Know Your Pasta Shapes

Image by lovepetforever from Pixabay

Sure, we all love Italian food. And we all know the typical pasta shapes like spaghetti and fettucine. But there are so many more pasta shapes—over 600 to be exact—and it’s really worthwhile to get to know at least some more. Here are a few we think are pretty neat.


Orecchiette means “little ears” in Italian, and that’s exactly what this pasta shape looks like. It’s perfectly shaped to hold a thick or robust sauce, which makes for a hearty, flavorful pasta meal.


Like a little two-strand pasta braid, gemelli has all of the same sauce-holding ability of a spiral pasta like rotini or fusilli. It’s a great choice for a pasta dish in which the sauce is the star of the recipe.


Manicotti are basically giant tubes of pasta that are made to be eaten stuffed with a filling—usually ricotta-based. They’re a must-have for baked pasta dishes and a great alternative if you’re bored of lasagna but want to eat something like lasagna.


Anelli are little, fluted pasta rings, and they go great in soup dishes. Consider this one for your next chicken noodle soup for a fun change.

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