Everybody loves pasta. Well, almost everybody. There are a few oddballs out there that just don’t seem to like it for some reason (maybe they are aliens on a special ‘diet’ like blood) or maybe they just can’t tell the difference between pasta and noodles. But for the rest of us, it’s a delicious and versatile food that can be used in so many different recipes.
Personally, I would love to find the person who discovered pasta and possibly give them a noble peace prize for bringing peace to my tummy for that yummy goodness 🙂
There are all sorts of different types of pasta, but what are the most common ones? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the most popular types of pasta and tell you a little bit about each one. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out in the kitchen, read on to learn more about these delish creations!
Types of pasta with pictures
- Penne – Penne is a type of tubular pasta that is cut into short, thick pieces. It holds its shape well and can absorb a lot of sauce.
- Rigatoni – Rigatoni is a type of tubular pasta that is slightly bigger than penne and has ridges on the outside. It can hold its shape well and has a lot of surface area to absorb the sauce.
- Spaghetti – Spaghetti is a long, thin type of pasta for lighter pasta sauces.
- Angel Hair – Angel hair is a very thin type of pasta for very light pasta sauces.
- Fettuccine – Fettuccine is a wide, flat type of pasta for creamy pasta sauces.
- Linguine – Linguine is a long, thin type of pasta for light pasta sauces.
- Bowtie – Bowtie pasta is a type of shaped pasta for heartier pasta sauces.
- Shells – Shells are a type of shaped pasta for creamier pasta sauces.
- Ravioli – Ravioli is a type of filled pasta that can be made with a variety of fillings. It is a good choice for pasta sauce because the sauce can seep into the ravioli and flavor it.
- Cannelloni – Cannelloni is a type of tube-shaped pasta that is usually filled with a meat or vegetable filling. It is a nice choice for pasta sauce because the sauce can be absorbed into the cannelloni.
- Manicotti – Manicotti is a type of tube-shaped pasta that is usually filled with a cheese filling and sauce can marinade into the manicotti.
- Lasagna – Lasagna is a type of wide, flat pasta that is usually layered with a meat or vegetable filling. It is a good, sturdy pasta that can hold up to layering and has dreamy flavor absorption.
- Macaroni – Macaroni is a type of short, tubular pasta that is cut into short, thick pieces. It holds its shape well and can absorb a lot of sauce.
- Ziti – Ziti is a type of medium-sized, tubular pasta that is cut into short pieces. It is a great choice for pasta sauce because it can hold its shape well and has a lot of surface area to absorb the sauce.
Reference article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pasta
What are the 5 categories of pasta?
The five categories of pasta are long, short, tube-shaped, flat, and filled:
- Long pasta includes spaghetti, angel hair, fettuccine, linguine, and bowtie.
- Short pasta includes penne, rigatoni, shells, and macaroni.
- Tube-shaped pasta includes ziti and cannelloni.
- Flat pasta includes lasagna and ravioli.
- Filled pasta includes manicotti and tortellini.
Why are there different pasta shapes?
There are so many different types of names for pasta with different pasta shapes and different types of uses for different types of dish-es (how you like my tongue twister hehe). For example, long pasta is often used in dishes with lighter sauces, while short pasta is often used in dishes with heavier sauces.
Tube-shaped pasta is often used in dishes with creamier sauces, while flat pasta is often used in dishes with meat or vegetable fillings and filled pasta is often used in dishes with cheese or meat fillings .
Difference between durum and regular wheat
The main ingredient in pasta is semolina flour, which is made from durum wheat . Durum wheat is a type of wheat that is high in protein and gluten. It is often used in pasta because it gives the pasta a chewy texture. Regular wheat is lower in protein and gluten. It is often used in breads and pastries because it gives the dough a fluffy texture.
Pasta benefits and side effects
Benefits of pasta
- Pasta is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.
- It is also a good source of thiamin, niacin, and folic acid, which are essential nutrients .
- Pasta is low in fat and sodium, making it a healthy food choice.
Side effects of pasta
- If you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant, pasta can cause abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and vomiting .
- Eating too much pasta can lead to weight gain.
- Pasta made with refined flour can cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
Calories in the most common types of pasta
The number of calories in a bowl of pasta with sauce will depend on the ingredients used and the portion size. A typical serving of pasta with sauce can range from 200-500 calories. For example, a serving of spaghetti with marinara sauce has about 200 odd calories  while a serving of fettuccine Alfredo has about 300 odd calories . The best way to know the exact number of calories is to look at the recipe or nutrition facts label.
