21 Different Types of Pasta

Different Types of Pasta
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If you love pasta, you know there are many different types of pasta out there.

From long, thin strands of spaghetti to small shells filled with cheese, there is a type of pasta for everyone.

In this guide, we’ll explore different types of pasta, from classic favorites to exciting new dishes. 

We’ll discuss their flavors, textures, and how to cook them properly. With this knowledge, you can easily create delicious pasta dishes with different pasta types.

So let’s start and discover the wonderful world of types of pasta!

1. Cannelloni

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Cannelloni, also known as “large reeds,” is a classic Italian pasta widely loved for its versatility.

It consists of large pasta tubes, usually made with durum wheat semolina or a combination of semolina and all-purpose flour.

Cannelloni is a fantastic choice for stuffing with various fillings, ranging from meat and cheese to vegetables and ricotta. 

It can be baked in the oven with a rich tomato sauce and melted cheese for a hearty and satisfying meal.

One popular filling for cannelloni is a mixture of ground meat, such as beef or pork, combined with herbs, spices, and Parmesan cheese.

This savory filling is then rolled up inside the pasta tubes before being baked to perfection.

 Alternatively, you can create a vegetarian version using a filling made of spinach, ricotta cheese, and nutmeg.

Cannelloni pairs well with robust sauces like traditional Bolognese or creamy Alfredo sauce.

Its large size allows the flavors to meld together and creates a satisfying texture.

 Whether you make it from scratch or use store-bought cannelloni, this pasta will impress your family and friends.

Try cannelloni next time you’re ready for a comforting and filling pasta dish. Its versatility and delicious taste will leave you craving more.

2. Cavatappi

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Cavatappi is a type of pasta that originates from Southern Italy. Its name, which translates to “corkscrew” in Italian, perfectly describes its unique shape.

This pasta is characterized by its elongated tubular shape with grooves that spiral around it, resembling a corkscrew or a spring. 

Cavatappi is a versatile pasta that can hold up well with different sauces.

Its spiral shape and grooves allow the sauce to cling to the pasta, ensuring each bite is flavorful.

Whether you prefer a rich tomato sauce or a creamy cheese sauce, cavatappi is the perfect pasta choice.

Due to its shape, cavatappi also holds up well in pasta salads. Its twists and turns catch the dressing and ingredients, ensuring a well-distributed flavor throughout the dish.

It adds a delightful texture and visual appeal to any pasta salad, making it a crowd-pleaser at parties or potlucks.

In addition to its culinary appeal, cavatappi is also fun to cook and eat.

Its unique shape adds an element of playfulness to any pasta dish, making it especially popular with children.

From mac and cheese to pasta primavera, cavatappi brings a unique twist to your creations.

Overall, cavatappi is just one of the many different types of pasta available in the culinary world.

Its spiral shape, versatility, and ability to hold up well with different sauces make it a beloved choice among pasta lovers.

3. Ditalini

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Ditalini is a popular pasta type often used in Italian cuisine. The name ditalini translates to “little thimbles” in English, perfectly describing their small, tubular shape.

These small pasta tubes are usually about 3/8 inch long and have a smooth texture.

Ditalini pasta is incredibly versatile and can be used in various dishes.

Its small size makes it ideal for soups, particularly in Italian favorites like pasta e fagioli or minestrone.

The tiny tubes soak up the flavors of the broth, making each bite burst with deliciousness.

In addition to soups, ditalini can be used in cold pasta salads or baked pasta dishes.

Their small shape allows them to hold onto sauces and dressings, ensuring that every bite is flavorful.

Cooking ditalini pasta is quick and easy. Bilibrate a pot of salted water and add the pasta.

Cook for about 8-10 minutes until the pasta is al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Next time you’re in the mood for a comforting soup or a refreshing pasta salad, consider using ditalini.

Its small, tubular shape adds a unique twist to any dish, making it a fun and tasty addition to your culinary repertoire.

4. Bucatini


Bucatini is a type of pasta that originates from Italy. It is similar to spaghetti but with a unique twist.

This tubular pasta has a hollow center, perfect for holding thick sauces or filling it with ingredients. 

Bucatini is a versatile pasta that can be paired with various sauces. It works well with both creamy and tomato-based sauces.

The hollow center of bucatini allows the sauce to coat each strand, giving it a delicious flavor in every bite.

One popular dish that features bucatini is Amatriciana. This traditional Italian dish has bucatini pasta, tomato sauce, guanciale (cured pork jowl), and pecorino cheese.

