15 Types of Pasta Noodles: Pasta Noodles List

Joanna Okedara
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    Spaghetti? Macaroni? Homemade noodles? Rigatoni? Or, ravioli? There are different types of pasta around the world. If you are starting a pasta business or planning to offer pasta in your restaurant business menu, then it is important to understand the different types of pasta noodles.

    As versatile and delicious as pasta is, most people only know and cook the same types of pasta over and again.

    Key Takeaway: With over 300 types of pasta noodles, a restaurant business owner or wholesale pasta distributor can explore the many varieties available to maximize revenue growth and customer satisfaction.

    Pasta noodles come in different shapes and sizes, they are usually differentiated by these characteristics. Some other categories of pasta include - long, short, specialty, dumpling, sheet, and filled.

    Each category of pasta noodles has its own unique type, variations, and uses. In this article, we will look at all the types of pasta, the right pasta packaging tips for each type of pasta, and how to pair each pasta in your restaurant’s menu.


    Top 15 Types of Pasta

    Before you cook any type of pasta in your restaurant or sell wholesale pasta to a wholesale customer, it is important you understand the characteristics of each pasta type. This will help you know which pasta is suitable for various types of dishes and sauces.

    Here are the top 15 types of pasta noodles:

    1. Spaghetti

    Spaghetti is a long, thin cylindrical pasta type which can be used in a variety of dishes. From the classic spaghetti and meatballs to the more popular spaghetti carbonara, there is a spaghetti meal for every pasta lover.

    Most times, spaghetti is served with tomato-based sauces, such as marinara or Bolognese. You can pair these with organic spices and herbs, and olive oil.

    1. Macaroni

    Who doesn’t love a delicious plate of macaroni and specialty cheese? Macaroni is a short, curved pasta shape with a hollow center. You can find this type of pasta used in pasta salads, baked pasta dishes, soups, and casseroles. 

    You can pair macaroni with cheese and tomato-based sauces. 

    1. Angel Hair Pasta

    This pasta looks a lot like spaghetti. However, angel hair pasta is longer and thinner than spaghetti. You can pair angel hair pasta with light sauces like oil, butter, or cream-based sauces.

    Angel hair pasta is commonly known as capellini and it resembles thin strands of hair, hence the name. The pasta is used in light and delicate dishes like seafood pairing pasta or tossed with fresh wholesale spices and grated wholesale cheese.

    1. Rigatoni

    Rigatoni is a tubular pasta with ridges on the outer surface. The pasta is larger and wider than penne pasta, and has a straight cut on both ends.

    Rigatoni can hold onto sauces, making it a perfect choice for hearty and chunky pasta sauces. It is popular in baked pasta dishes, like rigatoni al forno, pasta salads, and traditional Italian recipes.

    1. Penne

    Penne is another short type pasta with a hollow cylinder shape and slanted edges. This pasta is best served in dishes with chunky or meat-based sauces. It is also popular in baked pasta dishes, pasta salads, and stir-fries.

    Like rigatoni, penne holds sauces well, making it suitable for a wide variety of dishes. Penne pasta is sometimes called mostaccioli.

    1. Rotelli

    If you love pasta dishes with chunky sauces or hearty ingredients, then rotelli pasta is ideal for you. Rotelli is a fun wheel-shaped pasta that allows all types of sauces and ingredients in a soup to be soaked in.

    You can use rotelli in pasta salads, baked dishes, and casseroles. Its playful shape and versatility make it a popular choice for both adults and children.

    1. Linguine

    Also similar to spaghetti, linguine is a little flatter and is considered to be a classic and luxurious type of pasta. Linguine is usually paired with seafood dishes, mixed with white wine sauces and clams. 

    Its versatile nature and slightly wider surface area make it a great choice for capturing and complementing different flavors in a dish.

    1. Fettuccine

    Fettuccine is a long, flat pasta that is wider and thicker than linguine. It is similar in shape to tagliatelle, another type of ribbon-like pasta. 

    You can pair this pasta with creamy sauces, such as Alfredo sauce. It is also commonly used in pasta dishes with wholesale meat or poultry, as its broad surface area allows for excellent sauce coverage. 

    Fettuccine can be cooked al dente for a slightly firm texture or cooked longer for a softer bite. Its versatility and ability to hold onto robust flavors make it a delicious option for a variety of pasta dishes.

