What Are the Different Shapes and Types of Pasta?


Quick Answer

There are approximately 350 different shapes and types of pasta; examples include fuscili, linguine, ziti and pappardelle. While mostly made from semolina flour, pasta can be made from rice, corn and quinoa as well.

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What Are the Different Shapes and Types of Pasta?
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Full Answer

Fuscilli is a corkscrew-shaped pasta. The name may come from the Italian word "fuso," which means spun. Other similarly spiraled or twisted pastas include fusilli bucati, gemelli and cavatappi.

Ribbon pasta is rolled out and flattened before it is cut, either by hand or mechanically. Linguine is a ribbon-cut, flattened spaghetti and means "little tongues" in Italian. Some other ribbon cuts include pappardelle and lasagna.

Rigatoni is a tube-shaped pasta, often with ridges and a square cut. Ziti is a tube-shaped pasta similar to rigatoni, except it is slightly smaller. The word ziti means "bridegrooms" in Italian.

Some other interesting pasta shapes include fiori, which is shaped like a flower, and orecchiette, which is bowl shaped. Farfalle is often called bow-tie pasta, as that is its shape. In Italy, it is known as "butterflies."

One pasta that is irregularly-shaped is gnocchi. Gnocchi is made like a dumpling, so handmade gnocchi varies widely in shape and size. Gnocchi is sometimes stuffed with ingredients, as are tortellini and larger shells.

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