Your 1-Minute Guide To Identifying Pasta Shapes In One Glance


1. Spaghetti

Usually served with loose, tomato sauces like the Bolognese or very light broths.

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2. Penne 

The edges help thicker tomato or vegetable sauces cling to the pasta. Perfect for a classic Carbonara.

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3. Rigatoni

Like penne, rigatoni are tubes with ridges on the outside, but they’re bigger and cut square. Perfect for a good, thick meaty sauce.

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4. Macaroni

Often found in soups like minestrone, or in a cheese sauce ready to be baked, like the famous Mac n Cheese.

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5.  Lasagna

Sheets are layered up with beef, pork or bacon, and can also be served with vegetables or crispy duck.

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6. Fusilli

Suitable for casseroles or salads. Usually paired with light, seafood sauces, cream or oil-based sauces.

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7. Farfalle

The “wings” hold sauces wonderfully, and they’re also perfect for cold pasta salads.

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8. Linguini

The extra surface area helps it hang onto light sauces made with cream or seafood.

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9. Fettuccine

It is best with mince meat sauces or a creamy sauce topped with some ham and peas.

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10. Parpadelle

Wide ribbons of egg pasta, normally reserved for heavy, mince meat sauces. Chunky bits from the sauce get trapped between the flat noodles and it almost tastes like a lasagna.

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11. Conchiglie

It’s often served with tomato or meat sauces, or in pasta salads. A smaller version for soups os called conchigliette, while larger, stuffable shells are called conchiglioni.

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