Mangia! Your Guide to Pasta Shapes & Sizes

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  1. Campanelle – Literally meaning “bellflowers,” campanelle sports a very unique shape that’s great at capturing thick, creamy, or meaty sauces.
  2. Rotini – Rotini’s twisted shape holds bits of meat, vegetables and cheese, so it works well with any sauce, or you can use it to add a fun dimension to pasta salads.
  3. Orzo – Often mistaken for rice, orzo adds hardiness to soups and salads, or  mixed with asparagus, lemon zest, and crumbled feta.
  4. Conchiglie (SHELLS) – Shells work in a variety of settings, depending on their size. If your shells are large enough, you can stuff and bake them, while medium-sized shells work well in casseroles and with meat sauces. Reserve the smallest shells for adding to soups and stews.
  5. Cavatappi – The tight spiral locks-in the flavor, making it the perfect shape to pair with both simple and sophisticated sauces. Also, it’s great when used in pasta salads.
  6. Fusilli – This long, spiraled shape can be topped with any sauce, broken in half and added to soups, or turned into a salad. Fusilli also bakes well in casseroles.
  7. Penne – This tube-shaped pasta is about two inches long and cut diagonally at both ends, making it a perfect bed for most sauces and toppings.
  8. Angel Hair – Angel hair is the thinnest type of pasta, made of long, very fine strands that cook quickly. Use delicate sauces with this narrow noodle or simply cook it with butter and oil.
  9. Spaghetti – Known as America’s favorite shape, Spaghetti is the perfect choice for nearly any sauce or pasta dish because of it’s long, thin noodle strands.
  10. Bucatini – Like spaghetti, but hollow, these unusual noodles taste great in casseroles, your favorite stir-fry recipe, or stewed in a broth with fresh tomatoes.
  11. Pappardelle – A wide egg noodle with Tuscan origins, pappardelle is often served with hearty meat sauces.
  12. Radiatori – This ruffled, ridged shape resembles a radiator and adds elegance to any sauce. It also works well baked in casseroles, or used in salads and soups.
  13. Farfalle – Also called bow tie pasta for its shape, farfalle (the Italian word for butterfly) makes a great cold pasta salad, and can also dress up a warm bowl of meat and veggies.
  14. Casarecce – Casarecce pasta is a very narrow, twisted and rolled tube. It is best used when served with chunky sauce.
  15. Sedanini – Because of its thin, curved tubular shape, Sedanini works very nicely with meat sauces, but is also a fine choice for baked pasta dishes.
  16. Rigatoni – Rotini’s twisted shape holds bits of meat, vegetables, and cheese, so it works well with any sauce, or use it to add a fun dimension to pasta salads.
  17. Fettuccine – This thick ribbon-like pasta is often paired with thick meat-based sauces. But, it’s most famously known for being used with alfredo sauce.
  18. Tortiglioni – Tortiglioni is narrow, tubular pasta. This shape is commonly used to add decoration to salads or paired with a simple sauce.

Sources: pastafits.org, thedish.plated.com

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