Pasta shapes



You are about to experience the most extensive collection of pasta shapes along with images and descriptions on the web today! This collection of pasta pictures are actual images that I've been collecting, and continue to collect, of all the different types of pasta I've come across in my culinary travels. Everywhere I go I am always on the look out for more shapes of pasta to add to my collection and to eat of course.

The shape of pasta you choose for your Italian pasta recipe is not only important to the success of your pasta recipe but to Italians it is a very big part of their cooking tradition. For instance, trofie pasta is typically served with a basil pesto sauce. Serving a pasta punttanesca with anything but a spaghetti pasta is considered a crime and a sausage and broccoli rabe is always served with orechetti.

Pasta shapes are also a creative way of livening up your pasta dishes as well as adding texture and flavor. Think of all the beautiful shapes you can use to brighten up your pasta salads and Italian soups.

The list of possibilities are endless and so are my tastebuds as I eat my way through each shape of pasta and up to the next dress size!


Ancini de Pe PeDoes it get any more familiar then the Alphabet pasta shape or Alfabeto pasta in Italian! Great for soups but you already know that.



Ancini de Pe PeThese tiny Pastas are perfectly named as Ancini De Pe Pe which means pepper corns. You would probably find these pastina in an Italian wedding soup.



Anelletti PastaAnelletti look like little rubber bands or giant letter "O's". Use these pasta shapes for Italian soup pasta recipes. I used it in my Straccciatella Soup.



Armoniche PastaArmoniche pasta resembles the armor of the gladiator and a great shape for any sauce you want to tuck into little ridges. Like a fresh pesto recipe would be perfect!



Bucatini Pasta ShapeBucatini is as long as a spaghetti but thicker and it's hollow in the center. Great with a thick or robust pasta sauce recipe.



Calamari RingsCalamari rings are the perfect replacement for Rigatoni for an Italian Meat Sauce recipe. Hold the legs!




Campanelle PastaCampanelle means little bells and these curled pasta resemble a dangling bell.




Cannolocchi pasta shapeCannolocchi is a very unusual pasta shape. It looks like short tube with a wide grooved surface. Do you know of an unusual shape? Email me and tell me about it.



Capricci Pasta ShapeCapricci pasta looks like a little accordion with all the perfect little folds for all my favorite pasta sauces. Very unique, very creative!



Cavatappi Pasta ShapeCavatappi or corkscrew pasta is one of my favorites. I just made a ham pasta salad with this pasta and it was DELICIOSO!



Cavatelli Pasta ShapeCavatelli is a hearty, thick little bite of pasta. Hearty because it's a thick rolled pasta and has the perfect pocket for sauce to tuck right in.



Cencioni Pasta ShapeCencioni pasta looks like a large orchetti pasta and could be a nice change and presentation to serve with a Pesto sauce. I can't wait to use this unique shape.



Corals Pasta ShapeCorals pasta spirals into a round hollow much like a coral reef would grow. Picture taking a ridge of lasagna and wrapping it in a circle. Now you have coral pasta.



Corzetti Pasta ShapeCorzetti are coin pasta shapes. It is usually stamped with a variety of images on the pasta itself. Great with your favorite pesto recipe.



Ditalini Pasta ShapeDitalini, little bite sized tubular pasta that is almost always used in minestrone soup and other Italian soup recipes.



Elbo Pasta ShapeElbow pasta, we all know and love this one. Although macaroni and cheese as we in America know it isn't really an Italian recipe, it's a old time favorite comfort food.



Farfelle Pasta ShapeFarfalle or butterfly pasta also know as bowtie pasta is the perfect type of pasta to use in a pasta salad recipe or serve it with a pesto sauce.



Farfellini Pasta ShapeFarfellini is an itsy bitsy farfelle. A miniature bowtie pasta that I would best recommend as a soup pasta then anything.



Fedelini Pasta ShapeFedelini is a long and thin pasta shape much like angel hair (capellini) although not as thin but just as delicious.



Fettucini Pasta ShapeFettucini everybody knows. The traditional pasta shape used for the famous Alfredo Sauce. Now that's an Italian macaroni and cheese pasta recipe!



Fideo Pasta ShapeFideo pasta are little strings. So many types of pasta to choose from when making your Italian soup recipes. Here's another one.



Fideo Pasta ShapeFiori pasta is the flower of pastas as fiori mean flower. Where do I start? Pasta salads, pasta with tomato sauce, meat sauce. You name it this is a beautiful, unique shape



Fregola Pasta ShapeFregola pasta, a Sardinian treat is said to derive from Africa and after it's randomly formed to resemble a popcorn kernel it's toasted to create a nutty flavor.



Fusilli Avellinesi Pasta ShapeFusilli avellinesi traditionally made, before pasta maker machines, with a roll or pasta wrapped around a bicycle spoke. Perfect for a fresh pesto sauce



Fusilli Bucatini Pasta ShapeFusilli bucatini is a long spiral piece of pasta that is hollow in the center just like Bucatini. It's bucatini with a twist. Make this with Mirko's famous Amatriciana Pasta!



