Pasta Shapes
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I found this really cool website with these descriptive sketches and wanted to pass them on to you.  It is very helpful to have a picture of what all the different pastas look like.

Pasta Shapes

When making pasta dishes, be sure to choose a pasta shape and sauce that complement each other. Thin, delicate pastas like angel hair or thin spaghetti, should be served with light, thin sauces. Thicker pasta shapes, like fettuccine, work well with heavier sauces. Pasta shapes with holes or ridges like mostaccioli or radiatore, are perfect for chunkier sauces.

Acini di Pepe

Acini di Pepe  (“Peppercorn”) – Acini di Pepe is perfect to use in soup recipes. These shapes are ideal to include in broths.

Alphabet Pasta

Alphabet Pasta:
This favorite kids’ shape is usually used in soups for a fun meal anytime.

Anellini

Anellini - Tiny rings of pasta. Anellini is a smaller version of Anelli pasta. It is used in various soups and is also a compliment to a number of salads.

Angel Hair, Capellini

Angel Hair, Capellini (“Fine Hairs”) – These thin, delicate pasta strands are best if used with thinner, delicate sauces. Other uses: break in half and put in soup; use in salads or stir-fry meals.

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


 

Buctani

Buctani - Thick Spaghetti shaped pasta that is hollow in the center, similar to a thin straw. Bucatini is   perfect for nearly any sauce, or it
can be used to make
casseroles or stir-fry dishes.

 Cappelletti

Cappelletti – 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.

Campanelle

Campanelle (“Bells”) – Campanelle pasta resembles a small cone with a ruffled edge. Pair Campanelle pasta with meat, cream, vegetable or oil based sauces. Also, these shapes are great when used in pasta salads.

 Cavatappi

Cavatappi  (“Corkscrew”) - The tight spiral locks-in the flavor allowing the shape to pair with both simple & sophisticated sauces. Pair Cavatappi with meat, cream, vegetable or oil based sauces. Also, these shapes are great when used in pasta salads.

Casarecce

Casarecce - Casarecce pasta is shaped like a very narrow, twisted, rolled tube. This pasta is best used when serving a meat sauce & can be used in a variety of casserole dishes.

 

Cavatelli

Cavatelli – Cavatelli resemble tiny hot dog buns. These shapes are commonly served with thick, chunky sauces or in pasta salads. Cavatelli pairs nicely with meat, cream, seafood or vegetable sauces.

Ditalini

Ditalini (“Little Thimbles”) – 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.

Egg Noodles (Medium)

Egg Noodles (Medium) -  (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.

Egg Noodles (Wide

Egg Noodles (Wide) – (From “Nudel,” German meaning paste with egg) – Go beyond the traditional Stroganoff and use, Wide Egg Noodles to create soups, salads and casseroles. Or, top with a variety of sauces.


 

 

Farfalline

Elbow Macaroni – A highly versatile shape that can be topped with any sauce, baked, or put in soups, salads and stir-fry dishes. Elbow Macaroni is traditionally used to make Macaroni and Cheese.

Farfalline

Farfalline – Farfalline is s 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.

Fideo

Fideo – Short thin strands of pasta that are slightly curved. Fideo pasta is commonly used in various soup recipes.

Fusilli

Fusilli (“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.

Gemili

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

Gigli

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

Jumbo Shells

Jumbo Shells – Best when stuffed with your favorite mixtures of cheese, meat and vegetables. Stuff with meat flavored with taco seasoning, top with salsa and bake for a delicious Mexican dish, or create your own stuffed treat.

Lasagna

Lasagna (From “lasanum,” Latin for pot) – Create original Lasagna casseroles by using chopped vegetables, cheeses and any kind of sauce. You can also assemble your casserole and freeze it for later meal.

Linguine

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

Macaroni

Macaroni  (“Dumpling”) – A highly versatile shape that can be topped with any sauce, baked, or put in soups, salads and stir-fry dishes.

Manicotti

Manicotti (“Small Muffs”) – Stuff Manicotti with a mixture of meat, cheese and vegetables, top with your favorite sauce, and bake.

Medium Shells, Conchiglie

Medium Shells, Conchiglie – (“Shells”) Shells make a great addition to soups or as the base of a wonderful salad. Try remaking your favorite Macaroni and Cheese using Shells, for a fun twist on a time-honored tradition.

Orecchiette

Orecchiette (“Little Ears”) – These “little ears” are commonly served with thick, chunky sauces or in pasta salads.

Orzo

Orzo (“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.

Penne, Mostaccioli

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

Penne

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

Penne Rigate

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.

Pipe Rigate

Pipe Rigate - 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.

Pipette Rigate

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.

Radiatori

Radiatori  (“Radiators”) – This ruffled, ridged shape adds elegance to any sauce. It also works well baked in casseroles, or used in salads and soups.

Ravioli

Ravioli - Ravioli are square round pillows of pasta that have a filling consisting of ingredients such as cheese, meats, vegetables and seasonings. Ravioli can be served with a red sauce or it can be served with butter, oil or cream.

Reginette

Reginette – Reginette is wide, flat ribbon pasta that has rippled edges on both sides. This shape is similar to Lasagna.


 

 

Riccioli

Riccioli (“Curl”) -Riccioli’s twisted shape holds bits of meat, vegetables and cheese, so it works well with a variety of sauces, or you can use it to create fun salads, baked casseroles, or stir-fry meals.

Rigatoni

Rigatoni  (“Large Grooved”)  - Rigatoni’s ridges and holes are perfect with any sauce, from cream or cheese to the chunkiest meat sauces.

Rocchetti

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

 Small Shells

Rotini (“Spirals” or “Twists”) – Rotini’s twisted shape holds bits of meat, vegetables and cheese, so it works well with any sauce, or you can use it to create fun salads, baked casseroles, or stir-fry meals.

Rotelle

Rotelle (“Little Wheels”) -The cartwheel is not a classic Italian shape, but due to the variety of color and entertaining shape they are crowd favorite. Because the spokes of the wheels are good for capturing flavor, these shapes are easy to pair. Rotelle pasta pairs nicely with meat, cream, seafood or vegetable sauces.

 

Small Shells

Small Shells - Shells make a great addition to soups or as the base of a wonderful salad. Try remaking your favorite Macaroni and Cheese using Shells for a fun twist.

Spaghetti

Spaghetti – (“A length of Cord”) America’s favorite shape, Spaghetti is the perfect choice for nearly any sauce, or it can be used to make casseroles or stir-fry dishes. Go beyond tomato sauce and see what your favorite becomes.

Thin Spaghetti

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.

Tortellini

Tortellini – Tortellini is a ring-shaped pasta typically stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables. Tortellini is commonly served in a broth or cream sauce.

Tortiglioni

Tortiglioni – Tortiglioni is narrow, tubular pasta. This shape is commonly used to add decoration to salads or paired with a simple sauce.

Tripolini

Tripolini – Tripolini is a tiny bow tie shaped pasta used in soups and salads or paired with a simple sauce.

Tubini

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.

Vermicelli

Vermicelli – (“Little Worms”) Slightly thinner than Spaghetti, Vermicelli is good topped with any sauce, or as a salad or stir-fry ingredient.

Wagon Wheels, Ruote

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

Ziti

Ziti (“Bridegrooms”) – A medium-sized, tubular pasta shape, Ziti is perfect for chunky sauces and meat dishes. It also makes wonderful salads, baked dishes and stir-fry meals.

 

 

 

 

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