18 Different Types Of Italian Pasta

Published on 23rd Jun 2021 by BlogBuster Editorial Team

Be it Italy, India or any other part of the world, pasta is equally loved all across. Nothing is more pleasurable than enjoying a pasta dish with the goodness of vegetable sauces and aromatic herbs! What’s even better is that this tasty dish is one of the simplest dishes to prepare at home.

Did you know that there are 50 different variants of pasta and the list is longer if we consider the different sizes available too. Originated and native to different regions of Italy, each pasta has its unique shape, usage and story behind it. Of the 50 different types of Italian pasta available, we are familiar with only a handful such as Spaghetti, Penne, Farfalle, Macaroni, etc. But this is just the tip of the iceberg! There are many different types of Italian pasta that we have never heard of or seen.

Let us explore the many different types of Italian pasta- some known and unknown, and some interesting facts about them.

Spaghetti

Category: Strand Pasta
A common in every household, we can’t get enough of this thin, solid, noodle-like Italian pasta. Spaghetti is one of the most famous types of Italian pasta paired best with a hearty meat sauce. Spaghetti with meatballs is a classic dish and an all-time favourite. If you are a vegetarian, you can cook spaghetti with a simple marinara sauce. A staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, Spaghetti is typically made from semolina and durum wheat.
Dishes to make with Spaghetti:- Spaghetti with Meatballs, Spaghetti Bolognese, Spaghetti in Creamy tomato Sauce.

Spaghetti
Image Courtesy:
thespruceeats.com

Vermicelli

Category: Strand Pasta
Vermicelli noodles are skinny, easily breakable and delicate pasta. It is found in two variants - Italian and Asian. The Italian version of Vermicelli is made of semolina while the Asian is made of rice noodle. It is one of the most popular kinds of Italian pasta that can be paired with a tangy and flavourful tomato sauce and olive oil to make a spaghetti-like dish. Vermicelli noodles are also widely used in stir-frys and soups.
Dishes to make with Vermicelli:- Vermicelli Upma, Vermicelli Pasta Salad, Stir-fry Vermicelli Pasta
 

Vermicelli
Image Courtesy:
recipetineats.com

Ravioli

Category: Stuffed Pasta
Homemade, stuffed and oh-so-good! Ravioli is one of the most delectable types of Italian pasta that features a filling encased in a thin, egg-based pasta dough. You can stuff Ravioli with different types of cheeses, meat and vegetables. It is one of the most versatile kinds of Italian pasta that can be served with a sauce, broth, soup or drizzled with some olive oil. Ravioli is also one of the ideal types of Italian pasta to make baked pasta dishes.
Dishes to make with Ravioli:- Spinach Ravioli with Burnt Butter Sauce, Four Cheese Ravioli, Veg Ravioli in Pink Sauce

Ravioli
Image Courtesy:
saveur.com

Penne

Category: Tubular Pasta
In 1865, a pasta maker from San Martino, Giovanni Battista Cappuro, obtained a patent for a diagonal cutting machine. This invention gave birth to Penne pasta. Penne is hollow, cylindrical and one of the most savoured kinds of Italian pasta. It is best paired with meat or vegetable-based sauces. The slant edges of the Penne pasta allow the bits of meat and veggies to slide into the tubes, making it more delicious. Also known as Mostaccioli, Penne is another type of Italian pasta commonly used in casserole dishes.
Dishes to make with Penne:- Tomato Basil Penne Pasta, Penne Alla Vodka, Garlic Penne Pasta
 

Penne
Image Courtesy:
archanaskitchen.com

Lasagne

Category: Sheet Pasta
One of the most commonly used sheet pasta, Lasagne is distinguished by its ruffled, decorative edges. It is one of the oldest types of Italian pasta that originated in the city of Naples during the middle ages. Lasagne sheets are used to make Lasagna casserole with meat, vegetables and sauce layering the sheets. The traditional Lasagne sheets of Naples are layered with sausage, hard-boiled eggs, a meat sauce, fried meatballs, ricotta and mozzarella cheese. People also experiment with different ingredients such as tomato sauce, a variety of veggies, aromatics such as basil, oregano, chilli flakes, etc.
Dishes to cook with Lasagne sheets:- Spinach Lasagna Roll-ups, Saucy Skillet Lasagna, Lasagna Dip

