╗ Pasta
 ╗ Pasta History
 ╗ How to eat Spaghetti?
 ╗ How to cook pasta?
 ╗ Essential recipes
 ╗ Regular Recipes
 ╗ Pasta varieties
 ╗ Fascinating Facts
 ╗ Info - Did You Know?
 ╗ Herbs Dictionary
 ╗ Pasta photos
 ╗ Pasta Links
 ╗ Homepage
Pasta Manual recommends:
 ╗ Buy Pasta Products
 ╗ Buy Pasta Books
Join Pasta Manual Newsletter
Please enter your Email:

Pasta varieties

Shaped Pasta

Image Type



Campanelle is a type of pasta which is shaped like a small bell or flower. (Campanelle is Italian for little bell.) It is also sometimes referred to as gigli or riccioli. It is intended to be served with a thick sauce, or in a casserole.



This pasta is rolled up from both sides like a tiny version of an ancient scroll.  A variety of pasta that is shaped like a very narrow twisted and rolled tube. If it is turned on end it looks like an "S" and is typically made into lengths of 5 cm. It is best used when serving a meat sauce and can be baked in a casserole or served with rag˙. Cavatelli, farfalle, fusilli, and gigli pasta may be substituted for this pasta. It may also be referred to as Cesariccia or Casarecce.It's perfect in any dish that calls for penne.  This pasta tastes great with anything from spaghetti sauce straight out of the bottle, to the most sophisticated gourmet sauce.



Seashell shaped with rolled edges - Cavatelli is a type of pasta shaped similar to a hollowed out hot dog bun. The pasta is typically sold refrigerated



Seashell shaped


Creste di galli  

Short, curved and ruffled



Commonly known as "bow-ties" the name derives from the Italian for butterfly. Farfalle comes in several sizes, but has a distinctive bowtie shape. Usually the farfalle is formed from a square of pasta with two sides trimmed in a ruffled edge, and the center pinched together to make the unusual shape. They are sometimes ridged, known as 'Farfalle rigate'. Different colors are available; plain, tomato & spinach. These are often sold together in a mix. Suitable for most sauces, Farfalle are very well suited to cream and tomato dishes, children have a particular affinity for them.

In Modena farfalle are known as strichetti.

A larger variation of farfalle is known as Farfallone.



Shaped like a flower. Fiori Pasta
Fiori’s shape is meant to resemble a written scroll. Delicious tossed with our sweet pepper pesto and grilled chicken.



Fusilli, a helical shaped pasta, is usually about 2 centimetres long. Fusilli is almost identical to another shaped pasta called Rotini. They both have the spiral shape.



Two short stands of pasta twisted together



Shaped like radiators



Wagon wheel shaped pasta



Rotini ("Spirals" or "Twists") - Rotini's twisted shape holds bits of meat, vegetables and cheese, so it works well with any sauce, or you can use it to create fun salads, baked casseroles, or stir-fry meals.




Tubular pasta

Image Type Description

Large stuffable tubes - Cannelloni are tubes, especially of pasta, filled with a savory stuffing. In the United States, cannelloni is known as manicotti. In Italian, cannelloni literally means "big pipes" or "big reeds."
The tube is usually made of wheat flour, egg and water and is similar to pasta; and it is often stuffed with beef, cheese, vegetables, and garlic. It is served covered with sauce.
They are the favorite food of many well known people including Bill Gates and Madonna


Elbow macaroni  

Bent tubes - Elbow macaroni is a term for pasta in the shape of a small tube curved into a semicircular shape. (See also macaroni.) Its name comes from the similarity of its shape to that of a bent elbow. Elbow macaroni is commonly used in macaroni and cheese and other dishes.
Elbow Macaroni is produced by extruding dough through a circular die with a pin or disk in the center that forms the tunnel. The geometry of the die forces more dough through one side of the circle than the other, forming the characteristic curve. The images show front and rear views of an elbow macaroni die which extrudes five pieces at once. In this die, more dough is directed to the outside of the circles than the inside, and the extruded macaroni curls inward.





