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51 Types / Shapes Of Italian & German Pasta: From The Classics To The More Obscure

If you’re a fan of Italian pasta, chances are you’ve tried most, if not all, of the classics. But have you ever ventured outside your comfort zone to try some of the more obscure shapes? From conchiglie to cavatelli, there’s a world of unexplored pasta varieties just waiting to be discovered. So put on your explorer’s hat and let’s get started!

Ziti

Ziti pasta is a type of Italian pasta made from durum wheat semolina. It is a tubular pasta that is usually about 15-18 cm long and 2.5 cm in diameter. Ziti is most often served with meat or tomato sauce.

Mezzelune

Mezzelune pasta is a type of pasta that is cut into half-moons. It is often stuffed with a variety of fillings, such as cheese, vegetables, or meat.

Ravioli

Ravioli pasta is a type of pasta that is made from flour, water and eggs. It is a filled pasta that is usually stuffed with a meat or cheese filling. The pasta dough is cut into circles and the circles are then filled with the desired filling. The filled circles are then sealed together to form individual ravioli.

Ditalini

Ditalini pasta is a small, tubular pasta that is perfect for soups and stews. It’s also great in casseroles or as a side dish.

This pasta is made from semolina flour and water. It has a slightly chewy texture and a slightly sweet flavor. Ditalini pasta is usually cooked al dente, which means it still has a slight bite to it.

Trofie

Trofie pasta is a type of Italian pasta that is traditionally made from whole wheat flour. The name comes from the Italian word for “twisted,” which refers to the shape of the pasta. Trofie pasta is typically boiled and then served with a variety of sauces, including pesto sauce or tomato sauce.

Pizzoccheri

Pizzoccheri pasta is a type of pasta made with buckwheat flour, wheat flour, and potatoes. The dough is mixed with spinach, green beans, and melted butter, then formed into long tubes that are cut into short pieces. The pasta is boiled in salted water until it’s cooked through, then it’s served with melted butter and grated cheese on top.

Capellini

Capellini pasta is a very thin, long pasta that is perfect for soups or salads. It’s made from wheat flour and water, and has a delicate flavor and texture.

Capellini is a great choice for people who are looking for a low-carbohydrate option, as it contains only 3 grams of carbohydrates per serving. It’s also gluten-free, making it a good choice for people who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease.

Penne

Penne pasta is one of the most popular types of pasta in Italy and around the world. Penne is a type of tube-shaped pasta that is traditionally made from durum wheat flour. Traditionally, penne pasta is cooked al dente, which means that it is slightly firm to the bite.

Penne pasta can be paired with a variety of sauces, including tomato sauce, pesto sauce, and cream sauce. Penne is also often used in baked pasta dishes, such as lasagna or baked ziti.

Cappelletti

Pasta lovers rejoice – there’s a new type of noodle in town, and it’s called Cappelletti! This delicious variety hails from Italy, and is made from Durum wheat semolina flour. The dough is then formed into little “hats” or “capellini”, hence the name Cappelletti.

But what really sets this pasta apart is its versatility. Cappelletti can be enjoyed in soup, as a main course, or even as part of a pasta salad. And because it comes in different sizes (depending on how you want to serve it), it’s truly the perfect noodle for any occasion.

Maultasche

Maultasche pasta is a German dish made from pasta dough filled with ground meat, spinach, bread crumbs, and spices. It’s usually boiled in water or broth and served with a sauce or gravy.

Some people say that Maultasche pasta tastes similar to ravioli, but others say that it has a distinct taste all its own. Regardless, it’s definitely a tasty dish that’s worth trying if you have the opportunity!

Rotini

Rotini pasta is a type of pasta that is twisted into a spiral shape. It is often used in salads or as a side dish.

Mafaldine

Mafaldine pasta, also called Lasagnette, is a type of flat, wide noodle. It is a traditional dish from the Apulia region in southern Italy. The pasta is made with durum wheat semolina and water. Mafalda means “wide” in Italian, referring to the noodle’s wide shape.

The origins of Mafaldine are uncertain. One theory suggests that it was created in the 16th century by a chef who worked for Caterina de’ Medici, wife of King Henry II of France. The noodles were likely named after Princess Maddalena Montefeltro degli Strozzi di Urbino, who was known for her long hair.