Combining the hollow bucatini noodles with the rich, flavorful sauce and the salty guanciale creates a delicious and satisfying meal.

Another great way to enjoy bucatini is in a classic carbonara.

The hollow center of the pasta captures the creamy egg-based sauce, making each bite incredibly flavorful and indulgent.

Adding pancetta or bacon, parmesan cheese, and black pepper completes the dish.

Bucatini is just one example of the many different types of pasta available.

Its unique shape and texture make it an excellent choice for various dishes, whether you like a hearty tomato sauce or a creamy carbonara.

Next time you want to try a new pasta dish, try bucatini and discover its delicious and versatile flavors.

5. Cavatelli


Cavatelli is a type of pasta that originated in Southern Italy. It is a small, shell-shaped pasta that is made from a dough of flour, water, and sometimes eggs.

The dough is rolled into small, oval shapes and then indented with the thumb, giving the pasta its distinctive shell-like appearance.

Cavatelli is known for its dense and chewy texture, which allows it to hold up well in hearty sauces and stews.

It is often paired with rich and flavorful spices, such as tomato-based ragu or meat sauces.

Its unique shape also makes it great for catching and holding onto chunky ingredients like vegetables or pieces of meat.

In addition to its delicious taste and texture, cavatelli is also versatile in its preparation.

It can be served in traditional Italian dishes like cavatelli with broccoli or in more contemporary recipes like cavatelli with lemon and garlic sauce.

It can also be used in baked pasta dishes or added to soups for an extra bit of texture.

Overall, cavatelli is a pasta that brings flavor and texture to any dish.

Whether you’re a pasta lover or just looking to try something new, cavatelli is a type of pasta worth exploring.

Its unique shape and chewy texture make it a delightful addition to any meal.

6. Fideo

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Video is a type of pasta that originates from Mexico, and it is a staple in many traditional Mexican dishes.

The name “video” means “noodle” in Spanish, which is a testament to its popularity in Mexican cuisine.

Video is similar to thin spaghetti but typically cut into shorter, bite-sized pieces. 

It has a slightly thinner diameter than traditional spaghetti, making it a versatile option for different pasta dishes.

One popular way to prepare a video is to cook it in a tomato-based broth, creating a flavorful and comforting soup.

It is often paired with vegetables, meat, or beans to add depth and texture to the dish. 

The short, thin shape of the video makes it perfect for soups, as it cooks quickly and absorbs the flavors of the broth.

Another way to enjoy the video is to sauté it with onions and garlic, creating a base for other ingredients.

Video can be a delicious addition to stir-fries, casseroles, or a side dish to complement your main course.

7. Campanelle


Campanelle, which means “little bells” in Italian, is a unique and charming pasta shape that resembles a small flower.

With its fluted edges and a wide opening at the center, this pasta is perfect for catching and holding onto sauces.

Its intricate design and playful appearance make it popular for everyday meals and special occasions.

Campanelle is versatile and can be paired with various sauces and ingredients.

Its shape allows it to hold chunky or meaty sauces, as well as cream-based or vegetable-based sauces.

The fluted edges provide texture and let the sauce cling to the pasta, ensuring every bite is flavorful.

This pasta is often used in pasta salads, as the shape holds up well and adds visual interest.

It is also commonly used in baked pasta dishes, as its form holds up well during cooking and provides a beautiful presentation.

When cooking campanelle, it is essential to remember that its shape can affect cooking time.

The fluted edges and center opening can result in variations in cooking time, so following the package instructions and checking for al dente texture is essential.

8. Farfalle


Farfalle, also known as bowtie pasta, is popular in Italian cuisine.

The name “farfalle” is derived from the Italian word for butterfly, and this pasta variety certainly lives up to its name with its unique butterfly or bowtie shape.

Farfalle is characterized by its distinctive shape, created by pinching the pasta in the middle to make two wings. 

This shape allows the pasta to hold sauces and other ingredients, making it a versatile choice for various dishes.

One of the great things about Farfalle is its ability to hold up well to light and heavy sauces.

The ridged texture of the pasta helps seasonings cling to it, ensuring each bite is flavorful.

Whether tossing Farfalle in a creamy alfredo sauce or a tangy tomato sauce, you can count on this pasta to deliver a delicious and satisfying meal. In addition to its versatility, Farfalle is also aesthetically pleasing.