Fusilli Paesani Pasta ShapeFusilli paesani: A twisted shape. Paesani or paesano meaning countrymen or friend. Twisted friend? Try this pasta with a Traditional Cique Terre pesto recipe.



Fusilli Pasta ShapeSpiral pasta type called fusilli and are much like the rotini pasta but has a more relaxed and looser spiral. Try them with an unusual and delicious pesto Siciliano!



Garganelli Pasta ShapeGarganelli pasta. Folded and shaped into a tubular shell that looks like a miniature cannelloni shell. It's as if you took a square of pasta and wrapped it around a pencil.



Gemelli Pasta ShapeGemelli means twins in Italian and the two shapes that wrap around each other represent two twin shaped pastas. A fun pasta for any tomato, meat or pesto sauce.



Gnocchetti Pasta ShapeGnocchetti sardi. This little fold of pasta is mirrors the gnocchi pasta but smaller. A hearty little pasta type with ridges just like it's sister potato pasta.



Gnocchi Pasta ShapeGnocchi pasta is what I used to make my pesto calabrese. Delicious! A sister to the potato pasta but this is strictly semolina.



Lasagna Pasta ShapeLasagna noodles are used to create that old time favorite baked pasta dish. Use this flat pasta to create the layers of your next eggplant lasagna.



Lasagnetti pasta shapeLasagnetti is the miniature version of the the lasagna. Although you wouldn't use it to make a mini lasagna it's a fun shape to use with your favorite pesto recipe.



Linguini Pasta ShapeLinguini is a flat pasta the length of spaghetti and is the all time famous pasta used in Linguini and clam sauce. Have it red or white.



Lumaconi Rigate Pasta ShapeLumaconi closely resemble their name sake as being the snails shell. A uniquely large pasta shape you can stuff just as easily a large pasta shell.



Mafalda pasta shapeMafalda is an extra long pasta with edges shaped like lasagna. The width is thinner then lasagna and is usually made to be very long in length.



Manicotti Pasta shapeManicotti. A giant, hollow pasta resembling penne pasta is great for stuffed and backed pasta dishes filled with a Ricotta mixture and topped with a marinara sauce.



Mezze Maniche Pasta ShapeMezze maniche (Man-e-kay) means short sleeves as in short sleeves of a shirt. Great shape for an Italian meat sauce!



Mostacciolii Pasta ShapeMostaccioli or little Mustache, much like the manicotti, resembles the penne pasta. Mostaccioli is also an Italian cookie.



Orechetti Pasta ShapeOrechetti or little ears is a hearty bite sized pasta shaped like little hats. Traditionally used in an Italian pasta recipe made with sausage and broccoli rabe.



Orzo Pasta ShapeOrzo pasta is small enough to be used in a pasta soup or in a chopped vegetable pasta salad. It resembles rice but bigger.



Paccheri Pasta ShapePaccheri is a jumbo sized rigatoni with out the ridges. Another great pasta shape to use for a bolognese sauce or other bold pasta sauce recipes.



Pantacce Pasta ShapePantacce pasta is a mini bite sized lasagna pasta shape with a diagonal cut. This wide pasta is great for any pasta sauce.



Papppardelle Pasta ShapePappardelle pasta are like a long piece of paper. A very wide, thinly cut pasta. Wider then a tagliatelle pasta. Use it with a porcini mushroom cream sauce. To Die for!



Pasta al Ceppo Pasta ShapePasta al ceppo translates into pasta on a stick. This looks like a parchment paper scroll or rolled paper. Although in the 60's we might have described it a little differently. :o)



Penne CandelaPenne candela! The long and hollow pen candle pasta. Although I haven't come up with a great Italian pasta recipe for this pasta I will keep my creative sauces simmering.



Penne MezzePenne mezzo means half pen or short pen. A medium sized version of the penne pasta shape.



PennettePennette pasta is a smaller version of a standard Penne Pasta. "ini" or "ette" is an extension of an Italian word explaining how small it is. This would be a nice little shape for an Italian pasta salad.



Perciatelli Pasta ShapePerciatelli is long pasta with a hollow center much like bucatini but not as thick. Perfect for aglio olio or garlic oil sauce, Southern Italian style with ricotta.



Rachetti Pasta ShapeRahetti is shaped like a tennis racket. This unusual type of pasta is what I would call pasta art or nouveau pasta. A fun shape for a kids meal as well as a pasta salad.



Radiatore Pasta ShapeRadiatore is meant to look like a radiator of a car. One of my favorite pasta shapes, because the Italian pasta sauce tucks away in the ridges for a full flavored bite.



Ravioli Pasta ShapeRavioli pasta is a filled pasta that comes in many shapes and sizes. You can fill them with anything from meats to cheeses and top with any pasta sauce.



