Italy has always been famous for one thing in particular YES, its PASTA! Italians are not Italians without Pasta, it is the basic need that describes the way of life for Italians.
Federico Fellini, a famous Italian film director and screenwriter once quoted that “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.”
It’s pretty obvious by now that it’s not just Italians but everyone around the world cannot resist the perfect bowl of creamy cheese and chicken pasta garnished with the freshest garlic and mint herbs.
But you may have seen so many pastas, cream based, aglio based and tomato based. But on top of all that what is fascinating is how each pasta invention has different shapes of pasta .
You have shell shaped ones, long thin strip types and even ones that are like the tip of a drill machine! COOL isn’t it? But did you know that there is a reason and secret to why each pasta is in the shape that they are?
Keep reading as we explore 10 different types of pasta and why they’re shaped and called the way they are !Here’s your chance of becoming a real pasta fanatic!
Fusilli (Pronounced – ‘Fu’zilli)
Fusilli, the type of pasta shaped in long curly defined spirals almost like the tip of a drill machine!
The actual word ‘Fusilli’ came from a Italian term ‘fuso’ which means spindle as it’s a spindle rod that rolls the pasta and winds them into a neat spiral shape!
The reason why the Fusilli is shaped in a thick spiral or even a corkscrew is because it is mainly used in pasta dishes that have thick sauces.
It allows the sauce to entangle into each pasta element and that’s why with every bite or spoon of pasta you taste just the right amount of sauce.
Penne (Pronounced – ‘Pen:e’)
The Penne, a tubular cylinder shaped pasta. It has the tip of a fancy fountain pens this is because the plural version of Penne is ‘Penna’ which means feather but pen as well.
Why is this pasta different? The penne shape has been structured in a way that the depth of the penne matches the components in the sauce and gives you the burst filled with flavor!
The penne is adaptable to all sorts of sauces including the Pesto, Marinara and Arrabbiata .
Linguine (Pronounced –‘ lin-gwee-nee)
Linguine the type of pasta that blends in well with oily based sauces, it is flat strips of pasta and is flatter than spaghetti.
In the italian dictionary it is known as “Little Tongues” weird? But interesting.
Linguine is often blended in with clam-based sauces and other seafood sauces . It works with slightly ‘wet’ sauces when combined well.
Because of how well defined the linguine pasta is shaped it absorbs the lightweight sauces well and can hold the other add-ons of the dish well.
Farfalle (Pronounced: Far-fallay)
Okay, this one is interesting, some know it as Farfalle others call it the bow-tie pasta outside of Italy but the name is also derived from the italian word ‘farfalla’ which is butterfly.
It is also one of the oldest pasta shapes originated back in the 16th Century!
This pasta shape is not on unique in shape but also in style as italians make the farfalle pasta in different colors simply by adding food to the pasta dough!
How is this possible you may ask….Well the green is made using spinach (very healthy!), black using cuttlefish ink and the red using beetroot!
This combination is known as the ‘tricolore’. It also resembles the Italian flag!
This intriguing pasta is suitable with any pasta sauce however is best suited with cream and tomato based sauces.
The farfalle is thick and wide and is able to carry chunky elements such as vegetables and other sturdy add ons.
The middle of the farfalle which is the pinched centre allows the creamy pasta sauce to settle in, this is why the farfalle is best served in a creamy sauce!
Spaghetti (Pronounced- Spe-geti)
The childhood famous ‘ Spaghetti Bolognese’! A rich pasta dish stirred in a thick tomato sauce and usually served with well tender beef meatballs YUM!
The actual meaning behind the name ‘spaghetti’ comes from the Italian word ‘spago’ which means string, and the plural of that is ‘spaghetti’.
Its thin and long shape makes sure that the spaghetti is easy to blend in and get tangled in the sauce which is why it’s always a good option to marry any tomato sauce with the classical spaghetti !!! Voila it’s a masterpiece!
Torchio (Pronounced- ‘tor-kio)
A bell shaped pasta originally known as ‘press’ when translated in Italian. It is designed in the shape of a bell with a hollow top.
The secret of this pasta shape is that the hollow top helps the consistency of the thick pasta sauce to get caught into the hollow tube and fuse itself inside the torchio pasta.
Macaroni (Pronounced – ‘Makke-ro-ni)
Whether you are a pasta fanatic or simply lazy to cook a proper meal for dinner we all have heard of the famous ‘Mac & Cheese’!
This simple cheesy pasta dish definitely brings out childhood memories or maybe your planning on making your own as you read!
Macaroni are small bent tubes, the tiny hollow each macaroni has, is like a mini lorry transporting gooey deliciousness straight to your taste buds!
Whether it be melted cheese, tomato sauce or even a creamy white sauce it will settle in perfectly. Which is why the Mac’n cheese will never grow old with the classical macaroni pasta!
Not just the classical cheesy mac pasta but baked macaroni pasta is to live for on a perfect Sunday outing or picnic! Macaroni pasta really does get the best of both worlds.
Pappardelle (Pronounced- Par-par-day-lay)
As elegant as Italians can get the Pappardelle pasta is thick, flat ribbons of pasta, wide and thick in size! It curdles up inside the pasta sauce rarely with any big chunky ingredients.
The pappardelle pasta is designed to hold up any sturdy and thick sauce.
A general rule when it comes to pasta is that the thicker or wider the pasta is the more of the sauce it can hold and a bulkier bustful of flavors with every mouth!
The pappardelle shows off its colors with creamy milky sauces such as the Alfredo (If you’re a cheese sauce fan well you know this dish is meant for you!
Orecchiette (Pronounced- oh-ra-ke-tee)
This rather tiny pasta shape translates into ‘Little Ears’….hmmm well I guess it does suit the shape of the orecchiette!
See how this pasta is shaped and curved into tiny little misshapen bowls that resembles the ear. Well interestingly this pasta has a secret behind its curves!
The Orecchiette pasta curves allow it to catch any small ingredient that it is mixed with such as peas and tiny carrots or even bean sprouts.
They are best suited with cream sauces and spring vegetables; the orecchiette pasta dishes are more on the light side with a sprinkle of healthiness!
Conchiglie (Pronounced- con-keel-yay)
Witness a part of the ocean in a bowl! Get a taste of the salty ocean with the Conchiglie pasta! Shell shaped pastas that come in all sorts of sizes but still has the touch of the ocean to it.
As they say the ocean has a mystery to it well you can definitely discover it with this pasta!
As you delightfully dig into a bowl of conchiglie pasta you will see how the sauces entangle in the shell-shaped center and burst open with flavors, oozing with either thick cheese or a tomato-based sauce…. Wow Bellissimo!
Pasta pasta pasta! Didn’t think there would be such a big secret behind simple pasta shapes did you?
From different shapes to flavors Italians really do know how to make a mark in the history of food and flavours!
Now that you know your pasta facts, go on flaunt yourself.
Share this with your friends and family and check out how big of a pasta-fanatic they are! I bet you they won’t know the secrets that you just read!
We hope you Pastamaniacs enjoyed reading these facts!
Because you should either be slurping away some delicious pasta at our restaurant down at Duplication road or reading our blog and growing your love for Italiano’s loved dishes!!