The unique bowtie shape adds a touch of elegance to any dish and can make even the simplest pasta dishes look more appealing.

Farfalle is not only an excellent choice for traditional Italian recipes, but it also works well in salads and pasta bakes.

Its sturdy shape and size make it perfect for holding up against other ingredients and remaining intact during cooking.

Next time you’re in the mood for pasta, consider trying Farfalle. Its versatile shape, ability to hold sauces, and attractive appearance make it a great addition to any meal.

9. Casarecce

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Casarecce is one of the different types of pasta that originates from Sicily, Italy.

Its name translates to “homemade” or “homestyle” in Italian, perfectly capturing this pasta variety’s essence.

Its short, rolled tube-like shape characterizes Casarecce, with one end moved inward and the other slightly flared out.

The shape of Casarecce pasta makes it perfect for holding onto thick, hearty sauces.

Its ridges and grooves help trap and absorb the sauce, allowing it to coat the pasta thoroughly.

Casarecce is excellent for dishes like ragù, bolognese, or other meat-based sauces.

Casarecce pasta is also versatile and pairs well with a variety of ingredients.

You can combine it with vegetables like broccoli, peas, or cherry tomatoes for a vibrant and nutritious pasta dish.

It also works well with seafood, such as shrimp or mussels, creating a delightful combination of flavors and textures.

Whether you prefer traditional Italian dishes or like to experiment with fusion cuisine, Casarecce is a pasta variety that should not be overlooked.

Its unique shape and ability to hold onto flavors make it an excellent choice for pasta lovers.

So next time you want to switch up your pasta routine, consider trying Casarecce – you won’t be disappointed!

10. Macaroni


One of the most beloved types of pasta, macaroni is a versatile noodle that can be used in various dishes.

It’s typically a short, curved shape with ridges on the outside to hold the sauce.

Different types of macaroni include elbow macaroni, a popular choice for mac and cheese, and shell-shaped macaroni, which is perfect for catching bits of meat or vegetables in soups or stews.

Macaroni originated in Italy but quickly became a staple of American cuisine.

It’s famous for potlucks, picnics, and other casual gatherings. Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food enjoyed for generations.

When cooking macaroni, it’s important to boil it until it’s al dente, which means it should be firm but not hard.

Overcooking the pasta can make it mushy and ruin its texture. Macaroni is best served with rich, creamy sauces or hearty meat-based sauces, but it can also be used in pasta salads or baked dishes.

Overall, macaroni is a beloved pasta that has a place in both Italian and American cuisine.

With its versatile shape and texture, it’s no wonder it’s such a popular choice for many dishes.

11. Orzo


Orzo is a pasta shaped like a grain of rice or barley, making it a popular choice for Mediterranean-inspired dishes.

It originated in Italy but is now enjoyed around the world. It is commonly used in soups, stews, and cold salads.

Orzo is a versatile pasta that can be prepared in various ways. It is usually boiled in salted water until al dente, which takes around 8-10 minutes. It can then be used as a base for a variety of dishes.

For instance, it can be served with a simple tomato sauce or tossed with vegetables, such as roasted peppers or sun-dried tomatoes.

Different types of pasta offer unique flavor profiles and textures, and orzo is no exception.

Its small size and delicate texture make it ideal for pairing with various sauces and ingredients.

Whether you are a fan of classic Mediterranean cuisine or want to try something new, orzo is a great pasta option that will satisfy your taste buds.

12. Rotelle


Rotelle, also known as wagon wheel pasta, is a type of pasta that resembles small wheels.

It’s a versatile pasta used in various dishes, such as salads, soups, and pasta dishes.

This type of pasta is popular in Italian cuisine and is a favorite among children due to its unique shape. 

Rotelle is made from semolina flour, which is high in protein and gives the pasta its firm texture.

Its shape and texture make it perfect for holding onto sauces and flavors. It’s a great alternative to traditional pasta shapes and can add fun to any dish. 

Rotelle comes in different sizes, from small to large. It’s a popular choice for cold pasta salads, where the sauce or dressing can easily coat each wheel.

Hot pasta dishes pair well with hearty tomato-based sauces, cream sauces, or pesto. 

In summary, Rotelle is one of the many different types of pasta that can add a fun element to any dish.

It’s versatile, easy to cook, and holds onto flavors and sauces well.

Next time you’re looking for a new type of pasta, consider adding Rotelle to your grocery list.

13. Linguine


Linguine is a pasta that originated in Italy and is similar to spaghetti.

