Pasta is some pretty awesome stuff, right? This Italian staple can be found in cupboards all over the world and for good reason. It’s versatile, it’s easy to make, and it’s just damn good. Did you know that there are over 70 types of pasta? Pretty incredible! In this article, we’re going to talk about some of these different types of pasta, but we’re also going to tell you how they were intended on being used.
We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started, shall we?
The Long Noodles
- Bucatini – This type of pasta is very similar to spaghetti, except that it is thicker and there is a hole in the middle. That hole is where the pasta gets its name, as “buco” in Italian actually means “hole.” This type of pasta is generally served with pancetta, cheese, eggs, anchovies and sardines. You can also use a buttery sauce, too.
- Scialatelli – This type of pasta is similar to your fettucine or linguine, except that it isn’t as long and it is often served with a seafood sauce or different types of fish.
- Tagliatelle – This is a popular type of pasta. It’s long and flat and most commonly served with a ragu alla bolognese sauce, or beef and pork.
- Malfada – This pasta is actually named after Queen Malfada di Savoia, which is why it is also known as reginette, which is Italian for “little queen.” The pasta is long, flat strips with wavy edges. It’s most often served with Italian sausage and/or ricotta cheese.
- Spaghetti – This is probably one of the most recognizable types of pasta in the world. These are long, thin, round shaped noodles. They’re incredibly versatile and can be served with all types of sauces, meats, and vegetables.
- Sagne Torte – This is a spiraled long noodle and is often served with meat sauces.
- Linguine – This is a long, elliptical noodle that is commonly used with seafood and clam sauces. It can be used with a tomato based sauce fine, too.
- Pici – This is a hand rolled pasta that is a thicker version of spaghetti. It’s often served with ragu, a garlic tomato sauce, porcini mushrooms, and any type of game meat.
- Canule – This long and thin corkscrew pasta can be served can be served with either a hearty sauce or a thinner one.
- Passatelli – This pasta looks like a thicker rice noodle. They are made from eggs, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, and they’re usually cooked in a savory chicken broth.
Other popular long noodles include lasagna, fettuccine, bavette, pappardelle, spaghettini and angel hair.
The Stuffed Pastas
- Ravioli – This popular stuffed pasta is a square shaped pasta with ruffled edges. It’s usually stuffed with meats, cheeses, and vegetables and can be served with a red sauce.
- Tortellini – This pasta is shaped almost like a ring, and it is stuffed with some kind of meat and cheese.
- Tortelloni – Much like the tortellini, this pasta is stuffed with cheeses and vegetables. The only difference is it is much smaller than the tortellini.
- Tortelli – This is similar to a ravioli. It’s stuffed with meat, cheese, and mushrooms and is often served with a Bolognese sauce or a butter sauce.
- Cappelletti – This is a dumpling-style pasta that is stuffed with meat and is served in hearty chicken or capon broth.
- Fagottini – This pasta looks like a little bundle and it is stuffed with hearty vegetables like carrots, onions, and green beans with a little bit of olive oil.
- Mezzelune – This half-moon shaped pasta is stuffed with cheese, eggs, milk, and pepper and is served with a porchini mushroom, white wine, and sweet butter sauce.
- Penne – This pasta shape is cylindrical and is cut on the bias on either end. It’s one of the most popular pastas in the world and it can be served with a tomato or cream based sauce.
- Paccheri – This popular pasta style closely resembles larges slices of a garden hose, as it is pretty large. They are often used in soups, lasangas, or dishes that use a lot of garlic.
- Tortiglioni – This pasta has ridges that run on a slight bias down the length of the noodle. It is these ridges that make the pasta perfect to use with heartier, meatier sauces.
- Rigatoni – Much like the tortiglioni, this pasta is large and tubular, except the ridges on this pasta run lengthwise. They are served with a meat ragu, but they can work well with light or heavy sauce.
- Ditalini – This pasta looks a lot like a “small thimble” which is where it got its name. This tend to be used in soups, but they can also be served with broccoli or ricotta cheese.
- Maccheroni – Also known as macaroni, this pasta can be found all over the world. It’s got a slight curve and it is often used in a baked pasta dish, soups, or combined with cheese or vegetable sauces.
- Chiocciole – This pasta looks like macaroni, except it is curved more and has very small ridges. This pasta can be used in soups, but also in any kind of sauce as well.
Other popular tubular noodles include: ditali, ziti, mezze penne, anelli, anellini, cannelloni, cavatappi, garganelli, lumache, pipe, rotelle, sedani, torchietti, and calamarata.
Other Pasta Shapes
- Caserecce – This pasta is a twist shaped pasta that’s been rolled into an “S” shape. It’s often served with eggplant dishes, ricotta, and seafood.
- Gnocchetti Sardi – This pasta is quite compact and looks a little like clam shells. They’re often served with a meat or cheese sauce.
- Gnocchi – This is a popular pasta that is more like a dumpling and is often served with spinach, ricotta, eggs or cheese.
- Farfalle – The bowtie pasta is a favorite for pasta salads in the summer time. It can also be used for a dish with a light sauce.
- Capricci – This pasta is a twisty pasta that looks similar to coral found in the ocean. It can be served with a thick or thin sauce.
- Fricelli – This is a rolled pasta that has the consistency of a dumpling. It’s often served with fried eggplant and tomatoes, or any type of cream sauce.
Other varieties of pasta include stelline, croxetti, strozzapretti, conchiglie, trofie, fregola, pastina, quadrettini, spätzle, torchetti, acini di pepe, filei, and orzo.
What is your favorite type of pasta and how do you serve it? Let us know in the comments below!