stacked layers of pasta alternated with sauces and ingredients such as meats, vegetables and cheese, and sometimes topped with melted grated cheese. Typically, the cooked pasta is assembled with the other ingredients and then baked in an oven. The resulting lasagne casserole is cut into single-serving square portions.

  1. Linguine

Linguine pasta

– (“Little Tongues”) A great shape to complement a variety of sauces. Also a good choice for salads and stir-fry dishes.

  1. Mafaldine

Mafalda pasta

–  Mafaldine, also known as Reginette (Italian for little queens) or simply Mafalda or Mafalde, is a type of ribbon-shaped pasta. It is flat and wide, usually about 1 cm (½ inch) in width, with wavy edges on both sides. It is prepared similarly to other ribbon-based pasta such as linguine and fettuccine. It is usually served with a more delicate sauce.

Mafaldine was named in honor of Princess Mafalda of Savoy (thus the alternative name “little queens”).

  1. Manicotti

Manicotti pasta

  • (the plural form of the Italian word manicotto), meaning “muff”, or, literally, “little sleeve” or “little shirtsleeve”, is an Italian American kind of pasta. It also means “cooked hands” (mani = hands, cotti = cooked), referring to hands being burnt when making the crepes traditionally used to create this dish. They are very large pasta tubes, usually ridged, that are intended to be stuffed and baked. The filling is generally ricotta cheese mixed with cooked chopped spinach, and possibly ground meat such as veal. They are subsequently topped with béchamel sauce, usually made with Pecorino Romano cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, tomato sauce or some combination of these.

Similar to the Italian cannelloni, manicotti can be extruded in tube form or rolled from sheets of dough.

The traditional version of the manicotti recipe uses a crêpe instead of pasta tubes to contain the filling, which is similarly covered in sauce and baked.

  1. Orecchiette

Orecchiette pasta

– (pronounced [orekˈkjette]; singular orecchietta; from Italian orecchia, meaning ‘little ear’, and -etta, meaning ‘small’) are a pasta that is popular in Southern Italy. They are typically served with a meat such as pork, capers and a crisp white wine

  1. Orzo

Orzo pasta

– (Italian pronunciation: [ˈɔrdzo], Italian for ‘barley’, from Latin hordeum), also risoni ([riˈzoːni], ‘big rice’), is a form of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice. (“Barley”) This small, grain shaped pasta can be topped with any sauce, added to soups, or baked as a casserole. Perfect as a side dish as well as a main course.

  1. Pappardelle

Pappardelle pasta

–  [papparˈdɛlle] (singular: pappardella) are large, very broad, flat pasta noodles, similar to wide fettuccine. The name derives from the verb “pappare”, to gobble up. The fresh types are two to three centimeters ( 34–1 inch) wide and may have fluted edges. Dried egg pappardelle have straight sides. It originates from the region of Tuscany.

  1. Pastina

Pastina pasta

– (Turkish: Şehriye) (literally “little pasta”) is a variety of pasta consisting of tiny pieces of pasta available in a variety of shapes. It is the smallest type of pasta produced. It is made of wheat flour and may also include egg.

  1. Penne

Penne pasta

–  (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpenːe]) is a type of pasta with cylinder-shaped pieces. Penne is the plural form of the Italian penna (meaning feather but pen as well), deriving from Latin penna (meaning “feather” or “quill”), and is a cognate of the English word pen. When this format was created in the 19th century it was supposed to imitate the fountain pen’s steel nibs.

  1. Penne Mostaccioli
  • A tubular pasta similar to ziti or penne

– (“Quills” and “Small Mustaches”) This tubular pasta complements a variety of sauces, is frequently used in salads, baked in casseroles, or made into stir-fry dishes.

  1. Penne Rigate

– (“Quills” or “Feathers”) Penne compliment virtually every sauce and are exceptional when paired with a chunky sauce. Penne Rigate are ridged and ideal to lock-in flavor. Penne Rigate pairs nicely with chunky meat, chunky vegetable, cream, or oil based sauces. Also, these shapes are great for baking dishes.

  1. Pipe Rigate

Pipe Rigate pasta

– A hollow curved pasta that resembles a snail shell. This shape has a wide opening at one end and the other end is flattened. Pipe Rigate pairs nicely with chunky meat, chunky vegetable, cream, or oil based sauces.

  1. Pipette Rigate

– This shape is a smaller version of Pipe Rigate. Pipette Rigate pairs nicely with chunky meat, chunky vegetable, cream, or oil-based sauces. Also, these shapes are great for baking dishes.

  1. Radiatori

Radiatori pasta

– Radiatori are small, squat pasta shapes that are said to resemble radiators. Although it is rumored that they were created in the 1960s by an industrial designer, their invention was actually between the First and Second World War.[1][better source needed] They are often used in similar dishes as rotelle or fusilli, because their shape works well with thicker sauces.[2] They are also used in casseroles, salads, and soups.

  1. Ravioli

fresh pasta with romesco sauce

(Italian pronunciation: [raˈvjɔːli]; singular: raviolo) are a type of dumpling composed of a filling sealed between two layers of thin pasta dough. Usually served either in broth or with a pasta sauce, they originated as a traditional food in Italian cuisine. Ravioli are typically square, though other forms are also used, including circular or semi-circular (mezzelune).

  1. Rigatoni

Rigatoni pasta

[riɡaˈtoːni] is a form of tube-shaped pasta of varying lengths and diameters originating in Italy. They are larger than penne and ziti, and sometimes slightly curved, though nowhere near as curved as elbow macaroni. Rigatoni characteristically has ridges down their length, sometimes spiraling around the tube, and unlike penne, rigatoni’s ends are cut square (perpendicular) to the tube walls instead of diagonally.

