Pasta

Pasta
One pound dried pasta yields the same amount of cooked pasta as 1 1/2 pounds fresh pasta. Notes: A staple of Italian cuisine, pasta is made with a dough that's kneaded and then fashioned into hundreds of different shapes and sizes. The tiniest shapes are often used in soups, long ribbons or strands with sauces, and tubes and fanciful shapes in casseroles and pasta salads. Some shapes are large enough to be stuffed and baked, and others, like ravioli, come already stuffed. Most pasta is made with semolina, a hard wheat flour, but some producers use corn, rice, spelt, and kamut. These alternative grains yield a mushier pasta, but they're a boon to people with wheat allergies.
acini di pepe, peperini
acini di pepe
Acini di pepe ("peppercorns") are a type of Italian soup pasta. They're very tiny, and usually served in broths.
Learn more
agnolotti
agnolotti
Italian for "priests' caps," agnolotti are small, stuffed crescents of pasta. A specialty of Italy's Piedmont region, they're great in a broth or pasta salad.
Learn more
alphabets, alfabeto
alphabets
These tiny pasta shapes are usually served in a broth or very light soup.
Learn more
amorini
amorini
These tiny pasta shapes are usually served in a broth or very light soup.
Learn more
anelli, anelletti
anelli
This variety of Italian pasta consists of small rings. It's used in soups and pasta salads. A tiny version is called anellini.
Learn more
anellini
anellini
These are shaped like rings, and used as a soup pasta.
Learn more
angel hair pasta, angel-hair pasta, angel's hair pasta, capelli d'angelo
angel hair pasta
Angel hair pasta is like spaghetti, only the rods are very thin. It's usually served in a broth or with very thin and delicate sauces.
Learn more
astri
These tiny pasta shapes are usually served in a broth or very light soup.
Learn more
avena
These tiny pasta shapes are usually served in a broth or very light soup.
Learn more
bavettine, mezze linguine
bavettine
These are long rods, narrower than linguine but wider than spaghetti. They're best with light, delicate sauces.
Learn more
bigoli
bigoli
This Venetian pasta resembles thick spaghetti, only it has a rough surface to better absorb flavorful sauces. It's good with shellfish, beans, or hearty meat sauces.
Learn more
black pasta, pasta nera, squid-ink pasta
black pasta
This is pasta flavored with squid or cuttlefish ink, which turns it black. It's best served with shellfish.
Learn more
calamaretti
calamaretti
These look like rings of squid ("calamari" in Italian). They're great with sauces.
Learn more
cannelloni
cannelloni
Cannelloni ("big reeds" in Italian) are large pasta tubes that are usually stuffed with a meat or cheese filling and baked. The name is also used for the finished casserole.
Learn more
canneroni
canneroni
Canneroni ("big reeds" in Italian) are small, short tubes of pasta.
Learn more
cannolicchi
cannolicchi
These are short, grooved tubes of pasta.
Learn more
capellini
capellini
These are thin rods of Italian pasta, just a bit thicker than angel hair pasta. They're normally served in a broth or with a very light sauce.
Learn more
cappelletti, alpine hats
cappelletti
These are two-inch squares of pasta that are stuffed with filling, and then folded into the shape of a hat. They're usually served with a light sauce, or in a broth or pasta salad.
Learn more
casarecci, cesariccia
casarecci
These are short lengths of rolled and twisted Italian pasta. They're usually served with meat sauces.
Learn more
cavatappi
cavatappi
This is a type of Italian pasta shaped like a short, slender corkscrew.
Learn more
cavatelli
cavatelli
Cavatelli has two meanings. It usually refers to small pasta shells that resemble tiny hot dog buns and are often served with thick, chunky sauces or in pasta salads. The name is less commonly used for a type of dumpling made with ricotta cheese.
Learn more
chitarra, spaghetti alla chitarra
chitarra
These pasta rods resemble spaghetti, only their cross-sections are square instead of round. They're named after the guitar strings that were traditionally used to cut the pasta.
Learn more
ciriole
ciriole
A specialty of the Umbrian region of Italy, this is a ribbon of pasta that's been twisted and stretched until it's a long, thin rod, roughly twice the diameter of spaghetti.
Learn more
conchiglie, maruzze, pasta shells, pipe rigate
conchiglie
This Italian pasta resembles conch shells. It's often served with tomato or meat sauces, or in pasta salads. A smaller version for soups is called conchigliette, while larger, stuffable shells are called conchiglioni.
Learn more
conchigliette, baby shells
conchigliette
This is a tiny version of a classic Italian pasta shape: the conchiglie or conch shell. Conchigliette is most often used as a soup pasta.
