From Amori to Ziti: 20 Different Types of Pastaoffices
With almost 350 different types of pasta, you can please your palate for a long time. How many can you name? Test your pasta proficiency with this list.
Pasta, a simple food, has been around for ages. With almost endless ways to shape this mixture of flour and eggs or water, the various types of pasta make for quite an extensive list.
The history of pasta is rich and varied, much like the food itself. Though its origins aren’t exactly clear, what is known is that it has been enjoyed in its many forms for thousands of years.
You’ve probably tried quite a few varieties of pasta, but there may be a few you’ve never seen before. For some great pasta trivia, explore this list of 20 types of pasta.
Amori is tubular, spiral-shaped pasta that is suitable for many sauces. It’s a spiral macaroni that is also known by the names spirali, cavatappi, and fusilli rigati.
Amori is generally slender and short with lines or ridges scored on the surface. It is most often served with tomato sauces and cheese.
Bucatini is commonly served throughout Italy and especially in Rome. Bucatini’s name comes from buco, the Italian word for “hole.” It’s the perfect description for such a noodle.
Bucatini, also known as perciatelli, is like a very thick spaghetti with a hole running down the entire length of the noodle.
Campanelle is an elongated, cone-shaped pasta with frilled edges that resembles a bell-like flower. The name means “little bells” in Italian.
This pasta holds all sorts of sauces, both thick and thin, very well.
Casarecce are short, free-form pasta noodles that have a groove down their middle and curled edges.
The word casarecce is Italian for “homemade.” These noodles were made originally by wrapping little rectangles of pasta dough around a pin or rod made from wood or metal, respectively.
Conchiglie is a shell-shaped pasta that looks very much like seashells. They generally have ridges scored on their exteriors and they hold sauces very well.
Large varieties can be stuffed, while smaller ones are usually served with sauce.
Corzetti is a fresh pasta variety that is round and flat. It’s stamped to resemble a coin.
7. Ditaloni, Ditali, and Ditalini
Ditaloni, ditali, and ditalini all share the same basic shape. These types of pasta differ in size, however, and this influences how they are used.
These pastas are named after ditale, which is the Italian word for “thimble.”
Like a thimble, they are short, straight, hollow tubes.
Ditaloni and ditali work well for pasta dishes, in salads and pasta bakes, and in creamy soups. The tiny ditalini are frequently used in thinner soups.
8. Farfalle, or Bowties
Farfalle is Italian for butterfly and is a brilliant description for this type of pasta. It is made from rectangular pasta pieces that have a ruffled edge and have been pinched in the middle. This gives them the appearance of little butterflies or bowties.
Farfalle is one of the oldest known pasta varieties. It comes in different sizes, from the largest farfallone to the smallest farfallini.
Fettuccine is Italian for little ribbons, which is what these long, flat, thick noodles resemble. It is made of durum wheat and eggs and is best served with cream sauces.
Fusilli pasta, like amori, is corkscrew-shaped. The difference is that fusilli is made from a flat noodle, not a hollow one.
The name for this pasta is the Italian word for “twins.” Gemelli has the appearance of two tubes of pasta twisted around one another.
Gemelli, also called unicorn horns, is actually made by twisting an S-shaped strand of dough into a spiral.
Often called flat spaghetti, linguine is similar to fettuccine pasta, but much thinner.
The name means “little tongues” in Italian.
Lumaconi gets its name from the Italian word for snails, lumaca. They’re hollow inside, with one end open and the other folded closed.
Also called lumache, these are large, ridged shells that look like snail shells. They’re usually boiled, stuffed with different types of fillings and then baked.
Mafalde, also known as reginette, are ribbon pasta. They look much like slim lasagna noodles and are rectangular in shape, not quite an inch wide, with beautiful ruffled edges.
Mafalde, named after Princess Mafalda of Savoy, comes in a variety of lengths, from one and quarter inches long to ten inches long.
Pappardelle pasta are large, flat ribbon noodles that look a lot like wide fettucini noodles. They vary in width from a little over a half an inch to an inch.
Pappardelle can be either flat or slightly ruffled at the edges.
Sacchetti, also known as “beggar’s purse,” is a stuffed pasta similar to ravioli. It is made from small circles or squares that are filled and then gathered at the top like a small sack.
Tagliatelle is a ribbon pasta that is similar to fettuccine, only more narrow. It can be purchased straight or in nest-like coils.
Trofie are short, twisted pasta made from durum wheat, salt, and water. They are stretched and twisted, with ends that are much thinner than the middles. They look a bit like unbaked, uncurved croissants.
While trofie are available in both fresh and dry varieties, they’re usually sold fresh or made at home.
Vermicelli means “little worms” in Italian. It is a long, round pasta that is thinner than spaghetti, but thicker than angel hair pasta.
Ziti and its larger version, zitoni, are similar to bucatini in that they are long, hollow rods. These types of pasta are much bigger than bucatini, however.
Ziti is usually around 25 centimeters long, but it’s usually not cooked at this length. It’s broken by hand into 4 pieces just before cooking. This is a rich Italian tradition, often involving the whole family.
Ziti sold in supermarkets is often already short, so there’s no need to break it beforehand.
Which Types of Pasta Do You Prefer?
There are hundreds of types of pasta available for every dish imaginable. Each variety offers its own special qualities, whether it’s one that carries a sauce well or one that can be stuffed to the brim with delicious filling.