It is long, narrow, flattened, and usually about 8mm wide. The name “linguine” comes from the Italian word “lingua,” which means tongue. 

This type of pasta is often used in seafood dishes but can also be served with tomato-based sauces, cream-based sauces, or olive oil and garlic.

Its flat shape allows it to hold onto sauce well, making it a popular choice for pasta dishes with rich and flavorful spices.

Linguine can be found in both dried and fresh varieties, with the new version preferred by many chefs.

It is made from durum wheat semolina, which gives it a slightly chewy texture and a rich, nutty flavor.

Cooking linguine is relatively simple, with the pasta boiled in salted water until al dente. It can then be added to the sauce of your choice and tossed together to combine. 

Whether you’re a fan of seafood dishes or love a good pasta dish, linguine is worth a try. Its unique shape and versatility make it a popular choice for many meals.

14. Penne


One of the most popular pasta shapes in the world, penne is a tube-shaped pasta that comes in various sizes.

The name penne means “quills” in Italian, perfectly describing the pasta’s shape. Penne can be found in two different styles: smooth and ridged.

The ridges help sauce cling to the pasta, making it a popular choice for heartier sauces like ragùor bolognese.

Penne comes in different sizes and styles, from small penne rigate to large penne lisce. This makes it a versatile pasta that can be used in many dishes.

One of the most famous penne dishes is penne alla vodka, made with a creamy tomato sauce and a splash of vodka.

Penne can also be used in cold pasta salads or baked pasta dishes like penne al forno. 

When cooking penne, it’s important to remember to use plenty of salted water and not overcook it.

Overcooked penne can become mushy and lose its shape. The perfect al dente penne should have a firm bite but still be tender.

With so many different types of pasta, penne is a classic that will always be a staple in the pasta world.

15. Fettuccini


If you’re looking for a comprehensive, flat noodle, fettuccini is your answer.

This pasta variety originates from central Italy, particularly in Emilia-Romagna, where it is traditionally served with decadent sauces like Alfredo or carbonara.

Fettuccini is usually made from flour and eggs, resulting in a firm, chewy texture that holds up well to hearty sauces.

The noodles are about 1/4 inch wide and can be cut into various lengths. Fettuccini is a versatile pasta that can be used in many different dishes.

It pairs well with creamy sauces like mushroom, tomato, or even a simple garlic and butter sauce. It also works excellent in noodle soups or cold pasta salads.

To cook fettuccini, boil a large pot of salted water, add the pasta, and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until al dente.

Drain the pasta and add it to your sauce or dish. Fettuccini is a delicious and satisfying pasta variety that can be used in various ways to elevate your meals.

16. Rotini


Rotini is a popular type of pasta that originated in Southern Italy. It is also known as corkscrew pasta due to its spiral shape.

Rotini is a versatile pasta with different sauces and ingredients to create various dishes.

The spirals in the pasta allow for sauces to be trapped within, resulting in a flavorful bite.

One of the benefits of rotini is that its shape makes it ideal for holding onto heavier, chunky sauces.

The twists and turns of the pasta have the sauce well, making each bite deliciously saucy.

The pasta’s shape is also great for adding texture and visual interest to pasta salads.

Many types of rotini are available on the market, including whole wheat, gluten-free, and vegetable-based options.

This allows for a variety of dietary needs and preferences to be accommodated.

Rotini is a beloved pasta shape that adds variety and interest to any pasta dish.

Its fun spiral shape and ability to hold onto the sauce make it an excellent choice for pasta lovers exploring Different Types of Pasta.

17. Rigatoni


Rigatoni is a tube-shaped pasta with ridges on the outer surface. It is often cut straight and has a larger diameter than other pasta types.

It originated in Rome, Italy, and is often paired with thick, hearty sauces due to its ability to hold onto the sauce within its ridges.

Different types of pasta are used for other dishes, and rigatoni is no exception. Its size and texture make it perfect for baked pasta, pasta salad, and casseroles.

It’s large size and wide surface area make it an ideal option for stuffing with cheese and vegetables.

While traditionally made with durum wheat semolina flour, rigatoni can now be found in various forms, including whole wheat, gluten-free, and vegetable-infused varieties.

With so many options available, finding the perfect rigatoni type for your next pasta dish is easy.

18. Orecchiette


Orecchiette is a small, ear-shaped pasta originating from the southern region of Italy, specifically from the Puglia region.

