We all love Pasta for its versatility and quick cooking time. It’s the go-to when we want a quick meal. The saying “Variety is the Spice of Life” holds true when it comes to Pasta dishes. It comes in different shapes and sizes that it can get confusing to choose. Each type of pasta in its unique pattern works harmoniously with various sauces, soups, salads, etc. There are three major pasta families, each with its recipe and cooking style.
Creamy Sauce Pastas
- ANGEL’S HAIR (Capellini d’angelo) –
This long and thin pasta shape has the fastest cooking time of all the variants. It marries light tomato or creamy sauce perfectly. It’s usually served in a nested form.
- ELBOW (Macaroni) –
Our favorite, old, dependable macaroni is shaped like an elbow. This is used to make the traditional mac and cheese dish that’s many families’ favorite!
- FARFALLE (Butterfly) –
Are you feeling adventurous? This little bow-tie-shaped pasta breathes life into your dish. Cream sauce flows easily into the intricacies of the design.
- FETTUCCINE –
The popular Alfredo Pasta dish is made with Fettuccini. It’s thicker and denser than noodles. Enjoy your meal with rich meat sauce or cream sauce.
- LINGUINE –
The Linguine looks like the fettuccine but, it’s not as wide as it. You can enjoy it best with a cream-based sauce.
- ROTINI –
This is similar to the Fusilli but has the shape of a corkscrew. It is paired with thick cream sauces.
- SPAGHETTI –
Long and thin Spaghetti is notorious. When you think of Italian food, it’s the first thing that pops in your head. It’s versatile and can be used to cook almost any type of pasta dish.
Salads and Soups
- CAVATAPPI –
You can use this spiral double elbow form pasta for mac and cheese. It’s made without eggs and can be used for casseroles too.
- DITALINI –
These short and chunky tubes are excellent for pasta salads and soups. They won’t get overwhelmed in chunky sauces.
- GEMELLI (twins) –
It’s called the twins because it has the shape of two thin ropes tied together. They are often used for salads and casseroles.
- GNOCCHI –
These are small lumps of dough made by adding potatoes to the original pasta mix. They’re used to make dumplings. Gnocchi is high in calories and carbohydrates and should be avoided if you’re on a healthy weight loss diet.
- JUMBO SHELLS –
This pasta pattern is shell-like and wide enough for stuffings. Cook this with cheese and meat chunk fillings. It’s ideal for baked dishes.
- FUSILLI –
The Fusilli is formed in a multispiral with grooves, making it perfect for a thick sauce. There’s no worry about the fusilli pasta getting lost in the paste.
- LASAGNE –
This sheet pasta with a decorative edge is one of the oldest varieties from Italy. It’s cooked by stacking the sheets in layers, with your sauce and vegetables generously slathered in between them. Lasagne is comfort food for most, especially Garfield!
- ORZO (Risoni) –
This is shaped in the form of grain and looks like a large grain of rice! It’s perfect for a delicious meal of soup pasta.
Stir Fry and Meat Sauces
- BUCATINI –
Long, thin, and round, the Bucatini although, similar to the Spaghetti, is a thicker variant. It has a hole in the middle for you to suck the juices of trapped sauces. Hmmm, yummy!
- MANICOTTI (Little Sleeve) –
Shaped in large ridged tubes, Manicotti can be stuffed with ground meat, cheese, and any other filling of your choice. They’re made for baking and can accommodate a lot of sauce.
- ORECCHIETTE –
This is formed like a small ear with crevices that trap flavors. It cooks longer than others which gives you ample time to prepare your sauce.
- PAPPARDELLE –
Pappardelle is a long, wide and, flat variant suited for meat-based sauces and seafood. It’s similar to the Tagliatelle.
- PENNE –
A small, hollow cylinder with slanted edges, the Penne is perfect for stir-fry meals. It mixes well with thick and heavy sauces.
- RAVIOLI –
This Ravioli pasta is square and stuffed with fillings. Recently, there has been a variant of circular and semi-circular-shaped ravioli. It’s served in broth or soups with side dishes.
- RIGATONI –
Rigatoni pasta takes the form of a wide cylinder that is sometimes slightly curved. It has smooth, straight edges, unlike Penne’s, which is slanted.
- ROTELLE (Ruote/Wagon Wheels) –
The Rotelli wheel is the perfect choice when you’re going for a fun option. The spokes capture ingredients like meat chunks, seafood, cream sauces, etc. It’s often used for festive meals.