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Most Popular Pasta Types

26 January 2017

In the classic Italian cuisine, there are over 45 different types of pasta, and each one holds a unique purpose. You probably can name a few of the most popular ones off the top of your head but have you heard of tagliatelle or orecchiette? Unless you grew up around authentic Italian cooking, most of these pasta types are unfamiliar. What many amateur chefs and Italian food lovers may not know is that not all pasta is created equal. What that means is that depending on the type of dish that is being prepared, there are specific types of pasta that compliment perfectly. The biggest determinant of which pasta goes with which dish is the type of sauce whether it is a chunky meat or vegetable sauce, cream or oil-based sauce. Here are the different kinds of pasta and some basic ideas of how to use them.

  • Acini di Pepe

These “peppercorn” noodles are perfect for soups.

  • Alphabet

This pasta is most popular with the younger generations.

  • Angel Hair

Long, thin and round, this noodle is perfect for lighter sauces (typically oil-based).

  • Bucatini

Similar to spaghetti but this pasta is hollow in the center that is perfect for any extra saucy dishes.

  • Campanelle

This cone-shaped pasta has a ruffled that does an excellent job of holding meaty sauces.

  • Cappelletti

Often times referred to as an alpine hat, Cappelletti is most commonly found in soups.

  • Conchiglie

These shell-shaped noodles come in a variety of sizes and are most popular with macaroni and cheese. The larger shells can be stuffed with meats and cheeses.

  • Elbow Macaroni

Besides the spaghetti noodle, elbow macaroni is perhaps the most well-known pasta.

  • Farfalle

Sometimes this pasta is called bow tie, farfalle means butterflies in Italian.

  • Fettuccine

These wide, flat noodles are perfect for Alfredo or other cream sauces.

  • Lasagne

This pasta may be one of the oldest and are used for layering in casseroles with meats, sauces, and cheeses.  

  • Manicotti

This popular pasta is often stuffed with a variety of meats, cheeses, and vegetables because of their size.

  • Orzo

While this pasta looks like pieces of grain, these noodles can be used in a variety of dishes ranging from soups, salads or even main dishes.

  • Penne

Like spaghetti, penne pasta is extremely versatile and can be paired with chunky meat or vegetable, cream or oil based sauces.

  • Rotini

This pasta is most often seen in pasta salad dishes because the spirals lock in the dressing and flavor very well.

  • Ruote

This pasta looks like tiny wagon wheels and adds a unique appealing look to any dish.

  • Spaghetti

No description is necessary for this well-known pasta type.

  • Tortellini

This ring-shaped pasta is typically stuffed with meats, cheeses, and/or vegetables and commonly served with broth or cream sauces.

These are just a few of the most popular/common types of pasta. If you are looking to find the very best pasta in Miami, then head over to Toscana Divino for fresh pasta and authentic Italian cuisine. A few of the most popular menu items that feature fresh pasta are:

Pomodoro e basilico– features fresh, homemade spaghetti pasta with a tomato sauce that is made in-house and topped with basil and fior di latte.

Tortelli ricotta e spinaci– handmade ricotta and spinach tortellini topped with butter and sage.

Maccheroncini neri– this dish is made with squid ink pasta, shrimp, calamari, tomato, and bottarga.

Maccheroni “al sugo toscano”– fresh pasta topped with beef ragu, Parmigiano, and olive oil.

These are just a few of the many delicious dishes that Toscana Divino has on their authentically inspired Italian menu. 

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