The word rigatoni comes from the Italian word rigato (rigatone being the augmentative and rigatoni the plural form), which means “ridged” or “lined”, and is associated with the cuisine of southern and central Italy. Rigatoncini is a smaller version, close to the size of penne. Their name takes on the diminutive suffix -ino (pluralized -ini) denoting their relative size.

Rigatoni is a particular favorite pasta shape in the south of Italy, especially in Sicily. Its namesake ridges make better adhesive surfaces for sauces and grated cheese than smooth-sided pasta like ziti

  1. Rocchetti

– (“Spool”) This short pasta is perfect for preparing casseroles and salads

  1. Rotelle

Rotelle pasta

is a type of pasta resembling wheels with spokes. They are similar to fiori.

The name derives from the Italian word for “little wheels”. In Italy they are also called “ruote”, and in the US they are usually called “wagon wheels”.

Rotelle should not be confused with rotini (corkscrew-shaped pasta). Nonetheless, some manufacturers, such as Ronzoni, produce a twisted pasta with that name.

  1. Rotini

Rotini pasta

– is a type of helix- or corkscrew-shaped pasta. The name comes from a 17th-century Italian word meaning “small wheels”. Rotini is related to fusilli, but has a tighter helix, i.e. with a smaller pitch. It should not be confused with rotelle(“wagon wheel” pasta).

Rotini originated from Southern Italy and the tight twists help them retain a wide variety of sauces better. They are often used in pasta salads with pesto, Carbonara or tomato-based sauces.

Rotini is most often made from refined (white) wheat flour, although varieties made from whole wheat flour, brown rice, or other grains are also available.

They are only called rotini in America, while the Italian name is fusilli.

In the US these may also be called colloquially “Scroodle,” “Scroodle Noodles”, “Skroodle”, “Scroodle Macaroni”, or “corkscrews”.

They come in several varieties, two of which are two and three vaned. The two vaned variety is a helical ribbon (top picture). The three vaned variety has a Y shaped cross section giving the pasta a more rigid “backbone” (bottom picture)

  1. Ruote (Wagon Wheels)

– (“Wheels”) Wagon Wheels make interesting salads, casseroles and stir-fry dishes. Add to soups, or simply top with sauce and enjoy.

  1. Spaghetti

Spaghetti pasta

– (Italian pronunciation: [spaˈɡetti]; sing. spaghetto) is a long, thin, solid, cylindrical pasta. Spaghettoni is a thicker form of spaghetti, while capellini is a very thin spaghetti. It is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine. Like other pasta, spaghetti is made of milled wheat and water and sometimes enriched with vitamins and minerals. Authentic Italian spaghetti is made from durum wheat semolina, but elsewhere it may be made with other kinds of flour. Typically the pasta is white because refined flour is used, but whole wheat flour may be added.

Originally, spaghetti was notably long, but shorter lengths gained in popularity during the latter half of the 20th century and now it is most commonly available in 25–30 cm (10–12 in) lengths. A variety of pasta dishes are based on it, and it is frequently served with tomato sauce or meat or vegetables.

 

  1. Tagliatelle

Tagliatelle pasta

(Italian pronunciation: [taʎʎaˈtɛlle]; and tagliolini (from the Italian tagliare, meaning “to cut”) are a traditional type of pasta from the Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions of Italy. Individual pieces of tagliatelle are long, flat ribbons that are similar in shape to fettuccine and are typically about 6.5 to 10 mm (0.26 to 0.39 in) wide. Tagliatellecan is served with a variety of sauces, though the classic is a meat sauce or Bolognese sauce. Tagliolini is another variety of tagliatelle that is long and cylindrical in shape, not long and flat.

Both tagliolini and tagliatelle are made with egg pasta. The traditional ratio is one egg to one hundred grams of flour.

Bavette is also available, and are thinner than tagliatelle; an even thinner version is bavettine.

 

  1. Thin Spaghetti

Thin Spaghetti is very similar to Vermicelli. Each one is slightly thinner than Spaghetti. Thin Spaghetti is perfect topped with any sauce, or as a salad or stir-fry ingredient.

  1. Tortellini

Tortellini pasta

are ring-shaped pasta, sometimes also described as “navel shaped”, hence their alternative name of “belly button” (ombelico). They are typically stuffed with a mix of meat (pork loin, prosciutto), cheese, or a combination of both. Originally from the Italian region of Emilia (in particular Bologna and Modena), they are usually served in broth (in brodo), either of beef, chicken, or both.

Packed, refrigerated or frozen, tortellini and tortelloni (similar but larger, with cheese and/or vegetable stuffing) appear in many locations around the world, especially where there are large Italian communities. Tortellini and tortelloni are made in European industrial lines supplying markets in Europe and further afield. “Fresh” packed tortellini usually have 7 weeks of shelf-life.

 

  1. Tortiglioni

Tortiglioni pasta

– are a type of pasta, similar to rigatoni but larger and with deeper grooves which spiral around the pasta.

They take their name from the Latin word torquere, meaning “to twist”. A tortiglione is a characteristic design from the lathe used in pasta manufacturing, with vertical ridges.

 

  1. Tripolini

Tripolini pasta

– In larger varieties these are sometimes called farfalle tonde. Small bow tie-shaped pasta with rounded edges.

  1. Tubini

– A medium-sized, tubular pasta shape, Tubini is perfect for chunky sauces and meat dishes. It also makes wonderful salads, baked dishes and stir-fry meals.

  1. Vermicelli

Vermicelli pasta chart

– (Italian: [vermiˈtʃɛlli], lit. “little worms”) is a traditional type of pasta round in section similar to spaghetti. In Italy vermicelli is slightly thicker than spaghetti, but in the United States, it is slightly thinner. Vermicelli is also used to describe various types of thin noodles in Asia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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