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Explore Into The World of Pasta: A Guide to Types of Italian Pastas


Pasta is undoubtedly one of the most beloved and versatile foods in the world, enjoyed by people of all ages and cultures. It has its roots in Italy, where it has been a staple food for centuries. It is made by mixing flour and water, and sometimes eggs, to create a dough that is then rolled out and cut into various shapes and sizes. While spaghetti and penne are popular pasta types, there are many other types with unique shapes and textures and this blog will explore the different types of Italian pastas that exist and choose the perfect one, as there's a pasta variety to suit every taste and dish.

Types of Italian Pasta

Italian cuisine is widely renowned for its pasta dishes, which offer a delectable combination of flavors and textures. The culinary world has been blessed with a vast range of pasta types, each characterized by its unique shape and size, making it suitable for an extensive range of culinary preparations. Below is an overview of some of the main types of Italian pasta, which are sure to tantalize the taste buds of discerning diners.

Long Type Pasta

Long pasta is a type of pasta that is made up of thin and elongated strands that can be up to a foot long. These noodles are typically made from durum wheat semolina flour and water, and they have a smooth, cylindrical shape that makes them easy to twirl with a fork. Long pasta is a staple in Italian cuisine, and it pairs well with a variety of sauces, from simple garlic and olive oil to rich and hearty tomato-based sauces. The texture of long pasta is perfectly suited for soaking up sauce, making each bite a flavorful experience. The following are some long types of pasta.

  1. Bucatini (Perdinci) Bucatini is one of the most popular Italian pasta also known as Perdinci, this long, hollow pasta resembles spaghetti but has a hole running through the middle, giving it a distinct texture and allowing it to hold sauce excellently. Bucatini, also called as Perdinci in some parts of Italy, is frequently served with thick, meaty sauces such as Amatriciana or Carbonara. Its name derives from the Italian word "buco," which means "hole," and precisely fits its distinctive form. Bucatini works well with thick, meaty sauces like Amatriciana or Carbonara because the hollow middle helps the sauce to adhere to each strand.

  2. Capellini Capellini, or Angel Hair pasta, is one of the thinnest varieties of pasta available. Its delicate strands cook fast, making it a favorite ingredient in light sauces, seafood dishes, and simple olive oil and garlic recipes. The term "Capellini" means "little hairs" in Italian, referring to its delicate texture and look. Capellini pairs nicely with light sauces like garlic and olive oil, marinara, or a basic tomato basil sauce. Its thin strands are particularly great for mixing into soups or salads.

  3. Fettuccine Fettuccine is another Italian pasta type which is a flat, long pasta noodle that is broader than spaghetti and thinner than linguine. Its name is derived from the Italian word "fettuccia," which means "little ribbons," and refers to its flat form. Fettuccine is typically served with creamy sauces like Alfredo or hearty meat sauces like Bolognese. Its large surface area lets it retain onto sauce, ensuring that each mouthful is full of taste. Fettuccine works nicely with creamy sauces such as Alfredo or Carbonara because its flat surface lets the sauce cover each strand equally. It also pairs nicely with chunky sauces like Bolognese or puttanesca, since the wide noodles can withstand the hefty toppings.

  4. Spaghetti Spaghetti; perhaps one of the most popular Italian pasta types in the world. It is long, thin, and cylindrical. Its name is derived from the Italian word "spago," which means thread or twine. Spaghetti, which is commonly eaten with tomato-based sauces, complements a wide range of toppings, from basic garlic and olive oil to hefty meatballs.

  5. Linguine This Italian pasta variety is similar to spaghetti but somewhat broader and flatter, and is sometimes known as "little tongues" due to its form. Linguine, which originated in Italy's Liguria area, is frequently served with seafood or pesto sauce, letting its flat surface absorb and retain the tastes of the surrounding foods.

  6. Pappardelle Pappardelle is another Italian pasta variety which is broad, flat pasta that is usually approximately 2-3 cm wide. Its name is inspired from the Tuscan word "pappare," meaning to swallow up, which is appropriate considering its capacity to transport thick, substantial sauces. Pappardelle is typically served with ragù, a meat-based sauce, which allows its large surface area to absorb the delicious tastes.

  7. Tagliatelle Tagliatelle is another Italian pasta kinds and is almost similar to  fettuccine, a broad, flat pasta, but somewhat narrower. The word is derived from the Italian verb "tagliare," which means "to cut," and refers to the long, ribbon-like strips that are customarily hand-made. Tagliatelle tastes well with creamy sauces like Alfredo or carbonara, as well as meat-based sauces like Bolognese.

Short Pasta

Short pasta types such as penne, fusilli, and farfalle are known for their compact forms, as they are made out of short material. These forms are good for absorbing and retaining heavy sauces, making them popular in meals such as baked pasta casseroles and salads.

  1. Casarecce Casarecce or "homemade" is one of the traditional Italian pastas, is a short and the best pasta with a twisted form and a slightly curved profile. The term comes from its similarity to rolled-up parchment paper. Casarecce is excellent at retaining thick sauces, making it a favorite option in dishes such as alla Norma, which goes well with eggplant and tomato sauce.

  2. Campanelle Campanelle, which translates to "bells" in Italian, is a little, bell-shaped pasta with ruffled edges. This distinctive shape helps them to collect and keep sauce, making them ideal for creamy or chunky sauces. Campanelle goes nicely with robust meat sauces and creamy Alfredo.

  3. Fusilli Fusilli, also known as "Rotini," is distinguished by its spiral form, which is ideal for retaining sauces and toppings. This corkscrew-shaped pasta originates in Southern Italy and goes well with both creamy and chunky sauces.