Any narrow tube pasta - Macaroni is typically machine-made dry commercial pasta, used in contrast to fresh pasta made at home or in small local businesses. Macaroni technically must not contain eggs. Although usually commercially made, some more advanced home machines do allow for the fresh creation of macaroni pasta noodles.
Macaroni is a corruption of the Italian word maccherone and its plural maccheroni. Its etymology is debatable. Some scholars think it's related to Greek makaria, a kind of barley broth. Others think it comes from Italian maccare, "to bruise or crush" (referring to the crushing of the wheat to make the pasta), which comes, in turn, from Latin macerare.
Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing the first macaroni machine in the United States, in 1789, when he returned home after serving as ambassador to France. He said that Daniel Paese taught him all he learned about this machine. The word macaroni was already familiar in the U.S. at that time, having appeared in the previous decade in the lyrics of the popular song "Yankee Doodle", in which the titular character "stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni"; this usage had to do with the Macaroni fashion.
In English-speaking countries, the name macaroni is customarily given to a specific shape of pasta: small pasta tubes cut into short pieces. In the United States macaroni is also sometimes labelled as elbow macaroni, or more simply elbows, due to the slight bend in the shape of the pasta noodle. In the U.S. and the United Kingdom, this pasta is often prepared by baking it with a sauce made from cheddar cheese; the resulting dish is called macaroni and cheese (often shortened to macaroni cheese in Britain). In some parts of the U.S., a more narrow type of macaroni is sold as elbow spaghetti.
Among some Italian-Americans (particularly in New York City, Philadelphia, and New Jersey), macaroni is used as a generic term for any type of pasta. Such usage, however, is not technically accurate.





Medium length tubes with diagonally cut ends - Penne are a type of pasta originating in Italy. They have a cylindrical shape. The ends are almost always cut diagonally. Penne is designed to be eaten with a meat sauce.The name comes from that and is derived from penna, which is Latin for "feather" or Quill.





Rigatoni is a form of tube-shaped pasta. It is larger than penne and ziti. Rigatoni is usually ridged and the tube's end does not terminate at an angle, like penne's does.

Rigatoni can be coupled with many different sauces, from creamy to chunky. Consequently, rigatoni is a popular choice for restaurants which choose to stock only one tube-shaped pasta noodle. The tube may be stuffed with cheese or other soft foods.





Ziti are macaroni tubes sized smaller than rigatoni but larger than mezzani. The addition of the word Rigati (eg ziti rigati) denotes lines or ridges on the pasta's surface.

Ziti receives its name from the Italian language, where it means "bridegrooms". Although the common form of ziti is about 2 inches in length, the name makes more sense when considering the original, classic form of ziti - over 18 inches long.




Strand noodles

Image Type Description Translation
Angel Hair  

Thicker than capellini



Even thinner than angel hair; thinnest spaghetti—like noodle


From capelli, meaning hair

Very thick, found in Tuscany



Long, round, and thin. Thicker than spaghettini - Spaghetti is a long, thin form of pasta. It is versatile, popular, and available throughout the Western world.
Spaghetti is the plural form of the Italian word spaghetto, which is a diminutive of "spago," meaning "thin string" or "twine". The word "spaghetti" can be literally translated as "little strings." According to some, it is an uncountable noun in English. Uncountable nouns have no plural form.
While legend has it that Marco Polo brought the recipe for spaghetti back from China, prior evidence showed that pasta has been made in Italy at least since the 4th century BC.



From Spago, meaning string


Thinner or thicker (in Italy) than spaghetti - Vermicelli (Italian, literally, 'little worms') is a type of pasta, round in section and somewhat thinner than spaghetti.
In 14th-century Italy, extra-fine spaghetti had varying local names. The first mention of a vermicelli recipe is in the book De arte Coquinaria per vermicelli e maccaroni siciliani (The Art of Cooking Sicilian Macaroni and Vermicelli), compiled by the famous Maestro Martino da Como, unequalled in his field at the time and perhaps the first celebrity chef, who was the chef at the Roman palazzo of the papal chamberlain ("camerlengo"), the Patriarch of Aquileia. In Martino's Libro de arte coquinaria, there are several recipes for vermicelli, which can last two or three years (doi o tre anni) when dried in the sun.
Vermicelli is known as shemai in Bengali and seviyan in Hindi and Urdu. The noodles are used in a number of dishes, including a dessert of fried vermicelli in sweet boiled milk. Vermicelli is used in many parts of India to make a popular dish "Uppuma". The preperation method is simple: Boiling the dry oil roasted vermicelli with choice of vegetables, till it becomes a pasta.
The term rice vermicelli is often used to describe the thin, transparent rice noodles popular in China, also known as bee hoon in Hokkien, mai fun in Cantonese, and Bun in Vietnamese. The fideo is a type of noodle, popular in Mexican cuisine, often referred to in English as "vermicelli."



