Know Your Noodles

Know Your Noodles

March is National Noodle Month, so what better time is there to brush up on your noodle knowledge? For those of us who stare blankly at Italian menus and can’t tell the difference between fettuccini and farfalle, here is the guide to the pasta shapes you need to know. We've also thrown in some great recipes so you can eat while you learn!

Angel hair: Angel hair pasta is an incredibly thin, delicate noodle.  Generally, it is paired with similarly delicate sauces.
Angel Hair Pasta with Crab and Herb Sauce
Angel Hair Pasta with Lemon Chicken

Cannelloni: Cannelloni is large, fat, and cylindrical.  Its size makes it perfect for stuffing, and it is usually filled with ricotta cheese.
Vegetable Stuffed Cannelloni

Conchiglie: Conchiglie has a ridged shell shape.  It comes in several different sizes and the larger ones are often filled with meat or cheese.
Veggie Stuffed Shells
Baked Shells in Sauce

Fettuccine: Fettuccine is a long, flat, ribbon-like noodle.  It is most commonly eaten with Alfredo sauce.
Fettuccine with Creamy Basil Pine Nut Sauce
Fettuccine Alfredo

Fusilli: Fusilli is long and corkscrew-shaped.  It is perfect for cold pasta salads, as well as hot dishes.
Fusilli with Three Cheeses and Red Bell Pepper
Lemon Fusilli with Arugula 
Farfalle: Farfalle is most commonly known as bowtie pasta because it is cinched in the middle to create a similar shape. 
Bowties with Chicken and Mushrooms
Bowties and Pine Nuts

Linguine:Linguine resembles semi-flattened spaghetti.  It is not as ribbon-like as fettuccine. 
Linguine with Grilled Shrimp and Black Olives
Creamy Zucchini with Linguine

Mostaccioli: Mostaccioli is cylindrical like cannelloni, but it is much smaller and its ends are cut on angles.
Mostaccioli with Sun Dried Tomatoes
Baked Mostaccioli

Penne: Penne is smaller than mostaccioli, but they are both angle-cut and tube-shaped.
Penne with Red Pepper Sauce and Broccoli
Penne Pasta with Spinach and Bacon 
Ravioli: Ravioli is square-shaped and pillow-like.  It is stuffed with cheese, vegetables, or meat. 
Squash Ravioli
Cheese Ravioli with Fresh Vegetables

Rotelle: Rotelle resembles a wagon wheel; it is round with “spokes” that run through the center. 
Wagon Wheels with Haddock and Garlic
Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad

Tagliatelle: Tagliatelle is a long, flat, and very thin noodle.  It is slightly thinner than fettuccine. 
Tagliatelle with Shiitake Mushrooms and Asparagus
Tagliatelle with Chestnuts and Sausage 
Tortellini: Tortellini is small, folded, and round with a hole in its center.  It is filled with either cheese or meat.
Tortellini and Italian Sausage Soup
Tortellini with Salmon and Dill

For more pasta recipes, go here.

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