Lasagne
Image Courtesy:
anthonyspasta.com

Fettuccine

Category: Ribbon Pasta
Popular in Roman and Tuscan cuisine, Fettuccine is a flat spaghetti-like noodle pasta. It is one of the most used kinds of Italian pasta traditionally made of egg and flour. Its thick and fairly wide density makes it apt for chunky meat sauces. Fettuccine with Alfredo sauce is a dynamic duo and is widely popular around the world.
Dishes to cook with Fettuccine:- Shrimp Fajita Fettuccine, Brown Butter Cauliflower Fettuccine, Tomato and Garlic Fettuccine Pasta
 

Fettuccine
Image Courtesy:
inspiredtaste.net

Fusilli

Category: Shaped Pasta
Formed into a corkscrew or helical shape, Fusilli, known as Rotini in the US, is one of the most famous types of Italian pasta. The word Fusilli is derived from ‘fuso’ also called ‘spindle’ as the pasta is traditionally spun by pressing and rolling a small rod over thin strips of pasta to wind them together in a corkscrew shape. Traditionally this type of Italian pasta is made from whole wheat varieties but can be customised by adding different ingredients to the dough such as spinach, tomatoes or beetroot. These ingredients added to the dough affect the pasta flavour as well as colour. Fusilli is one of the best kinds of Italian pasta with lots of grooves and crevices to catch extra sauce or dressing and is mainly used in pasta salads.
Dishes to cook with Fusilli:- Fusilli Salad with Vegetables, Lemon Fusilli, Fusilli Pasta with Zucchini Pesto Sauce

Fusilli
Image Courtesy:
onceuponachef.com

Rigatoni

Category: Tubular Pasta
Rigatoni is like a sister noodle to Penne with a cylindrical shape and ridges in its texture. Unlike Penne, its edges are cut square instead of diagonally. The word Rigatoni is derived from the Italian word ‘rigato’ which means ridged or lined. Just like Penne, Rigatoni is one of the best types of Italian pasta for a meaty sauce as its gaping centre will trap and coat the pasta inside-out with the sauce.
Dishes to make with Rigatoni:- Four-cheese Sausage Rigatoni, Tomato Cream Rigatoni, Garlic Chicken Rigatoni

Rigatoni
Image Courtesy:
simply-delicious-food.com

Linguine

Category: Ribbon Pasta
Linguine resembles Fettuccine in looks but is not as wide as the latter. It used to initially be served with sauces like pesto or tomato, but over the years, it came to be regarded as one of the best kinds of Italian pasta paired with seafood. Linguine tastes best, when paired with white wine sauces, prawns and clams. This type of Italian pasta is made with white flour, whole wheat flour varieties or durum wheat.
Dishes to make with Linguine:- Parmesan and Garlic Linguine, Linguine with Prawn Butter Sauce, Shrimp and Mushroom Linguine
 

Linguine
Image Courtesy:
spicedblog.com

Tagliatelle

Category: Ribbon Pasta
Tagliatelle and Fettuccine are both similar in shape, flat ribbons, but differ in width. Tagliatelle is a little bit thicker than Fettuccine. The texture of this kind of Italian pasta is rough and porous making it ideal for thick, meaty sauces. Tagliatelle is one of the oldest types of Italian pasta made with flour and eggs.
Dishes to make with Tagliatelle:- Tagliatelle with Garlicky Tomato Sauce, Creamy Tagliatelle and Mushrooms, Tagliatelle Bolognese Recipe

Tagliatelle
Image Courtesy:
errenskitchen.com

Farfalle

Category: Shaped Pasta
The origin of the Farfalle pasta dates back to the 16th century in the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions of Northern Italy. The name of this type of Italian pasta is derived from the word ‘farfalle’ meaning butterflies in Italian. Farfalle resembles a bow-tie or a butterfly in shape and can be found in a variety of sizes. It is one of the best kinds of Italian pasta to be enjoyed with cream or tomato-based sauces.
Dishes to make with Farfalle:- Honey-Mustard Chicken Farfalle, Farfalle with Creamy Bacon Sauce, Creamy Lemon Butter Farfalle