From vermi, meaning worms


Ribbon pasta noodles

Image Type Description


Ribbon of pasta approximately one centimeter wide. Fettuccine (literally "little ribbons" in Italian) is a type of pasta. It is a very flat, thick, noodle made of egg and flour. Although it can be purchased dried, the finest fettuccine noodles are produced fresh, from scratch, by pressing dough through a pasta maker. Fettuccine is often served with Alfredo sauce.





Lasagna, also lasagne, is both a form of pasta in sheets (often rippled in North America and other countries, though seldom so in Italy) and also a dish, sometimes named Lasagne al forno (meaning "Lasagne in the oven") made with alternate layers of pasta, cheese, and rag¨ (a meat sauce).
The word "lasagna" is derived from the Greek word "lasanon" meaning chamber pot. The word was later borrowed by the Romans as "lasanum" to mean cooking pot. The Italians then used the word to refer to the dish in which what is now known as lasagna is made. The word lasagna or lasagne (plural) now simply applies to the dish itself. The British (and Italians) generally use the plural "lasagne" to mean both the dish and the pasta while the Americans commonly use the singular "lasagna".
Many recipes call for several kinds of cheese, most often ricotta and parmesan. The classic Lasagne alla Bolognese uses only Parmigiano Reggiano. Many recipes also add bechamel sauce (besciamella).
A variant is Lasagne verdi (green lasagne) which is the normal egg pasta with spinach added.




Narrower version of lasagna


Flattened spaghetti - The name means "little tongues" in the Italian language.



Tagliatelle is the classic pasta of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Individually, they are long, flat ribbons, similar in shape to fettuccine, but typically about .75 in / 2 cm wide. They can be served with a variety of sauces, though the classic is a meat sauce or Bolognese sauce.
Tagliatelle are an expression of the art of hand-made pasta, because the secret in achieving cooking perfection lies in the ability to roll the pasta evenly, without holes or cuts or difference in thickness.
Legend has it that during the Italian Renaissance, in the year 1487, a talented court chef, inspired by Lucrezia D'Este's hairdo, on the occasion of her marriage to Annibale Bentivoglio, son of Giovanni II, Lord of Bologna created tagliatelle. The recipe was of tagliolini di pasta e sugo, alla maniera di Zafiran (tagliolini of pasta and sauce in the manner of Zafiran) and it was served on silver plates. Over the years, tagliatelle has acquired a much less sophisticated tradition, as tradition wills it to be eaten by simple folk.
Since tagliatelle are generally made as fresh pasta, the texture is porous and rough, making it ideal for thick sauces such as rag¨, generally made with beef, veal, or pork, and occasionally with rabbit, as well as several other less rich (and more vegetarian) options; such as briciole e noci (with breadcrumbs and nuts), uovo e formaggio (with eggs and cheese - a less rich carbonara), or simply pomodoro e basilico (with tomatoes and basil).



Micro pasta

Image Type Description Translation


Refers to pasta that is shaped like tiny letters. They are most often used in soups and are very popular with children




Bead-like pasta from Sardinia








Stuffed pasta

Image Type Description
Ravioli Ravioli is a popular type of pasta, comprised of a filling, commonly though not always meat based, sealed between two layers of pasta dough. Ravioli are commonly rectangular or circular in shape.

A common vegetarian option includes ricotta cheese and vegetables such as spinach or nettles in place of meat. The filling could be also potatoes, squash or even tofu. Though often topped with a red, tomato based sauce, the sauces are as varied as the fillings. Pesto, broth based and cream based sauces are also common.

