Mama Mia! That’s a lot of pasta!

Can you imagine! Over 400 types of pasta! I can only name maybe ten off the top of my head, but I guess when something was invented around a thousand years ago it has to change and evolve a lot!

Greek Mythology

According to Greek Mythology their god of fire, metalworking and the forge Vulcan invented a device that made “strings of dough” this seems to be the earliest known reference to a pasta maker!

List of Pasta:

Here is a list of pasta types. The follow tables maps out variations of shapes, forms, and sizes of pasta that compile the 400+ types.

Unique Shapes


CampanelleFlattened bell-shaped pasta with a frilly edge on one endLittle bells
CapuntiShort convex ovals resembling an open empty pea pod
CasarecceShort lengths rolled into an S shapeFrom casereccio meaning homemade
CavatelliShort, solid lengthsFrom the verb cavare meaning to hollow
CencioniPetal shaped, slightly curved with rough convex sideLittle rags
ConchiglieSeashell shapedShells
ConchiglioniLarge, stuffable seashell-shapedLarge shells
CorzettiFlat figure-eight stamped
Creste di GalliShort, curved and ruffledCocks’ combs
CroxettiFlat coin-shaped discs stamped with coats of armsLittle crosses
FantolioniPanda-shaped bow-ties commonly served with boiled olivesPre-packaged pandas
FarfalleBow tie or butterfly shapedButterflies
FarfalloneLarger bowtiesLarge butterfly
FiorentineGrooved cut tubesFlorentine
FioriShaped like a flowerLittle flowers
Foglie d’ulivoShaped like an olive leafOlive leaf
FusilliThree-edged spiral, usually in mixed colors. Many vendors and brands sold as fusilli are two-edgedFrom fusile, archaic/dialect form of fucile, meaning rifle. As the inside barrel of a gun is “rifled” using a similar screw-shaped device
Fusilli BucatiA spring-shaped variety of the aboveHoled rifles
GemelliA single S-shaped strand of pasta twisted in a loose spiralTwins
GigliCone or flower shapedLilies
GnocchiRound in shape and often made with flour plus potatoesFrom the Italian gnocco, meaning “a knot in wood”
GramignaShort, curled lengths of pastaScutch-grass; more generically, “infesting weed”
LanterneCurved ridgesLantern holders
LumacheSnail-shapedFrom lumaca, meaning snail
LumaconiJumbo lumacheLarge snails
MaltagliatiFlat roughly cut trianglesBadly cut
MandalaDesigned by Philippe Starck in 1987 for French pasta-maker PanzaniDesign based on compensating for overcooking
MarilleDesigned by Giorgetto Guigiaro in 1983 – like a rolling ocean wave in cross-section with internal rugosities, but unsuccessful and no longer producedFrom mare, meaning “sea”
OrecchietteBowl or ear shaped pastaLittle ears
PipeLarger version of macaroniSmoking pipes
QuadrefioreSquare with rippled edgesFlower quadrants
RadiatoreShaped like radiatorsRadiator
RiccioliniShort wide pasta with a 90-degree twistFrom riccio, curly
RicciutelleShort spiraled pastaFrom riccio, curly
RotelleWagon wheel-shaped pastaLittle wheels (from ruota-wheel)
Rotini2-edged spiral, tightly wound. Some vendors and brands are 3-edged and sold as rotini
SpiraliA tube which spirals roundSpirals
SpiraliniMore tightly-coiled fusilliLittle spirals
StrangolapretiRolled across their widthPriest-chokers or priest-stranglers
TrofieThin twisted pasta


Tubular Pasta

BucatiniHollow spaghettiLittle holes
CalamarataWide ring shaped pastaSquid (also known as “calamari”)
CalamarettiSmaller Calamarata
CannelloniLarge stuffable tubesBig pipes or reeds
CavatappiCorkscrew-shaped macaroniCorkscrews; also known as Cellentani and Spirali
CellentaniCorkscrew-shaped tube
ChifferiShort and wide macaroni
DitaliniShort tubes, like elbows but shorter and without a bendSmall fingers
FideuaShort and thin tubes
Gomito MaccheroniBent tubesElbow macaroni
ElicoidaliSlightly ribbed tube pasta; the ribs are corked as opposed to those on rigatoniHelicoidal
FagioloniShort narrow tubeLittle beans
GarganelliSquare egg noodle rolled into a tube
MaccheroniAs long as a little finger, usually striped
MaccheroncelliHollow pencil-shaped pasta
MaltagliatiShort wide pasta with diagonally cut endsRoughly cut
ManicottiLarge ridged tubes that are stuffedSleeves, from the Italian word manica
Mezzani PastaShort curved tubeFrom Mezzo meaning half-size
Mezze PenneShort version of penneHalf-pens
Mezze BombardoniShort, wide tubesHalf bombards
MostaccioliSometimes mistakenly used as another name for Penne, Mostaccioli differ in that they do not have ridges. Mostaccioli are also called Penne Lisce or “smooth penne”Mustaches
PaccheriLarge tube
Pasta al CeppoShaped like a cinnamon stick
PenneMedium length tubes with ridges, cut diagonally at both endsLiterally “pens” because the tip is similar to that of a quill, or fountain pen
Penne RigatePenne with ridged sides
Penne LiscePenne with smooth sides
Penne ZitaWider version of penne
PennetteShort thin version of penne
PennoniWider version of penne
PerciatelliThicker bucatiniFrom the verb Perciare meaning “Hollow inside”
RigatonciniSmaller version of rigatoni
RigatoniLarge and slightly curved tubeFrom riga, meaning line: rigatoni is pasta with lines (large). Rigato or rigate, when added to another pasta name means lined, or, with ridges added, as in “spaghetti rigati”
Sagne IncannulateLong tube formed of twisted ribbon
TrennePenne shaped as a triangle
TrennetteSmaller version of trenne
TortiglioniNarrower rigatoniFrom the verb Torcere meaning “to twist.” Twisted, wringed
TuffoliRidged rigatoni
ZitiLong, narrow hose-like tubes
ZitoniWider version of Ziti