    1. Farfalle

    Farfalle, also known as bow tie pasta, is a unique and distinctive pasta shape. It is characterized by its butterfly or bow tie-like shape, with two folded edges in the center. 

    The whimsical shape of this pasta makes it visually appealing and adds a playful touch to any meal. Farfalle is often used in pasta salads, as its shape holds up well and captures the dressing or sauce. 

    Its larger surface area of farfalle allows it to catch and hold onto ingredients, making each bite flavorful and satisfying. You can pair farfalle with creamy or chunky sauces.

    1. Lasagna

    Lasagna is a wide, flat pasta that is commonly used in layered pasta dishes. It is typically sold in rectangular or square sheets and is known for its versatility and ability to hold up well in baked dishes. 

    These pasta sheets are typically boiled before being layered with various ingredients such as meat, cheese, sauce, and microgreens seeds vegetables. The layers are then baked in the oven until the pasta is tender and the flavors meld together. 

    You can customize lasagna with different fillings and sauces to create a variety of delicious combinations. It is a comforting and hearty pasta dish that is enjoyed by many.

    1. Pappardelle

    Pappardelle is a wide, flat pasta that originates from Italy. It is characterized by its broad and ribbon-like shape, similar to fettuccine but wider. 

    The pasta is typically made with egg-based pasta dough, giving it a rich and silky texture. Its width allows it to hold up well with hearty and robust sauces, making it a popular choice for meat-based dishes. 

    Pappardelle is often paired with rich and flavorful sauces, such as ragù (meat sauce), wild mushroom sauce, or slow-cooked braises. The broad surface area of pappardelle provides a satisfying bite and allows the sauce to coat the pasta thoroughly. It is a luxurious and indulgent pasta option that adds elegance to any dish.

    1. Tortellini

    Tortellini pasta is traditionally filled with a mixture of meat, specialty cheese, or wholesale microgreens vegetables. It is a ring-shaped pasta with the ends folded and sealed together to create a small, pleated pouch. 

    This pasta is known for its delicate and tender texture, and its filling adds a burst of flavor to each bite. You can serve this pasta with a variety of sauces, such as creamy Alfredo, tomato-based, or pesto sauces. 

    Tortellini comes in various sizes and fillings, offering a range of options to suit different preferences. It is a versatile and popular choice for pasta dishes, particularly for those seeking a hearty and satisfying meal.

    1. Orzo

    Orzo is a small, rice-shaped pasta that resembles grains of barley. Despite its appearance, orzo is actually a type of pasta made from wheat flour. You can use it to prepare a variety of dishes. 

    From salads and soups to pilafs and as a substitute for rice in various recipes, orzo is very versatile. Its small size and shape make it easy to incorporate into different dishes, and it absorbs flavors well. 

    Orzo pairs well with a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, herbs, cheeses, and meats. It adds texture and substance to dishes while providing a delicate pasta taste.

    1. Vermicelli

    Vermicelli is a thin, long, and cylindrical-shaped pasta commonly used to prepare a variety of Italian, Asian, and Middle Eastern dishes. You can serve this pasta with light delicate sauces like olive oil, organic herbs and spices.

    It also pairs well with soups or seafood dishes. Vermicelli is also found in dishes like stir-fries, noodle salads, and rice pilaf.

    1. Fusilli

    Fusilli is a spiral-shaped pasta that resembles corkscrews or springs. It is made by rolling or twisting long, thin strips of pasta around a rod or knitting needle. The resulting shape allows for excellent sauce adherence and provides a textured bite. 

    Due to its unique shape, fusilli holds up well with chunky and thick sauces, as the twists can catch and hold the sauce, resulting in a flavorful and satisfying meal. It is also commonly used in cold pasta salads as its shape holds up well and adds visual interest to the dish.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Pasta Noodles

    What are the 3 most popular pastas?

    The three most popular pastas are:

    • Spaghetti
    • Macaroni
    • Fettuccine

    What are the 2 main categories of pasta?

    The two main categories of pasta are:

    • Fresh pasta
    • Dried pasta

    Which pasta is healthy?

    Whole grain pasta is healthier than most. It is lower in calories and contributes more vitamins and minerals than the white, refined equivalent, making it a healthier choice.

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