The word ravioli derives from ravvolgere, the verb meaning "to wrap." Stuffed pasta was probably introduced in the Medieval period in Europe. Pasta was stuffed with meat, fish and vegetables, and could include a creamy cheese like ricotta. Tomato sauce would not have been used, since tomatoes were not introduced in Europe until the 15th century.

In Italy, most regions have their own versions of ravioli, and some of the earliest mentions of the dish come from the personal letters of Francisco di Marco, a merchant of Prato in the 14th century.

Today one can find packed refrigerated or frozen ravioli across the world, especially where Italian communities have a certain relief. Ravioli are made in special industrial lines supplied, all over the world, by Italian companies such as Arienti & Cattaneo, Ima, Ostoni, Zamboni, etc.; "fresh" packed ravioli have usually seven weeks of shelf-life.

In Lebanon and Palestine, this dish is called Shish Barak(Shishbarak), the same pasta filled with minced beef meat and cooked in hot yogurt.

Other cultures have parallels to ravioli. The Chinese jiaozi, the Russian pelmeni, the Tibetan momo and Jewish kreplachs are a few examples.


Tortellini is a ring-shaped pasta; they are typically stuffed with a mix of meat (pork loin, prosciutto crudo, mortadella) and parmesan cheese, although other stuffings are popular in the Po Valley. Originally from the Italian region of Emilia (in particular Bologna and Modena), they are usually served in broth, with cream, or with a rag¨ or similar sauce. Traditionally, the most serious restaurant in Bologna as well "La Confraternita del Tortellino" agree that the only real Tortellino is served only in home made broth. Tortellino with cream is widely accepted in Bologna but criticized by some. Tortellino with rag¨, although it can be found, is considered by the vast majority of Bolognesi to be non-authentic.

Irregular Shapes

Image Type Description


German egg pasta that is either round in shape from being squeezed through a press, often reminding people of worms because of their soft consistency, or completely irregular, when hand made (without a press).





Gnocchi is the Italian word for dumplings; in Italian, gnocchi is the plural of gnocco, which literally means "lump". They can be made of potato, semolina (durum wheat), flour, or ricotta cheese (with or without spinach). One variety, gnocchi di pane, popular in the Friuli and Trentino-South Tyrol regions, is made from bread crumbs. Although the dish is Italian, the word comes from a Germanic word for a knot (as in wood), possibly because of its short, squat shape.
Gnocchi are often listed among pasta dishes, although gnocchi has different ingredients and mode of preparation. They cook faster than normal pasta and can fall apart if overcooked.
Gnocchi can be purchased dried, or fresh in vacuum sealed packages. The fresh ones are generally considered to be superior. Most people buy their gnocchi premade, which are cooked just like fresh gnocchi. The classic accompaniments of gnocchi are a tomato sauce, a brown butter and sage sauce or melted butter and cheese.
In the Tuscan area of Italy, spinach-and-ricotta-flavored gnocchi are called strozzapreti, or priest-stranglers. According to popular local legend, a priest choked and died after eating too quickly, because the gnocchi were so delicious.
In Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, countries where Italian cuisine is especially popular, gnocchi (known as ˝oquis and nhoque, respectively) are traditionally eaten on the 29th day of each month. This was the day before payday, when people were at their poorest. Gnocchi made a cheap and hearty meal. On these occasions, some people leave a banknote under the plate to attract prosperity. Now in Argentine communities outside the country, Argentines gather each month for "˝oquis del 29".



Cool Pasta Pics
View Photo View Photo View Photo

ę 2006-2007 PastaManual.com - All Rights Reserved. Developed by
Pasta, Pasta site, Pasta mania, Recipes, Pasta varieties, Lasagna, Cannelloni, Pasta Recipes, Pasta history, Pasta facts, pics, photos, PastaManual.com, Macaroni, Campanelle, Rotini, Rigatoni, Ziti  hamsters, bonsais, discus, Recipes, Food Manual, Pasta, Pizza, Desserts, Drinks, 1VS1.name, poker, sms, dvd, pixel script , 4