Raviolini Pasta ShapeRaviolini or small ravioli is a smaller sized ravioli and can be in a square shape or round. Also filled with meats or cheeses.



Rigatoni Pasta ShapeRigatoni is a large tubular shaped pastta that is great for a hearty Italian pasta sauce recipe. Such as a bolognese or bacon and tomato sauce.



Risi Pasta ShapeRisi means rice in Italian and that is exactly how this pasta is shaped and sized to resemble. These little pasta shapes are also perfect for any Italian pasta soup recipe.



Rotelli Pasta ShapeRotelli. This type of pasta looks like a wagon wheel. A really fun and creative pasta to use for a kids meal or pasta salad.



Rotini Pasta ShapeRotini is a rotating spiral pasta much like a fusilli pasta and also the perfect shape to use with a artichoke pesto! The flavors tuck into each spiral for the perfect bite.



Sagnarelli Pasta ShapeSagnarelli pasta shapes are like little sheets of paper. Cut with a zig zag on the edges. This is a great pasta to use with a creamy sauce.



Semi di melone Pasta shapeLittle pastas called semi di melone that translate to seeds of the melon. More specifically the seeds of a cantaloupe. Great for Italian pasta soup recipes.



Large pasta shellsLarge pasta shells are typically served stuffed. Just one of the many sizes this pasta shape come in.



Medium pasta shellsMedium pasta shells are great for baked pasta dishes, slathering with a delicious sauce and even pasta salad recipes



Small pasta shellsSmall pasta shells can be used for pasta salads but they are ideal for Italian pasta soups.



Schiaffoni Pasta ShapeShiaffoni pasta is a lot like the pacchieri pasta shapes. This pasta being a little longer but just as good for say an Italian meat sauce recipe



Scialatelli Pasta ShapeScialatelli is my new favorite pasta shape. Much like a fettuccini but not as long and folded like a ribbon. I used this for my cherry tomato pasta



Sedanini Rigate Pasta ShapeSedanini pasta, a long, thin, tubular pasta with ridges. A huge success in my latest pasta salad recipe, an Asparagus pasta salad recipe with avocado and grape tomatoes.



Spaghetti Pasta ShapeSpaghetti is the all time classic long, circular strands of pasta that has been manufactured since the 13th Century. Remember the meatballs!



Spaghetti Rigate Spaghetti rigate, like it's sister pasta shape but has ridges down the length of the pasta. Rigate means ridges.



Star Pasta ShapeStar pasta or Pastina are tiny little stars shapes. A fun change of shape for your Italian soup recipe!



Strozzapreti Pasta ShapeThat's right. It's called strozzapreti or priest strangler. Definitely a pasta shape from the South of Italy. Perfect for any tomato sauce recipe or pesto recipe.



Strangoloni Pasta ShapeStrangoloni is the sister pasta to the priest strangler. This is your general strangler not exclusive to priests but to bossy Italian wives or cheating Italian husbands.



Torchetti Pasta ShapeIf strangoloni is the sister to the priest strangler Then torchetti, this pasta shape, is the brother. More twisted then his sister but perhaps more effective?.



Tortellini Pasta ShapeTortellini is stuffed pasta that comes in many sizes. Tortellini means little cakes. See more fun pasta facts in the history of pasta page.



Trenne Pasta ShapeTrenne is train in Italian and these hollow pasta's are shaped like a train track and a great shape for any unique meat pasta sauce.



Trine Pasta ShapeTrine means lace in Italian and the this pasta is it's names sake. Resembling the lacy edge of a skirt this ruffled pasta is a delightful change of shape for an Alfredo sauce pasta recipe.



Tripolini Pasta shapeTripolini resembles the mafalda shaped pasta. A strand that looks like the edges of a lasagna pasta cut from the shape.



Trofie Pasta ShapeTrophie pasta looks like little wet rags you just twisted to get the water out. Near Genova in Cinque Terre you will find this pasta served with a traditional pesto recipe.



Trottole Pasta ShapeTrottole in Italian means top, as in the toy you spill on the floor. I used this unique pasta in an avocado pasta salad.



Trumpet Pasta ShapeTrumpet pasta is not to be confused with "The Donald". Looks like the horn part of a trumpet. I would use this for a fun shape in an Italian pasta salad recipe



Tubetti Pasta shapeTubetti is appropriately named after a Tube. Cut short to use for Italian pasta soups. Also use them for cold pasta salads!



Ziti Longhi Pasta ShapeZiti Longhi is similar to bucatini pasta. It's hollow and long but the tube is larger then bucatini. Both perfect for a meat sauce.



Ziti Pasta ShapeZiti is a tubular pasta with a straight cut at either end. Anyone knows type of pasta because it's used in the very popular Italian pasta dish, baked ziti!



See a pasta shapes picture here you'd like to use? But be sure to email me for images of the pasta shapes. Getting permission is appreciated and always give credit to the hard working chef by referencing this website.

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