Learn more
conchiglioni, giant shells, jumbo shells
conchiglioni
Pasta shaped like conch shells come in various sizes; this is the largest. It's often stuffed and baked.
Learn more
coralli
These tiny tubes of pasta are normally used in soups.
Learn more
corn pasta
corn pasta
This is made with corn flour instead of the traditional durum wheat. It's popular among people with wheat allergies, but it tends to get mushy.
Learn more
creste di galli
creste di galli
This version of Italian pasta is shaped like creste di galli ("cockscomb" in Italian).
Learn more
ditali
ditali
These are small tubes of pasta, well suited for vegetable soups. It's also one of the shapes used to make Spaghetti-Os.
Learn more
ditalini
ditalini
This is a small version of ditali, a tubular pasta shape. Tiny ditalini are usually served in a broth or vegetable soup, and is one of the shapes used to make Spaghetti-Os.
Learn more
dried pasta, pasta secca
dried pasta
Dried pasta is sturdier than fresh pasta, and is the best choice for heavy sauces, pasta salads, and casseroles.
Learn more
egg pasta, pasta all'uovo
egg pasta
These have a lovely yellow color, and softer texture. Egg pasta tends to turn mushy after it's cooked, so it doesn't work well in pasta salads or casseroles.
Learn more
elicoidali
elicoidali
This Italian pasta consists of medium-sized, flat-cut tubes with spiraling ridges on the outside (elicoidali is Italian for "helix").
Learn more
farfalle, bow ties, bows, bow-tie pasta, butterfly pasta
farfalle
This Italian pasta resembles bow ties or butterflies. It's often served with chunky sauces or in pasta salads. A smaller version is called farfallini, while a larger version is called farfallone.
Learn more
farfalline
farfalline
This Italian pasta is a small version of farfalle, or bow-tie pasta. Farfalline is usually served in a broth or very light soup.
Learn more
fedelini, fidelini
fedelini
These Italian pasta rods are just a bit thicker than vermicelli. They're usually served with a very light sauce, or broken up and served in a broth.
Learn more
fettuccine, fettuccelli, fettucci, fettucine
fettuccine
These are long, relatively thick ribbons of pasta. A narrower version is called fettuccelli, while a wider one is called fettucci. Egg fettucine goes well with cream sauces.
Learn more
fideos
fideos
Mexican and Spanish cooks use these short, curved strands of pasta in soups.
Learn more
flavored pasta, colorata, colored pasta, green pasta, orange pasta
flavored pasta
Several manufacturers make flavored pastas, many of which have vibrant colors. Popular flavors include egg (egg pasta, or pasta all'uovo), spinach (green pasta, or pasta verde), tomato, beet (purple pasta, or pasta viola), carrot (red pasta, or pasta rossa), winter squash (orange pasta, or pasta arancione), squid ink (black pasta, or pasta nera), truffle (truffle pasta, or pasta al tartufo), and chile.
Learn more
fregola, fregula
fregola
This Sardinian specialty is thought to be an ancestor of modern pasta. It consists of small, chewy balls made from coarsely ground semolina. It can be used as a bed for sauces, but it's also terrific in soups.
Learn more
fresh pasta, pasta fresca
fresh pasta
Fresh pasta is more tender and absorbent that dried pasta, so it's best with light, delicate sauces. Store fresh pasta in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Learn more
funghini
These tiny pasta shapes look like mushrooms and are usually served in a broth or very light soup. A larger version called funghetti works well in thicker soups.
Learn more
fusilli, corkscrew pasta, pasta twists
fusilli
This is a type of Italian pasta that's shaped like either like screws or springs. This is a good choice for pasta salads and casseroles, or for serving with hearty, thick sauces. A long version of the spring-shaped fusilli is called fusilli col buco.
Learn more
fusilli col buco, fusilli bucati lunghi
fusilli col buco
This is a long version of the spring-shaped fusilli
Learn more
garganelli
garganelli
With its quill shapes, this type of Italian egg pasta resembles penne. It's often served with a simple meat sauce.
Learn more
gemelli
gemelli
The name means "twins" in Italian. These are short rods twisted together in a spiral pattern. They're great with any sauce, or in pasta salads or casseroles.
Learn more
gigli, campanelle, riccioli
gigli
This Italian pasta consists of flower shapes (gigli is Italian for "lilies"). It's good with heart, chunky sauces.
Learn more
gnocchetti
gnocchetti
This Italian pasta is made to look like gnocchi, the popular potato dumplings. To confuse matters, a larger version of gnocchetti is also called gnocchi. Both sizes are good with thick sauces.
Learn more