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Pasta: Quick Glossary

Not sure which pasta sauce to serve with what noodle? Check out this handy pasta glossary!

Long Varieties:

Capellini, Fettuccine, Vermicelli, Tagliatelle, Spaghettini, Papardelle, Spaghetti, Lasagna, Linguine, Bucatini
  • Thin varieties are best served with light-bodied tomato or broth based sauces, which will just coat the noodles.
  • Wider noodles, like fettuccine, are excellent with medium-bodied or heavy sauces like Alfredo because they are able to hold up to the weightier sauce.
  • Lasagna, the widest noodles, aren't for twirling: use them for layered, baked dishes.

Short Varieties:

Penne, Cavatelli, Rigatoni, Rotelle, Orecchietti, Canelloni, Farfalle, Manicotti, Macaroni, Shells, Fusilli, Ziti
  • Great match for any sauce!
  • Some short pastas have ridges where the sauce can gather, so every bite is full of flavor.
  • Molded pastas come in all kinds of shapes, including bow ties, shells and elbows.
  • Cannelloni and manicotti, also molded, are designed to be filled with a meat or cheese-based mixture, covered in a sauce and baked.

Enjoy these great pasta recipes!

quick glossary
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