Here’s the scoop on pasta

2
35
dry pasta

Linguine. Manicotti. Penne. Ziti. Cavatappi. That’s not even close to half of the various types of pasta you can pick up in the grocery store, order in restaurants or make from scratch at home, if you’re ambitious.

Here’s the scoop on 20 types of pasta, and what they’re commonly used for:

Ziti

Ziti is tube-shaped and medium sized. It’s great for chunky sauces, meat dishes, baked dishes, stir fry and salads.(Photo: "Flickr - cyclonebill - Kylling og pasta" by cyclonebill - Kylling og pasta. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flickr_-_cyclonebill_-_Kylling_og_pasta.jpg#/media/File:Flickr_-_cyclonebill_-_Kylling_og_pasta.jpg)
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Ziti

Ziti is tube-shaped and medium sized. It’s great for chunky sauces, meat dishes, baked dishes, stir fry and salads.(Photo: "Flickr - cyclonebill - Kylling og pasta" by cyclonebill - Kylling og pasta. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flickr_-_cyclonebill_-_Kylling_og_pasta.jpg#/media/File:Flickr_-_cyclonebill_-_Kylling_og_pasta.jpg)
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Tortellini

Tortellini pasta is ring-shaped. It’s stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables and served in a cream sauce or broth.
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Spaghetti

Possibly the most recognizable and common pasta in the United States, spaghetti noodles are long and thin. They’re typically used with tomato or meat sauces but any sauce will work with them. Spaghetti can be used in casseroles and stir fry, too.
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Shells

Shells, or conchigle, are small, medium or large in size. They’re used in soups and salads. Large shells are often stuffed with meat, cheese and vegetables.
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Rotini

Rotini pasta is spiral in shape. It can be used with cheese, meat or vegetable sauces, as well as in salads, casseroles or stir fry.
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Rigatoni

Chunky meat sauces or cream or cheese sauces can be used with rigatoni, which feature large ridges and holes.
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Ravioli

Ravioli are either square or round and stuffed with meat, cheese, vegetables, or seasonings. Ravioli is typically served with red sauce.
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Penne

Penne pasta works well for baked dishes. Any sauce pairs well with penne, especially chunky sauces.
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Orzo

Orzo is small and looks like grain. Any sauce can be used with orzo, or orzo can be added to soups, baked in a casserole or served as a side or main dish.(Photo: "EMS-107937-Orzo" by E. Michael Smith Chiefio - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:EMS-107937-Orzo.JPG#/media/File:EMS-107937-Orzo.JPG)
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Orecchiette

Meaning “little ears,’ orecchiette pasta are used in pasta salads or with thick sauces.(Photo: "Orecchiette Pasta" by Liveon001 © Travis K. Witt - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Orecchiette_Pasta.JPG#/media/File:Orecchiette_Pasta.JPG)
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Linguine

Linguine works well with a variety of sauces and can be used in salads and stir fry, too.
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Lasagna

Lasagna is a traditional Italian dish consisting of layers of the wide, flat-shaped noodles, sauces and other ingredients.
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Fettuccine

Known for being paired with alfredo sauce, fettucine is perfect for thick meat sauces.
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Farfalle

Farfelle is also called "bow tie" pasta. A lot of sauces can be used with farfalle, and the pasta can be used in soups and salads, too. (Photo: "Farfalle P1150882". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Farfalle_P1150882.jpg#/media/File:Farfalle_P1150882.jpg)
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Elbow macaroni

This is the pasta traditionally used for mac and cheese, but it's great for soups, salads and stir fry, too.
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Egg noodles

Egg noodles are versatile: small egg noodles can be used in soups and salads, baked or served with meat, cheese, cream or tomato sauces. Wide egg noodles are used in stroganoffs but can be used in soups, salads and casseroles, too.
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Cavatelli

This pasta looks like little hot dog buns. Cavatelli is usually served with thick sauces or in pasta salad. It can be served with many sauces: meat, cream, vegetable or seafood.(Photo: "Cavatelli" by Luigi Scorcia - cavatelli. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cavatelli.jpg#/media/File:Cavatelli.jpg)
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Cavatappi

Cavatappi noodles look like corkscrews. They can be used with any sauce and with vegetables or lean protein. Cavatappi noodles are also used in pasta salad recipes.(Photo: "Cellentani" by Heath Caldwell - English-language Wikipedia. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cellentani.jpg#/media/File:Cellentani.jpg)
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Angel hair

Angel hair pasta looks like spaghetti, but it’s thinner. It’s typically used with traditional Italian sauces or with light sauces and vegetables.
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Manicotti

Manicotti are large pasta that are stuffed with meat, cheese and vegetables, covered in sauce and baked.(Photo: "EMS-109321-Manicotti-rule." by E. Michael Smith Chiefio - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:EMS-109321-Manicotti-rule..JPG#/media/File:EMS-109321-Manicotti-rule..JPG)

You can check out more types of pasta here.

Source: National Pasta Association

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Katie Woods grew up in Columbiana, Ohio. Katie likes reading, writing, enjoying the outdoors and DIY projects.

2 COMMENTS

  1. What type of flour do you use for making regular spaghetti noodles? The recipe calls for mill flour and checking around no one has heard of it – not even the Amish. They had oxidant- sapphire- and something else. Also, what about king Aurthur unbleached? thank you BPP

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