Orecchiette

Orecchiette pasta is a type of pasta made from flour, water and salt. It is typically small, about the size of an olive, and has a scallop-like shape. Orecchiette pasta is most commonly found in Italy, where it is often paired with pesto or ragu sauces.

Pappardelle

Pappardelle pasta is a wide, flat noodle that’s perfect for capturing thick sauces. The name comes from the Italian word “pappare”, which means to gobble up. So think big, hearty sauces with lots of flavor and texture.

This type of pasta is usually made from flour, water and eggs. It can be dried or fresh, but it’s most commonly found in the dried form. Dried pappardelle pasta needs to be cooked for about 10 minutes before serving, while fresh pappardelle will take only about 2-3 minutes to cook.

Spaghetti alla chitarra

Spaghetti alla chitarra pasta is a type of pasta made with a guitar-like instrument called a chitarra. The pasta is made by cutting sheets of dough into thin strands using the wire strings of the chitarra. The resulting spaghetti is said to have an interesting texture that differs from other types of spaghetti.

Pici

Pici pasta is a type of pasta that is made from flour, water and salt. It is a thick spaghetti-like pasta.

Pici are ideal for heavier sauces, like those with beef or pork ragu. They also work well with pesto or garlic and oil. Because they are thicker than other types of pasta, they can hold more sauce and flavor. Pici can be found at most Italian specialty stores.

Mostaccioli

Mostaccioli is a type of pasta that is tubular in shape and has a ridged surface. It is usually made from semolina flour and water, but can also be made from other types of flour.

Orzo

Orzo pasta is a delicious and versatile pasta that can be used in a variety of recipes. It is made from semolina flour and water, and is a popular choice for pasta dishes because it is easy to cook and has a light, fluffy texture. Orzo can be found in most grocery stores, and can be used in soups, salads, main dishes, or as a side dish.

Farfalle

Farfalle pasta is a type of Italian noodle that is made from durum wheat flour and water. The dough is then extruded through metal dies that shape it into small bowtie-shaped noodles. Farfalle pasta is traditionally used in dishes such as pesto alla genovese, pancetta e piselli, and broccoli rabe e salsiccia.

Cavatappi

Cavatappi pasta is a type of pasta that is shaped like a corkscrew. It is perfect for dishes with creamy sauces, such as alfredo or carbonara.

Cavatelli

Cavatelli pasta is a fresh, handmade pasta made from durum wheat flour and water. The dough is typically rolled into small balls, then either pressed by hand or rolled with a rolling pin to create the distinctive shell shape. Cavatelli is traditionally cooked in broth or with vegetables and can be made ahead of time and frozen for later use.

Tortellini

Tortellini is a type of pasta made from flour, water and eggs. It is formed into a small ring shape and usually filled with a meat or cheese filling.

Cannelloni

Cannelloni pasta is a type of Italian pasta that is made from a thin sheet of dough that is rolled up and filled with a variety of different ingredients. The most common fillings are ricotta cheese, spinach, and meat. Cannelloni can be served either as a main course or as a side dish.

Cannelloni pasta originated in the Italian city of Florence. The word “cannelloni” means “large tubes” in Italian. The dish was created by accident when a chef at a local restaurant rolled up some leftover lasagna dough to make tiramisu.

Manicotti

Manicotti is a type of pasta made from flour, water and eggs. The dough is rolled out into thin sheets and then cut into large, square-shaped pieces. These pieces are then filled with a creamy mixture made from cheeses, herbs and spices. The filled pasta is then folded into tubes or cylinders and placed in boiling water. Once cooked, the manicotti are usually served with a tomato-based sauce.

Spaghetti

Spaghetti pasta is a type of pasta that is long and thin. It is typically made from wheat flour and water, and it can be boiled in water or cooked in a sauce. Spaghetti pasta is often served with a tomato-based sauce, but it can also be served with other types of sauces.

Strozzapreti

Strozzapreti pasta is a type of pasta that is twisted around itself to look like a string. It is a fresh pasta and is made from flour, water and eggs.

The name of this type of pasta means “priest strangler” in Italian, and there are several different stories as to why it has this name. One story says that it was given this name because the priest’s throat would be strangled when they ate too much of it. Another story says that the name comes from the way the priests would steal food from the people.

Fregula

Fregula pasta is a type of pasta made from semolina flour. Semolina flour is a type of wheat flour that is used to make pasta, bread, and other Italian-style dishes.