The name “orecchiette” literally translates to “little ears” in Italian, referring to its shape.

It is traditionally made from durum wheat semolina and water, giving it a chewy texture and slightly nutty flavor. 

One of the unique features of orecchiette is its ability to hold onto sauces and ingredients due to its concave shape.

This makes it perfect for pairing with rich and hearty sauces, such as sausage and broccoli rabe, or with tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil.

In Puglia, it is often served with turnip greens or a meat ragù. 

While orecchiette is commonly made by hand in its place of origin, it can also be found in dried and packaged grocery stores worldwide.

Its versatility makes it a popular choice for Italian dishes, but it also pairs well with non-traditional flavors like spicy sausage and roasted vegetables. 

Orecchiette is a delicious and unique pasta variety that should be on every pasta lover’s radar.

So next time you’re at the grocery store or dining at an Italian restaurant, consider trying this “little ears” pasta.

19. Pappardelle


Pappardelle is a type of pasta that originated in Tuscany, Italy. It is a broad, flat noodle that is perfect for dishes with thick sauces, as it can hold the sauce well.

Pappardelle can be made from egg-based or plain flour dough and is commonly found in dried and fresh forms.

This type of pasta is versatile and can be used in many different dishes.

It is often paired with hearty sauces such as ragu or bolognese. The width of the pappardelle also makes it an ideal pasta to use in casseroles or baked dishes.

The noodle’s ability to hold its shape even after cooking makes it great for pasta salads.

If you want to try out different types of pasta, pappardelle is a great place to start.

It can add a unique texture and flavor to your dishes, and its versatility allows for many possibilities in the kitchen.

Whether you’re looking for a comforting bowl of pasta or a show-stopping dish for a dinner party, pappardelle is an excellent option.

20. Fusilli


Fusilli is a famous Italian pasta with a spiral shape, similar to a corkscrew. It is also known as rotini in some regions.

Fusilli is a versatile pasta used in various dishes, such as pasta salads, soups, casseroles, and baked dishes.

The shape of fusilli makes it perfect for holding onto sauces and other ingredients, making it an excellent choice for hearty and saucy pasta dishes.

It can also be served with lighter sauces or simply tossed with olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese for a simple yet flavorful dish.

Fusilli is made from semolina flour, which gives it a slightly nutty flavor and a chewy texture.

It is available in a variety of colors, including green (made with spinach), red (made with tomato), and even black (made with squid ink).

Next time you’re in the mood for pasta, consider picking up a box of fusilli.

It’s a delicious and versatile pasta that can be used in various dishes, and its fun shape makes it a hit with kids and adults alike.

21. Gnocchi


Gnocchi is a type of pasta originating from Italy and is known for its unique shape and texture.

Unlike other types of pasta, gnocchi is made from potato dough and often includes a variety of other ingredients such as eggs, flour, and cheese.

There are different types of gnocchi, each with its distinct shape and texture.

For example, traditional gnocchi is shaped like a small pillow and has a smooth texture, while ricotta gnocchi is made with ricotta cheese and has a softer, more delicate texture.

Gnocchi can be served in various ways, from topped with tomato sauce and grated Parmesan cheese to tossed with vegetables and olive oil.

It can also be used in dishes such as gnocchi al forno, a baked dish with tomato sauce and melted cheese.

Whether you prefer traditional gnocchi or a more modern version, there are plenty of different types of pasta to choose from.

So why not experiment with different types of gnocchi and discover which one you like best?


Pasta is a versatile and delicious dish in many different shapes and sizes. Each pasta type has its unique texture and ability to hold sauces and flavors.

Whether you prefer long and thin noodles like spaghetti or thicker, tube-shaped pasta like rigatoni, there is something for everyone.

Exploring different types of pasta can add excitement and variety to your meals.

You can get creative with the shapes and experiment with different sauces and ingredients to create unique and delicious dishes.

The possibilities are endless, from classic favorites like penne alla vodka to lesser-known options like Farfalle with creamy pesto sauce.

Remember to consider the sauce when choosing the type of pasta. Long, thin noodles like spaghetti and fettuccine are great for pairing with smooth, silky sauces.

At the same time, more significant, tube-shaped pasta like rigatoni and penne can hold up well with heartier, chunky sauces.

No matter which type of pasta you choose, the most important thing is to enjoy the process of cooking and savoring the delicious result.

So, step out of your comfort zone and try a new type of pasta next time you’re in the mood for pasta.

You might discover a new favorite!

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