10 Common Pasta Types and Dishes They are Used For

Who can say no to pasta? It is the ultimate comfort food, the go-to dinner special, and the all-time favorite food among all ages. Regardless of one's preferences, there is sure to be a pasta dish for everyone out there!

It is the base to hundreds of flavor combinations, with many uses and pasta shapes that work well with different recipes. It also means that there is always something new to taste and discover, whether pairing it do different sauces, ingredients, or simply following classic dishes in mind.

Read on to learn some of the most common pasta types categorized according to shapes and the best dishes to make them with!

10 Common Pasta Types and Dishes They are Used For

Long Pasta

This is the most common yet popular pasta shape that people usually find in packets at every grocery store. They are long, thin ribbons that are best cooked with creamy sauces. Below are the best dishes that go best with this pasta shape.

  1. Spaghetti

Spaghetti is one of the most popular pasta types consumed worldwide, especially for kids. It consists of long, thin cylindrical noodles usually paired with the traditional red sauce and meatballs, which people know as the classic Spaghetti Bolognese. For the health-conscious, this type of pasta also suits vegetable dishes of any sort, or simply adding garlic and olive oil.

  1. Fettuccine

Like spaghetti noodles, fettuccine is a wide and long pasta but flat and thicker, rather than thin and round. It is a popular type of pasta available in most restaurants. As it is made of long and flat strands, thin sauces go well with this, as it easily soaks the flavor.

It is also deliciously paired with creamy sauces partnered with seafood, chicken, or Alfredo sauce. Another great thing about this pasta is that you can easily make it from scratch. Once the dough is flat, cut the pasta into long ribbons, and there you have it! A fresh and beautiful fettuccine.

  1. Linguine

Linguine is similar to both spaghetti and fettuccine. It is long and narrow than spaghetti and flat like fettuccine. Its flattened and ribbon-like finish gives it weight and luxury. It works well with different types of sauces, especially cream-based or seafood. It can also be mixed with wine sauce, clams, and mussels.

Tube and Short Pasta

Tubular pasta is hollow through the center and often served with a heavy sauce. They are also popularly used in salads and casserole.

  1. Penne

Penne pasta is a round tube-like structure, usually 4-5 cm long with diagonal cuts at either end. Because of its shape, it is best served with dishes that have a thick-creamy sauce such as tomato or vegetable as it clings to the pasta and holds the sauce well.

While it is typically used for salads, it is also the best choice for baked pasta dishes as it holds up well in the oven. For ultimate pasta lovers, they can simply pair it with olive oil, salt, and pepper to make an easy and simple dish.

  1. Macaroni

Macaroni is small C-shaped tubes of pasta, has a narrow tube, and is cut into short lengths. This pasta type can be used in various dishes, but one dish, in particular, the good old Macaroni and Cheese or most known as Mac' n Cheese, has been the most popular.

Aside from butter and cheese, Macaroni is also used for cooking soups for an appetizer, like chicken soup.

  1. Rigatoni

Like penne, it is also cylinder-shaped with tiny ridges on the outside but wider and cut short and straight without slanted edges that penne has. They are larger in shape and are best served with chunky sauces of vegetables like Pesto. Pesto can be made with a sauce of basil, pine, nuts, oil, cheese, and garlic. For added deliciousness, you can add garlic bread.

  1. Fusilli

This pasta is also called corkscrew pasta as it is a spiral-shaped noodle that is thick in appearance. Due to its grooves and crevices, it is a perfect match for rich meat sauces or chunky vegetables and great for picking up lots of sauce. The rich textured pasta can also be baked into casseroles or pasta bakes.

  1. Farfalle

Farfalle is commonly known as "bow-tie" pasta because it is exactly shaped like one. It is relatively small that you can find in all types of creamy sauces and pasta salads. It is also excellent for holding sauce and holds up well in the oven. It can be paired with cheese or rich tomato sauce and compliments a cold pasta salad. Additionally, its shape is great for enticing children to eat with vegetable sauce.

Sheet Pasta

This pasta shape is called "sheet" because of its thin and flat noodles, similar to a sheet of paper.

  1. Lasagna

Lasagna is the most popular type of sheet pasta. Contrary to popular belief, lasagna is the name of the pasta instead of being the dish itself. Some Lasagna sheets have rippled edges, and they can be used fresh or dried.

Lasagna is best used in oven-baked dishes as it holds up well in the oven. The most well-known dish using this pasta is the Lasagna al Forno or popularly known worldwide as Lasagna. It comprises beef or pork ragu which are layered between layers of lasagna with cheese on top. People can experiment using lasagna and layer it with any filling they like, such as vegetables or mushrooms, instead of meat.

Filled Pasta

This stuffed type of pasta comes in various appearances. They can be filled with beef or chicken, cheese, vegetable, or protein-based filling.

  1. Ravioli

Ravioli is square. Its size may vary depending on where it is bought. Most Italian restaurants serve them larger than store-bought ravioli. Its edges are pinched closed with ruffled texture. They can be stuffed with pretty much anything from cheese to vegetables, seafood, and meat topped with sauce. It can also be served in soups or drizzled with olive oil.


Where to try Italian pasta dishes?

Cirelli & Co is an intimate Italian restaurant serving up authentic Italian food and fresh homemade pasta in the heart of Brunswick. We will serve you pasta, pizza, and antipasti made from the freshest and finest quality of ingredients.

You can dine at our restaurant, order for takeaway, or opt to have your food delivered to your home. You may contact us at (03) 9386 8084 or visit our website at cirellico.com.au for more information about our restaurant and bakery.

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