Strand Pasta

SpaghettoniThick spaghettiThick little twine
SpaghettiMost common round-rod pastaSpago means twine, spaghetto means little twine, spaghetti is plural
SpaghettiniThin spaghettiThin little twine
FedeliniBetween spaghetti and vermicelli in sizeLittle faithful ones
VermicelloniThick vermicelliThick little worms
VermicelliThicker than capellini, thinner than fedeliniLittle worms
CapelliniThinner than vermicelli, thicker than angel hairFine hair
Capellini d’angeloThinnest round-rod pastaAngel hair


Various Strand Pastas

BarbinaThin strands often coiled into nestsLittle beards
Spaghetti alla ChitarraSimilar to spaghetti, except square rather than round, and made of egg in addition to flourNamed after the device used to cut the pasta, which has a wooden frame strung with metal wires. Sheets of pasta are pressed down onto the device, and then the wires are “strummed” so that the slivers of pasta fall through
CirioleThicker version of chitarra
Fusilli LunghiVery long coiled rods (like a thin telephone cord)Long rifles
PiciVery thick, long, hand rolled

Ribbon Pasta


BavetteNarrower version of tagliatelleLittle thread
BavettineNarrower version of bavette
FettuceWider version of fettuccineRibbons
FettuccineRibbon of pasta approximately 6.5 millimeters wideLittle ribbons
FettucelleNarrower version of fettuccine
LaganeWide noodles
LasagneVery wide noodles that often have fluted edgesCooking pot
LasagnetteNarrower version of lasagne
LasagnotteLonger version of lasagna
LinguettineNarrower version of linguine
LinguineFlattened spaghettiLittle tongues
MafaldeShort rectangular ribbons
MafaldineLong ribbons with ruffled sides
PappardelleThick flat ribbon
PillusVery thin ribbons
PizzoccheriRibbon pasta made from buckwheat
ReginetteWide ribbon with rippled edgesLittle queens
SagnarelliRectangular ribbons with fluted edges
Sciatelli of SciatelliHome-made long spaghetti with a twisted long spiral
StringozziSimilar to shoelacesFrom stringhe, meaning shoestrings
TagliatelleRibbon fairly thinner than fettucineFrom “tagliare” – to cut
TaglieriniThinner version of Tagliatelle
TrenetteThin ribbon ridged on one side
TripolineThick ribbon ridged on one side


Micro Pasta

Acini di PepeBead-like pastaPeppercorns
AnelliSmall rings of pastaRings
AnelliniSmaller version of AnelliLittle rings
ConchiglietteSmall shell shaped pastaLittle shells
CoralliniSmall short tubes of pastaLittle corals
DitaliSmall short tubesThimbles
DitaliniSmaller version of DitaliLittle thimbles
FarfallineSmall bow tie shaped pastaEither bowties or little butterflies
FideosShort thin pasta
FiliniSmaller version of FideosThin threads; (from filo, meaning thread)
FregulaBead-like pasta from Sardinia
FunghiniSmall mushroom shaped pastaLittle mushrooms
Ochi di PerniceVery small rings of pastaPartridge’s eyes
OrzoRice shaped pasta, also “Risoni”Barley
PastinaSmall spheres about the same size or smaller than Acini di PepeLittle pasta
Pearl PastaSpheres slightly larger than Acini di Pepe
QuadrettiniSmall flat squares of pastaLittle squares
RisiSmaller version of OrzoLittle rice
Seme di MeloneSmall seed shaped pastaMelon seeds
StelleSmall star-shaped pastaStars
StellineSmaller version of StelleLittle stars
StortiniSmaller version of elbow macaroniLittle crooked ones
TrachanaGranular, irregular shaped pasta of Greek origin


Stuffed Pasta

AgnolottiSemi-circular pockets; can be stuffed with ricotta or mix of cheese and meats or pureed vegetablesLambs’ ears
CannelloniOven cooked, stuffed rolls of pastaBig tubes
CasoncelliA semi-circular stuffed pasta, specifically associated with the style alla bergamasca, which is stuffed with a mixture of bread crumbs, egg, cheese, ground beef, salami, raisins, Amaretti biscuits, pear, and garlic
FagottiniA ‘purse’ or bundle of pasta, made from a round of dough gathered into a ball-shaped bundle, often stuffed with ricotta and fresh pearLittle purses
MezzeluneSemi-circular pockets; about 2.5 in. diameterHalf-moons
Occhi di LupoA large, penne shaped pasta that is stuffedEyes of the Wolf
PanzerottiPasta made from eggs cheese and flour
PelmeniMeat-filled dumplings, usually served in broth
PierogiDumplings filled with meat, vegetables, cheese or fruit
RavioliSquare. About 3x3cm. Stuffed with cheese, ground meat, pureed vegetables, or mixtures thereofPossibly from rapa, “turnip”
SacchettiniLittle sacks
TortelliniRing-shaped. Stuffed with a mixture of meat and cheese
TortelloniLarger version of Tortellini

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