EMPATPAGI.COM- A trip down the pasta aisle can give your head a headache. There are countless shapes, styles, and sizes. Use this easy-to-follow guide to learn which type of paste to use the next night of pasta.
The smaller pasta shapes are alternately called "macaroni", falling in the 1 to 2-inch range. Best served with thick, thick sauces or baked into a creamy casserole. They also work well in pasta salads, although they do best in soups.
- Farfalle: The bow tie cut is named after the Italian word for "bow", Farfalla.Orecchiette: A slightly flattened, sunken shell. Derived from Southern Italy with a name meaning "little ears".
- Rotini: a tight corkscrew that's great for holding thick sauces. You may also see it labeled "fusilli".
- Orzo: Small noodles shaped like grains of rice. It's often added to garden salads, salad pastes, and soups.
- Ditalini: It looks like a small tube, commonly used in Fagioli pasta. Its name means "little thimble" in Italian.
- Stelline: Small, star-shaped noodles that take only 5 minutes. It is best used in soups, as they tend to be lost in concentrated or meat-based dishes.
Cut the Ribbon
Long ribbons of pasta are often included in the "spaghetti" category, but there are actually many variations. These noodles go well with pesto, fresh tomatoes, and wine or butter-based sauces.
- Spaghetti: The standard medium-density (and most popular) long noodle.
- Capellini: With very thin strands measuring between 0.85 and 0.92 millimeters, this paste is soft and crumbles easily if it is overcooked. It is often labeled as "angel hair" pasta.
- Vermicelli: Traditional pasta, similar to spaghetti but slightly thicker. Translated to "little worm" in Italian.
- Linguine: Strand of pasta with a rounded edge wider than spaghetti.
- Tagliatelle: Often made from an egg-enriched batter, these medium-sized, bite-sized noodles are resistant to fleshy sauces.
- Fettuccine: Flat, thick noodles with a name meaning "little ribbon" in Italian.Pappardelle: Large, wide, flat noodle, wider than fettuccine. Often made with eggs added to the batter.
- Bucatini: Round strands that look like spaghetti;However, unlike spaghetti, bucatini has a long hole in the center. This can also be called a perciatelli.
- Lasagna: A sheet of pasta with a medium thickness. Typically a sausage, cheese, vegetable, and/or meat restaurant, when grilled into a classic Italian American casserole (or stewed in soup).
- Penne: A cylindrical cut that reaches a small point at both ends. Its name comes from the Italian word penna, which means "pen".
- Rigatoni: A slightly curved tubular paste, usually larger than penne. Its name comes from the Italian word right, which means "jagged" or "lined up."
- Macaroni: Technically, “macaroni”is a generic word to categorize small and medium-sized forms of dry pasta. In America, this macaroni has become somewhat synonymous with elbow macaroni, the little curved tubes used traditionally in mac and cheese salads and pasta.
- Cannelloni: A fine tube, most commonly served sauce, and baked after stuffing.Manicotti: Large tube, similar to cannelloni but with a bulge. This form comes from Italian American cooking and is also baked after stuffing.
- Ziti: Hollow, straw-shaped noodles that are smaller and narrower than rigatoni and are often baked into soup-rich cheese casseroles.
Some pasta is specially made for other ingredients such as cheese, meat, and vegetables. A type of pasta served with butter, cream, or ketchup for a rich filling.
- Ravioli: Two sheets of flat paste that form a dumpling-like structure for filling (generally cheese).
- Tortellini: Small rings filled with cheese, meat, or other ingredients. Tortelloni is similar to tortellini, but about twice as big.
- Cappelletti: Small filling paste, folded diagonally so that it forms a hat.
- Agnolotti: A crumpled little pillow, filled with ravioli.
- Fagottini: Small packets of pasta, usually filled with vegetables such as carrots, onions and green beans, and ricotta cheese.
- Mezzelune: Wrinkled circles filled with cheese and sometimes vegetables or meat.