Farfalle
Image Courtesy:
mustlovehome.com

Tortellini

Category: Stuffed Pasta
Tortellini are ring-shaped pasta traditionally stuffed with a mix of meat. It is one of the best types of Italian pasta to be paired with broths or soups. This kind of Italian pasta also tastes good tossed in olive oil and parmesan cheese as it has lots of flavours stuffed in its fillings.
Dishes to make with Tortellini:- Cheese Tortellini in Garlic Butter Sauce, Sausage and Tortellini Soup, Tortellini with Pesto and Broccoli
 

Tortellini
Image Courtesy:
wearychef.com

Orzo

Category: Soup Pasta
Orzo is short-cut pasta shaped like a large grain of rice. This type of Italian pasta is traditionally made from white flour but can also be made from wheat flour. Orzo can be served in a variety of ways. It can be served alone, in a soup, salad, pilaf or baked in a casserole. Orzo is one of the best kinds of Italian pasta and is also called Risoni.
Dishes to make with Orzo:- Grilled Chicken and Lemon Orzo Salad, Parmesan Garlic Orzo, Greek Based Orzo

Orzo
Image Courtesy:
storcpdkenticomedia.blob

Ziti

Category: Tubular Pasta
Originated in Campania, Ziti is an extruded pasta, shaped into a long, wide tube about 25 cms long, that needs to be broken down by hand before cooking. It is one of the best types of Italian pasta traditionally served at weddings. Ziti is popularly served stuffed and baked. You can stuff this kind of Italian pasta with a variety of meat, a variety of cheese and vegetables.
Dishes to make with Ziti:- Baked Ziti with Roasted Vegetables, Baked Ziti with Sausage, Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Zit

Ziti
Image Courtesy:
onceuponachef.com

Bucatini

Category: Tubular Pasta
Bucatini is a spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through its centre. The name Bucatini comes from the Italian word ‘buco’ that means hole. This type of Italian pasta is made from hard durum wheat and water. Bucatini is one of the best kinds of Italian pasta to be served with buttery sauces and also with soups and casserole dishes.
Dishes to make with Bucatini:- Bucatini Carbonara, Bucatini with Pork Ragu, Saffron and Tomato Bucatini
 

Bucatini
Image Courtesy:
halfbakedharvest.com

Pappardelle

Category: Ribbon Pasta
Pappardelle is derived from the verb ‘pappare’ in Italian means “to gobble up”. Originated from the region of Tuscany, this kind of Italian pasta is a large, very broad, flat pasta, similar to the wide Fettuccine. It was originally prepared using chestnut flour and has a sturdy form. Pappardelle is one of the most suitable types of Italian pasta to be served with a chunky and hearty meat sauce such as ragu or bolognese. It goes well with seafood too.
Dishes to make with Pappardelle:- Pappardelle with Mushrooms, Pappardelle with Creamy Chicken Sauce, Pappardelle in A Butter Sauce

Pappardelle
Image Courtesy:
googleusercontent.com

Orecchiette

Category: Shaped Pasta
Named after its shape, Orecchiette resembles a small ear. Like other kinds of Italian pasta, this is also made from durum wheat and water; eggs are rarely used. Orecchiette originated in the Southern Italy region of Apulia. This type of Italian pasta is widely used with vegetable sauces.
Dishes to make with Orecchiette:- Orecchiette with Spinach and Garlic, Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Sauce, Orecchiette Pasta with Tomatoes
 

Orecchiette
Image Courtesy:
shelovesbiscotti.com

Elbow Pasta Or Macaroni

Category: Tubular Pasta
Elbow Pasta is a dry pasta made with durum wheat. This kind of Italian pasta is shaped like a narrow tube and commonly cut into short lengths. In North America, Elbow Pasta is referred to as Macaroni and is often used in Macaroni and Cheese recipes. It is one of the best types of Italian pasta to make pasta salads and casserole dishes.
Dishes to make with Elbow Pasta:- Indian-Style Elbow Macaroni, Simple Mac and Cheese, Elbow Macaroni Soup

Don’t forget to share with us in the comments below which kind of Italian pasta is your favourite! 

Elbow Pasta Or Macaroni
Image Courtesy:
food.fnr.sndimg.com

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