Food & Drink Magazine

Pasta Names Explained

By Paolo @quatrofromaggio
In this atypical post, we will go over some of the most common pasta cuts, and describe the origins of their names. We will use the following template:

Italian Name (Literal Translation)

Pasta Names Explained

[sounds like]2
root word3
- main use(s) -4


Notes:
(1) A photo* of a pasta sample; the sizes are relative to each other.
(2) Approximately how the pasta name sounds; the accent goes on the syllable in bold.
(3) The root word that inspired the shape; usually the actual pasta name includes a modifier that hints to the cut's size:
  • -ini/-ine - small;
  • -oni/-one - large;
  • -etti/-ette - cute little.
(4) The main use(s) of each pasta type:
  • dry - boiled in salty water, drained and served with a sauce (e.g.: penne, rotini);
  • baked - possibly lightly boiled, then baked in the oven with filling and sauces (e.g.: cannelloni);
  • broth - added to a soup or a broth (e.g.: tubetti, or cut spaghetti).

Bucatini (Little Hollowed Ones) Cannelloni (Big Cute Hoses)

Conchiglie (Shells) Farfalle (Butterflies)

Fettuccine (Small Ribbons)Filini (Little Threads)

Fusilli (Little Spindles)Linguine (Small Tongues)

Mezze Penne Rigate (Striped Half Quills)Orecchiette (Cute Little Ears)

Pennette Integrali (Small Whole-Wheat Quills)Rigatoni (Large Striped Ones)

Rotini (Small Twirled Ones)Spaghettoni (Big Cute Twines)

Tortiglioni (Big Twisted Ones)Tubetti (Cute Little Tubes)

Pasta Names Explained

[boo-ca-tee-nee]
from 'bucato' = holed, hollowed
- dry -

Pasta Names Explained

[can-el-low-nee]
from 'canna' = hose
- baked -

Pasta Names Explained

[con-keel-yay]
from 'conchiglia' = shell
- dry, broth -

Pasta Names Explained

[far-fal-lay]
from 'farfalla' = butterfly
- dry -

Pasta Names Explained

[fay-too-chee-nay]
from 'fettuccia' = ribbon, tape
- dry, broth (cut) -

Pasta Names Explained

[fee-lee-nee]
from 'filo' = thread, wire
- broth -

Pasta Names Explained

[foo-sil-lee]
from 'fuso' = spindle
- dry -

Pasta Names Explained

[lin-gween-aye]
from 'lingua' = tongue
- dry -

Pasta Names Explained

[met-zay pen-aye ree-gah-tay]
from 'penna' = quill
- dry -

Pasta Names Explained

[o-ray-kee-ette-aye]
from 'orecchio' = ear
- dry -

Pasta Names Explained

[pen-ette-aye in-tay-gral-ee]
from 'penna' = quill
- dry -

Pasta Names Explained

[ree-gah-tow-nee]
from 'rigato' = striped
- dry -

Pasta Names Explained

[ro-tee-nee]
from 'roteare' = to twirl
- dry -

Pasta Names Explained

[spah-get-tow-nee]
from 'spago' = twine, string
- dry, broth (cut) -

Pasta Names Explained

[tor-teel-yo-nee]
from 'ritorto' = twisted
- dry -

Pasta Names Explained

[too-bet-tee]
from 'tubo' = tube
- broth -


* All photos © Quatro Fromaggio. All rights reserved.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • When in Doubt, Make Pasta.

    When Doubt, Make Pasta.

    Welp, it’s been 11 days since I gave up dairy and I haven’t murdered anyone (yet) so that’s a good sign, right? I felt REALLY good the first five days: my skin... Read more

    By  Agadd
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta

    Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta

    A great, quick, simple and tasty family pasta dish A dish you can pack full of vegetables as a way to get your children to eat some of their 5 a day Use... Read more

    By  Makebakeshare
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Tasty Tuesday. Pasta With Cream Sauce And Then Some

    Tasty Tuesday. Pasta With Cream Sauce Then Some

    I'm a terrible mealplanner. I admit this. It's just conceptually difficult for me. I mean seriously, I can't think about dinnerfor Tuesday, on Monday. How do I... Read more

    By  Parentingsmh
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Orecchiette Pasta with Italian Sausage & Rapini-Pistachio Pesto

    Orecchiette Pasta with Italian Sausage Rapini-Pistachio Pesto

    When was the last time you met a bunch of broccoli-rabe a.k.a rapini? If introductions were previously made but you suffer being unable to place its name or... Read more

    By  Weavethousandflavors
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Bell Pepper Pasta

    Bell Pepper Pasta

    Italians rarely get tired of a good tomato sauce, but when they do they often resort to a tomato sauce variation. This recipe is based on the simple addition... Read more

    By  Paolo
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans Pasta

    Pesto, Potatoes Green Beans Pasta

    This article is about pesto, the second most famous Italian pasta sauce, after the tomato one. However, this is not about the super-traditional way to make... Read more

    By  Paolo
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Cooking Pasta 101

    Cooking Pasta

    In the Pasta 101 article we went through the different types of pasta and the Italian traditions around it. Let's now talk some more on how to cook pasta, and... Read more

    By  Paolo
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES

Magazines