Does it get any more familiar then the Alphabet pasta shape or Alfabeto pasta in Italian! Great for soups but you already know that.
These 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 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 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 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 rings are the perfect replacement for Rigatoni for an Italian Meat Sauce recipe. Hold the legs!
Campanelle means little bells and these curled pasta resemble a dangling bell.
Cannolocchi 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 looks like a little accordion with all the perfect little folds for all my favorite pasta sauces. Very unique, very creative!
Cavatappi or corkscrew pasta is one of my favorites. I just made a ham pasta salad with this pasta and it was DELICIOSO!
Cavatelli 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 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 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 are coin pasta shapes. It is usually stamped with a variety of images on the pasta itself. Great with your favorite pesto recipe.
Ditalini, little bite sized tubular pasta that is almost always used in minestrone soup and other Italian soup recipes.
Elbow 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.
Farfalle 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 is an itsy bitsy farfelle. A miniature bowtie pasta that I would best recommend as a soup pasta then anything.
Fedelini is a long and thin pasta shape much like angel hair (capellini) although not as thin but just as delicious.
Fettucini everybody knows. The traditional pasta shape used for the famous Alfredo Sauce. Now that's an Italian macaroni and cheese pasta recipe!
Fideo pasta are little strings. So many types of pasta to choose from when making your Italian soup recipes. Here's another one.
Fiori 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, 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 traditionally made, before pasta maker machines, with a roll or pasta wrapped around a bicycle spoke. Perfect for a fresh pesto sauce
Fusilli 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: A twisted shape. Paesani or paesano meaning countrymen or friend. Twisted friend? Try this pasta with a Traditional Cique Terre pesto recipe.
Spiral 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. 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 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 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 is what I used to make my pesto calabrese. Delicious! A sister to the potato pasta but this is strictly semolina.
Lasagna 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 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 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 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 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. 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 (Man-e-kay) means short sleeves as in short sleeves of a shirt. Great shape for an Italian meat sauce!
Mostaccioli or little Mustache, much like the manicotti, resembles the penne pasta. Mostaccioli is also an Italian cookie.
Orechetti 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 is small enough to be used in a pasta soup or in a chopped vegetable pasta salad. It resembles rice but bigger.
Paccheri 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 is a mini bite sized lasagna pasta shape with a diagonal cut. This wide pasta is great for any pasta sauce.
Pappardelle 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 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 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 mezzo means half pen or short pen. A medium sized version of the penne pasta shape.
Pennette 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 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.
Rahetti 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 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 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 or small ravioli is a smaller sized ravioli and can be in a square shape or round. Also filled with meats or cheeses.
Rigatoni 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 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. 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 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 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.
Little 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 shells are typically served stuffed. Just one of the many sizes this pasta shape come in.
Medium pasta shells are great for baked pasta dishes, slathering with a delicious sauce and even pasta salad recipes
Shiaffoni 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 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 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 is the all time classic long, circular strands of pasta that has been manufactured since the 13th Century. Remember the meatballs!
Spaghetti rigate, like it's sister pasta shape but has ridges down the length of the pasta. Rigate means ridges.
Star pasta or Pastina are tiny little stars shapes. A fun change of shape for your Italian soup recipe!
That'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 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.
If 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 is stuffed pasta that comes in many sizes. Tortellini means little cakes. See more fun pasta facts in the history of pasta page.
Trenne 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 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 resembles the mafalda shaped pasta. A strand that looks like the edges of a lasagna pasta cut from the shape.
Trophie 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 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 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 is appropriately named after a Tube. Cut short to use for Italian pasta soups. Also use them for cold pasta salads!
Ziti 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 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!