  4. Macaroni Macaroni is one of the classic Italian pastas the archetypal pasta form, is a tiny, curved tube pasta. Its adaptability makes it a mainstay in a variety of meals, including macaroni and cheese and pasta salads. Macaroni is sometimes known as "Elbow macaroni," because of its curved shape, which resembles a little elbow. Also Read: Types of Pasta Sauce Recipes You Will Love to Try

  5. Penne Penne is a tube-shaped pasta with ridges on the surface, making it great for absorbing sauces. Its name, "quills" in Italian, relates to its form, which resembles the tip of a quill pen. Penne pasta is frequently used in baked pasta dishes, such as baked ziti, or with substantial meat sauce.

  6. Rigatoni Rigatoni is a bigger, tube-shaped pasta with vertical ridges along the length of it. The term "rigatoni" derives from the Italian word "rigato," which means "ridged" or "lined." This pasta is popular in Italian-American cuisine and works well with chunky sauces because the ridges serve to retain the sauce.

  7. Paccheri Paccheri is a long, tube-shaped pasta that originated in Southern Italy. Its name is derived from the Italian word "pacca," which means "slap" or "pat." This pasta is frequently packed and baked, but it can also be served with thick, meaty sauces that adhere to its huge surface area.

  8. Orecchiette Orecchiette, or "little ears" in Italian, is a little, concave-shaped pasta. Its shape helps it to contain chunky sauces and toppings, making it a favorite in recipes like orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage. Orecchiette is a Puglia-specific dish from Southern Italy.

Filled Pasta

Filled pasta, often known as "stuffed pasta," has a filling contained in a dough wrapper. Filled pastas include ravioli, tortellini, and agnolotti. These tiny parcels frequently come with a light sauce or broth to enhance the flavor of the contents.

  1. Ravioli Ravioli, also known as Agnolotti. These square or circular pasta packages are stuffed with a variety of items like cheese, meat, or vegetables. They are often served with a savory sauce, such as marinara or Alfredo, and are a popular option among pasta enthusiasts due to their rich tastes and pleasant texture.

  2. Tortellini Tortellini, also known as cappelletti. These little, ring-shaped pasta packages are typically filled with a combination of meat, cheese, or vegetables. Tortellini are said to have been inspired by the form of Venus' navel, and they are typically served in a transparent broth or with a creamy sauce for a comfortable supper.

  3. Cannelloni These big, tubular pasta forms are filled with a delicious concoction that typically includes ricotta cheese, spinach, and ground beef. Cannelloni are traditionally baked in a thick tomato sauce and topped with melted cheese, making them a substantial and delicious dish ideal for serving a large party.

  4. Manicotti Manicotti, also known as cannelloni rigati, are big, ridged pasta tubes filled with a creamy ricotta cheese mixture. They are often baked in a marinara or Béchamel sauce until brown and bubbling, giving in a delicious and gratifying dish that pasta lovers will like.

Soup Pasta

Soup pasta, as the name implies, is particularly intended for use in soups and broths. Orzo, ditalini, and tiny shells are popular options for adding texture and depth to heavy soups like minestrone and pasta e fagioli.

  1. Conchiglie Conchiglie, often known as "shells," are little, shell-shaped pasta that are excellent for absorbing and retaining delicious broths and sauces. Their ridges and curves make them ideal for thick soups and creamy chowders.

  2. Ditalini Ditalini, often known as "little thimbles," are little tubular pastas that resemble miniature tubes or rings. Because of their tiny size, they are a popular addition to soups such as minestrone or pasta e fagioli, providing a pleasant bite with each mouthful.

  3. Farfalline Farfalline, sometimes known as "little butterflies," is a small bow tie-shaped pasta that is ideal for adding a whimsical touch to soups. Their delicate form and texture make them an ideal accompaniment to light, brothy soups and vegetable stews.

  4. Orzo Orzo, sometimes known as "rice-shaped pasta," is tiny, grain-shaped pasta that mimics rice grains. Despite its tiny size, orzo provides a pleasing chewiness to soups and stews, making it a versatile ingredient for a wide range of cuisines.

  5. Filini Filini, often known as "threads," are thin, thread-like pasta that lends a delicate texture to soups and broths. Their narrow form makes them ideal for light, transparent soups or delicate vegetable broths, adding a mild bite without overpowering the meal.

Dumpling Pasta

  1. Gnocchi Gnocchi, also known as "gnocchi di patate," are little dumplings cooked mostly from potatoes, flour, and occasionally eggs. They have a delicate, pillowy texture and are commonly served with a variety of sauces, including tomato, pesto, and butter and sage.

Sheet Pasta

  1. Lasagna Lasagna is a type of sheet pasta made up of flat, broad noodles. It is widely used to produce the classic Italian meal known as lasagna, which consists of layers of pasta sheets alternated with sauces, cheese, and, on occasion, meat or vegetables before being baked to perfection.


Exploring the various forms of Italian pasta is a gastronomic adventure that also honors heritage, inventiveness, and flavor. Whether you prefer the simplicity of long strands, the comfort of filled pasta, or the adaptability of short shapes, there is a pasta form to fit every taste and meal. If you crave real Italian pasta but don't have the time or means to make it yourself, don't worry! There are good alternatives available, like Suparossa, which is recognized for delivering some of the best pasta dishes in town. Suparossa provides a taste of Italy right at your doorstep, thanks to their devotion to excellent ingredients and traditional recipes.

So, the next time you're craving a fantastic Italian supper, try ordering online from Suparossa and indulging in their delectable pasta dishes. Suparossa provides something for everyone, whether you enjoy traditional spaghetti or want to try something different like filled ravioli.

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