Confused by All the Different Pasta Shapes? Here’s A Guide!

Capellini, Conchiglie, Ravioli? Mamma mia! What’s going on here? Is this a “How to speak Italian class”? Well, maybe, depending on whether we are talking food or not! Welcome to the wonderful world of pasta. If you have ever wondered what all these strange names mean, then we have just the guide to introduce you to the amazing diversity that is pasta. Read on to see what they are, how they are used, and why you should use them.

By Cookist
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There are some foods that display a spectacular array of diversity, and one of the best examples of such a food is pasta. From the humblest ingredients of flour, water, and eggs, people through the ages have invented an amazing array of pasta. Since ancient times these delicious foods have satisfied the hunger of kings and peasants alike, and here we do diligence to explore some of the most common pastas you might encounter.

1. Cannelloni

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These tube-shaped pasta cylinders are typically filled with bolognaise sauce, or a mixture of spinach and ricotta. It’s then covered in a tomato sauce and baked with cheese until gooey and delicious!

2. Capellini

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This pasta is also known as angel hair pasta, and it consists of long, super-fine strands, and is usually presented in a nest shape. Because the pasta cooks very quickly, it’s best served with a thin sauce (like a garlic lemon butter sauce).

3. Conchiglie

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The shell shapes of this type of pasta makes it a great option for trapping thick, rich sauces like tomatoey bolognaise or a pesto cream sauce.

4. Farfalle

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Farfalle pasta are in the shape of bow-ties or butterflies. In fact, ‘farfalle’ is the Italian word for butterflies! This pasta goes well with most sauces and looks especially good when used in salads.

5. Fettuccine

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Fettucine pasta is shaped like long, flat ribbons and is similar to the thicker Tagliatelle pasta type eaten in the Bologna region. Use this pasta for thick, meaty sauces.

6. Gnocchi

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These miniature, doughy dumplings are made from egg, flour, and potato. It’s quite versatile and suitable to use in most sauces. They go exceptionally well with a pomodoro sauce or a bacon cream sauce.

7. Lasagne

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Lasagne consists of flat pasta sheets, and is one of the most popular pasta types used in baked dishes. It’s also said to be one of the oldest pasta types. The term ‘lasagna’ also refers to a popular dish made with alternating layers of beef and tomato sauce (ragù) and ricotta cheese sauce.

8. Macaroni

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These slightly bent tubes are the perfect match for creamy sauces – probably why they’re a favorite in macaroni salad and the popular mac ‘n cheese.

9. Penne

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Unlike macaroni, these pasta tubes are straight and slightly grooved on the sides, with the ends cut at a bias (meaning they are not cut off straight, but rather with a slanted edge). They go well with most sauces.

10. Ravioli

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These pasta envelopes can either be bought pre-filled from a supermarket, or you can fill them at home. The filling is usually made with meat, ricotta cheese, or vegetables (such as spinach or butternut), and served with a complementing sauce.

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