All The Pasta Shape Names Explained: How Many Do You Know?

It is brimming with a myriad of options for pasta because of the wide assortment of shapes and sizes. Each form of pasta is identified by its name, which may be confusing if you’re familiar with Italian; however, with a bit of help in the language, it’ll appear to make sense.

Are you sure? We’ll explore more than spaghetti and Penne to offer three new forms: quattrotini, Castelli, and the Vesuvio.

So, grab a fork and bite to discover what the names of these pastas actually are. It will help you understand which pastas are named for butterflies and which are named after thin ropes, and when someone comes up to farfalle as “the bow tie pasta” (the nerve! ), You can be a bit sexy!


Castelli was developed by Dan Pashman, a James Beard Award winner, as well as the presenter of the Sporkful podcast. The name was coined specifically for the new shape–translates to “waterfalls” in Italian (properly cascatelle). The pasta was developed over three years and created together with pasta manufacturer Sfoglini. It is an elongated tube with a middle that has edges with ruffles and resembles the caterpillar’s shape that’s half wrapped up. The idea behind the creation of the Castelli was to create a noodle that can hold as much sauce as it can. It is easy to scoop up using a fork and is a pleasant bite. Following the viral success of the Castelli, Pashman teamed up with Sfoglini again to introduce two other specialties on the market – quittrotini and the Vesuvio.


Quattrotini can be described as a brand new Sfoglini pasta that was developed by Pashman and is based on a distinctive shape, which is served only once per year in a small area in Sicily. It is shaped like four tubes that have been joined into an oval. In Italy, it is called five Buchi (“five holes”).


The latest shape, Vesuvio, is designed to look like a volcano. It has its name derived from the mountain Vesuvius and appears like a ribbon that is unraveling at the end. It was only available in the US and Canada. However, Sfoglini plans to sell it more widely from now on.

Let’s take a closer look at some more traditional pasta shapes that you’ll likely find at the table.


The bow tie-wearing design of pasta, farfalle, is an oval with a pinched center, and the edges are zigzag. The word”farfalle” in Italian does not have anything to do with fancy attire, however. Farfalle is a translation of “butterflies” in Italian, which is connected to the shape and not any other fancy hues. This pasta type has been a popular choice since the 1500s in the Northern Italian region that comprises Emilia-Romagna as well as Lombardia. It is now commonly utilized in dishes with creamy sauces.


You’re likely to be familiar with the spaghetti throughout the entire process If you’re even the tiniest little bit knowledgeable about Italian pasta. It’s possible to use spaghetti as a shorthand for the various Italian pasta shapes. However, it really refers to just one kind: white, starchy pasta, which is served with long strings and is served with a type of meat, tomato, or any other sauce. Spaghetti is derived from the Italian word spago, meaning “thin rope.” Fun fact: spaghetti is the plural form of spaghetti. If you’re talking about a single of the strands, the singular variant is the word spaghetti.

We often hear spaghetti as a plural, and the singular spaghetti seems wrong. Consider other plural terms we don’t hear often in their particular forms.


Fettuccine is pasta that has been cut into thin and flat strips. In fact, the word “fettuccine” originates from the word fetta, which translates to “slice” or “ribbon” in Italian. The dishes made of fettuccine have evolved and gained popularity in the beginning of the 1900s. The most well-known recipe that makes use of pasta in the US is the fettuccine Alfredo, consisting of flour with cream and milk, which is topped with chicken or shrimp. It’s more straightforward in Italy and is usually served with just the noodles, butter, and fresh Parmesan.


The term fusilli was first mentioned in English in the period 1925-29 and derives directly from the word fusillo (“little spindle”) in the southern Italian dialect. This shape is corkscrew, or spiral or spiral, and fusilli are available in small noodles. It was initially made by making the spaghetti noodles on rods and drying them.

the language

As with the fettuccine, like fettuccine, linguine is a noodle that is long and flat. Its name is derived in the form of the Italian word linguina, which refers to “tongue,” and linguine directly means “small tongues.” Whereas the more well-known flat noodle fettuccine is able to be able to withstand more intense sauces, linguine is usually served with a light white sauce, and clams served on the top (linguine Allen console).


You could put the feather on your head and refer to it as macaroni, but that doesn’t, in actuality, create the appearance of macaroni. The pasta is small and tubular and is made by combining wheat flour. Macaroni was first recorded in English in the period 1590-1600. It most likely comes to be derived from its Neapolitan dialect term Maccarone, which is itself derived from the Greek malaria, which means “food made from barley.”

What is the process that transforms macaroni into macaroni salad or potatoes into potato salad? Find out the meaning of salad here.


Orecchiettes are tiny pieces of pasta that resemble ears with a cupped middle. This is apt because their name, Italian, literally means “little ears.” The pasta shape is derived from Puglia in the southeastern region of Italy. Contrary to other pasta shapes that machines can effortlessly spit out, orecchiette is generally made by hand. It is usually eaten with tomatoes or a thick sauce.


The majority of Italian pasta is shaped into longer noodles or shorter ones with ridges, which make it simple to eat sauce. This isn’t and. This pasta form is defined by tiny, rice-like grains. According to Italian, orzo is a reference to “barley.” Though it is rooted in Italy as well as an Italian orzo name, orzo is widely used in Greek as well as other Mediterranean cuisines.


Pappardelle is the name of a different pasta shape, which is part of the flat pasta family. Noodles. It’s cut into larger strips as compared to the fettuccine as well as Linuine, although not nearly as broad as lasagna. The name first came up in English between 1895 and 1900. It is the plural version of the word pappardella. It’s thought that the name derives from the Italian verb “pappare,” which translates to “to gobble up or devour.”


When Yankee Doodle was off-calling feathers macaroni, he could be much better off using Penne. Penne is an oval pasta with sharply cut ends. The term “penne” can be a plural form of”penna,” the Italian phrase penna meaning “pen,” “feather,” or “quill.”


This pasta type is made to keep meats and sauces inside. Ravioli are tiny pasta that are filled with a filling and served with sauce. They are usually square, but they may also be triangular, circular, or any other form that you can think of. The name is derived directly from the Italian word “raviolo,” which translates to “little turnip.”


Similar to raviolitortellini is a pasta type packed with cheese, meat, or sauce. They’re more specific about their shape, however: tortellini is rolled into rings before being cooked and served with broth or sauce. The term tortellini is the smaller version of tortilla, which means something similar to “cake” or “fritter” and is a reference to a stuffed cake.

Finding the ideal pasta shape: that’s the name of the game

If you’re in the market to cook pasta but are in a position where simply any pasta will suffice, it’s good to know you’ll have plenty of choices. It’s a bit complicated if you don’t go to the market with a specific shape of pasta that you think is ideal for what you’re planning to cook, however.

You’ve got your usual go-to’s that receive the red sauce treatment; for example, spaghetti is among the most popular that comes to mind. Other designs are designed to take in and hold meat, sauce, and cheese, such as Corkscrew-shaped fusilli or the unique form of Castelli. Don’t forget the flat noodles, such as fettuccine, and the stuffed ones, such as ravioli.

In the simplest terms, there’s a vast range of Italian pasta to choose from. One way to determine what you’re getting and the reason each pasta has the shape it does is to find out what the word “fusilli” means. Spaghetti originates from the word “rope,” for example, the term “rope” is used, whereas fusilli is derived from the word “little spindle.”

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