Fregula pasta is similar to couscous in texture and appearance, but it has a chewier consistency than couscous. Fregula pasta is also less dense than couscous, so it absorbs more flavors from sauces and seasonings.

Tortelloni

Tortelloni is a type of pasta made from flour, water and eggs. It is formed into a large, thin circle which is then filled with a mixture of meats, cheeses and vegetables. The tortelloni is then boiled and served with a sauce.

Fettuccine

Fettuccine is a type of pasta that is made from flour, water and eggs. It is a long, thin noodle that is typically tossed with a creamy sauce. Some popular variations of the fettuccine include alfredo and carbonara.

Paccheri

Paccheri pasta is a type of pasta that is tubular in shape and has ridges on the sides. It is often filled with cheese or ragu sauce.

Paccheri pasta originated in Naples, Italy. It gets its name from the Italian word pacchere, which means bag. The ridges on the sides of the pasta are said to resemble a bag’s pleats.

Tagliolini

Tagliolini pasta is a type of pasta that is thin and long. It is often served with butter or olive oil and parmesan cheese.

Campanelle

Campanelle pasta, also known as “Trumpet Shells”, is a type of pasta that is shaped like a cone and has ridges on the sides. It is usually made from wheat flour, water, and eggs.

Campanelle pasta is a popular choice for dishes such as pasta salads because its shape allows it to hold more sauce or dressing than other types of pasta. It also has a pleasantly chewy texture that some people find especially enjoyable.

Calamarata

Calamarata pasta is a type of pasta that is shaped like a large comma. It is made from durum wheat flour and water.

Calamarata pasta can be used in a variety of dishes, but it is especially well-suited for dishes with a seafood sauce or with a sauce that contains tomatoes. Some people also enjoy using calamarata pasta as an appetizer by cooking it and then serving it with a simple garlic and olive oil sauce.

Bigoli

Bigoli pasta is a type of pasta made from flour and water only, without eggs. It is a thick spaghetti-like pasta that is popular in the Veneto region of Italy.

Gemelli

Gemelli pasta is a type of pasta made from two twisted strands of dough. It is similar to fusilli, but the strands are twisted around each other instead of spiraled.

This type of pasta is great for dishes like carbonara or bolognese, where you want the sauce to cling to the pasta. Gemelli can also be used in salads or with pesto.

Tagliatelle

Tagliatelle is a type of pasta made from flour and eggs. It is similar to fettuccine, but has a slightly wider shape. Tagliatelle is often served with rich meat sauces or with vegetables.

Scialatelli

Scialatelli pasta is a type of pasta that is made from wheat flour, water and eggs. It is a very thin, long and twisted pasta that is often served with a light tomato or pesto sauce.

Fusilli

Fusilli is a type of pasta that is made from spiraled pieces of dough. It is a popular choice for both salads and main dishes. The distinctive shape of this pasta makes it perfect for holding onto sauces and flavors. Fusilli is also a great option for those who are looking for a gluten-free variety of pasta, as it is made with rice flour instead of wheat flour.

Vermicelli

Vermicelli pasta is a type of pasta that is made from semolina flour. It is thin and noodles typically range in width from 2-3 mm. The word “vermicelli” means “little worms” in Italian, which describes the noodle’s shape. This type of pasta can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, salads, casseroles, and more. Because they are so thin, vermicelli noodles cook quickly and only need to be boiled for a few minutes before being used in your recipe.

Rigatoni

Rigatoni pasta is a type of pasta that is tube-shaped and has ridges on the sides. It is usually served with tomato sauce or meat sauce.

Linguine

Linguine is a type of pasta that is long and thin. It is made from flour, water and eggs. Linguine is a popular choice for seafood dishes because its shape allows it to capture the flavors of the sauce well.

Israeli couscous

Israeli couscous pasta is a type of pasta made from wheat flour. It is small in size, about the size of a grain of sand, and has a slightly chewy texture.

Israeli couscous pasta is most commonly boiled in water or broth, then served with a variety of sauces or toppings. Some popular combinations include pesto sauce, ragout sauce, or simply olive oil and herbs. It can also be baked into casseroles or salads.

Bucatini

Bucatini is a type of pasta that is made from flour, water and eggs. It is cylindrical in shape and has a hole running through the center. Bucatini is often served with sauces that contain cheese or meat.

