Traditional Italian pasta types and shapes

Traditional Italian pasta types and shapes

Looking for a list of traditional Italian pasta types and shapes? Discover our list of pasta types.

Pasta is just another way of saying Italian food. That’s true, for pasta is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, having first been discovered in Sicily in 1154.
Throughout its numerous varieties, pasta has proved to be one of the most famous and appreciated dishes in the history of worldwide food. Typically, pasta is a noodle made from a mixture or paste of wheat flour mixed with water or eggs. Forms and shapes are various according to the different type or variety intended to be made.

Traditional Italian pasta types

Basically, pasta can be divided in two categories, dried pasta and fresh pasta. Both the categories gather a total of 310 specific shapes, which belong to local or regional habits and traditions, and have therefore specific local names. Common pasta shapes include long and short shapes, tubes, stuffed pasta or sheets.

Each category (dried and fresh) is traditionally used in one of these three kinds of dishes:

– Pasta asciutta
(typical pasta)
, plated and served with a topping sauce or condiment. Mushroom linguine, for instance, are served with a mushroom sauce. Pasta Carbonara, a typical Roman dish based on eggs (egg pasta), cheese, bacon and black pepper, is another famous pasta asciutta-based dish. Spaghetti pasta is the staple type of pasta involved, but fettuccine or rigatoni can also be used.

– Pasta in brodo (soup pasta), where the pasta is part of a soup-type meal.

– Pasta al forno (baked pasta), in which the pasta is put into a dish that is baked. Lasagna, cannelloni, conchiglioni are among the most popular types of pasta there involved.

Italian pasta names and shapes

There are many different types of pasta, according to the shape they have:

– Long pasta: linguine pasta, egg tagliatelle, spaghetti, pappardelle egg pasta, bucatini, capellini, vermicelli.
– Short pasta: maccheroni, tortiglioni, penne pasta, fusilli, farfalle.

Pasta is generally served with some specific type of sauce, according to taste and consistency aspects. In Northern Italy white sauce is a staple sauce of pasta dishes.
Pesto or tuna or salmon sauces can also been used and mixed with pasta varieties. Tomato sauces often recur in Southern Italian cuisine, because of their origin, along with more complex variations that include pasta with olives or seafood .

Read more if you want to try a ready-made pasta sauceseafood pasta sauce