Conchiglie

Conchiglie pasta is a type of Italian pasta made from durum wheat flour and water. The dough is extruded through a die with a shell-shaped opening, hence its English name, “conchigliette” meaning “little shells”. This type of pasta is traditionally used in dishes like macaroni salad, pasta salads, or casseroles.

Agnolotti

Agnolotti pasta is a type of pasta made from flour, water and eggs. It is typically filled with either a meat or cheese filling. Agnolotti pasta can be boiled, but it is also popularly served as a dish filled with a sauce, such as Alfredo sauce.

Agnolotti pasta takes its name from the Lombard word agnulòt, which means “little monk”. Agnolotti are thought to have been named after monks because of their round shape, which resembles the shape of a hooded robe worn by monks.

Garganelli

Garganelli pasta is a type of pasta that is made from flour, water and eggs. It is a tube-shaped pasta that has ridges on the sides. It is typically served with a meat or tomato sauce.

Macaroni

Macaroni pasta is a type of noodle pasta made from durum wheat semolina. It is named after the Italian city of Macerata in Marche, where it was first made. The theBest thing about Macaroni pasta is that it is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. Whether you are looking for a hearty main course or a simple side dish, macaroni pasta has you covered.

One of the most popular ways to enjoy macaroni pasta is in a dish known as mac and cheese. This classic comfort food consists of macaroni noodles tossed in a cheesy sauce.

Lasagne

Pasta is a staple in many Italian households and is enjoyed by people all over the world. Lasagne pasta is a type of noodle that is make from flat, wide sheets of dough. The dough is usually made from semolina flour and egg whites, and can be cut into different shapes and sizes.

Lasagne noodles are traditionally used in the dish known as lasagna, which typically consists of layering the noodles with meat or vegetables and a cheese sauce. However, lasagne noodles can also be used in other recipes such as baked macaroni and cheese or even stirred into soups or stews.

Casarecce

Casarecce pasta is a type of Italian pasta that is made from flour, water and eggs. It is a short, twisted pasta that is similar in shape to a bow tie. Casarecce pasta is typically served with a light tomato sauce or with olive oil and garlic.

Spätzle

Spätzle pasta is a type of German pasta made from flour, water, and eggs. It is a thick pasta that is often served with sauce or cheese.

Pasta FAQs

How many types of pasta are there?

There are countless types of pasta, but all of them can be broken down into two main categories: fresh and dry. Fresh pasta is made with flour, water, and eggs. It’s usually rolled out and cut into different shapes before being cooked. Dry pasta is made with semolina flour, water, and a little oil. It’s extruded through dies to create different shapes and sizes.

There are endless variations of both fresh and dry pasta, but some of the most popular types include spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, lasagna noodles, elbow macaroni, penne pasta, and tortellini.

What are the categories of pasta?

Answer: While there are endless types of pasta, many can be classified into a few categories. The most common include:

  • Fresh pasta: This is made from flour, water and eggs. It has a short shelf life and is usually served fresh.
  • Dried pasta: This is the most common type of pasta and has a long shelf life. It’s made from semolina flour, water and eggs.
  • Filled pasta: This includes ravioli, tortellini and dumplings. They’re filled with various ingredients like cheese, meat or vegetables.
  • Textured pasta: This includes shapes like tubes, twists or shells. They’re often made with a variety of flours including rice, corn and wheat.

How do you properly cook pasta?

First, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the desired amount of pasta to the pot, stir occasionally, and cook according to the package directions.

When the pasta is cooked al dente (which means “to the tooth” in Italian), use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove it from the boiling water and place it directly into your saucepan or serving bowl. Do not rinse the pasta with cold water; this will remove the starch that helps your sauce stick to it. Plus, rinsing your pasta will wash away all of those valuable nutrients!

How long do you boil dry pasta?

It depends on the shape of the pasta. For example, elbow macaroni only needs to boil for about 7 minutes, while lasagna noodles need to boil for about 12 minutes.

How do you know when pasta is done?

The best way to determine whether pasta is cooked through is to take a piece of it and cut it in half. If the center is opaque, then the pasta is done. If the center is still translucent, then the pasta needs more time to cook.

Takeaway

With all of the different shapes and types of pasta, it’s hard to know where to start. If you’re looking for a classic Italian meal, try spaghetti or fettuccine. But if you want to branch out and explore some of the more obscure pasta varieties, Italy has you covered. So get ready to expand your culinary horizons with this roundup of 51 different types of Italian and German pasta. Buon appetito!