Oil to vinegar ratio for pasta salad
The ideal oil to vinegar ratio for pasta salad is 3:1 . This means that for every three parts of oil, you would use one part of vinegar and this ratio will give the pasta salad a nice balance of flavors, with the oil helping to round out the acidity of the vinegar. If you find that the pasta salad is too oily or too vinegary for your taste, you can adjust the ratio accordingly.
Just remember that the oil to vinegar ratio is a guide, not a rule; ultimately, you should use whatever ratio tastes best to you. Taste is always your best guide and I swear by it.
White or red wines with pasta
It all depends on personal preferences, some people prefer to pair red wine with pasta, as the heartier flavor of the wine can stand up to the rich sauces often served with pasta dishes. Others prefer white wine with pasta, as the lighter flavor of the wine won’t overwhelm the delicate flavors of the pasta.
Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide which type of wine they prefer with their pasta dish (or without, as wine is always a good idea, just saying 🙂
FAQs – common types of pasta
What ingredients can you add to pasta?
There are many ingredients that can be added to pasta, including vegetables, meats, cheeses, and spices (also wine). Some common additions include onions, garlic, tomatoes, ground beef, sausage, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese (did I mention wine?).
All these ingredients added together make for absolutely delicious tomato sauces and cheese sauces that take your pasta to another level of tasty. These wonderful meal combos can even be prepared in one pot or skillet.
Is pasta healthier than rice?
Pasta and rice are both healthy foods. They are both good sources of complex carbohydrates and essential nutrients however; pasta contains more protein and fiber than rice. Pasta also contains more thiamin, niacin, and folic acid than rice; this is what makes pasta have a nutritional advantage over rice.
Pasta is also lower on the glycemic index, which means it won’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels and it is also lower in sodium as well as calories.
Difference between whole wheat and enriched pasta?
Whole-wheat pasta is made from whole-wheat flour, which is milled from the entire wheat berry, including the bran and germ. Enriched pasta is made with refined flour, which has been stripped of the bran and germ. Refining white flour makes it more shelf-stable, but it also removes important nutrients like fiber, iron, and B vitamins.
Enriched pasta contains more calories and carbs than whole wheat pasta . Also in contrast, whole-wheat pasta has more fiber and protein than enriched pasta. Whole wheat pasta has a nutty, earthy flavor making it quite bland to ingest, and is slightly coarser in texture than enriched pasta which has a smooth texture.
The bottom line – Whole wheat pasta is more nutritious than enriched pasta and if you’re looking for a healthier option, go for whole wheat. However, if you’re looking for a pasta that’s more flavorful, then definitely give enriched a try.
Can you cook pasta in sauce instead of water?
Yes, you can cook pasta in sauce instead of water. This will give the pasta more flavor and make it more filling, though you may need to add a little extra sauce to keep the pasta from sticking together. This is actually the better option when you are short on time and using one pot to cook pasta in a sauce is my go-to meal.
You know when I just had enough of adulting all day and just need to get a home-cooked meal on the table that I know my kids won’t turn their noses up to.
Simple and Easy Pasta Recipes
Sausage skillet pasta recipe
- 1/2 lb. x Italian sausage
- 1/4 cup x olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. X crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp. X minced garlic
- 8 oz. X penne pasta
- 3 cups x chicken broth
- 1 jar (24 oz.) x marinara sauce
- 1 cup x shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup x grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 glass x red wine
- Salt and pepper-to taste
- #optional extras
- 1tsp x ketchup/tomato sauce
- 1tsp x chutney
- Salt and pepper-to taste
- Add a good portion of another type of cheese
- 1/2 tsp x sage
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage in olive oil until browned. Drain off any excess grease.
- Add red pepper flakes, garlic, and penne pasta to the skillet. Stir to combine.
- Pour in chicken broth and marinara sauce (add wine and other extras except for cheese). Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes, or until pasta is cooked al dente according to package instructions.
- Stir in mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese (add other cheese) until completely combined.
- Divide the pasta among 4 plates. Top each with some of the sauce from the skillet. Serve immediately.
Shrimp Alfredo skillet pasta recipe
- 1/4 cup x butter
- 1 lb. x peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1 tbsp. x minced garlic
- 8 oz. x penne pasta
- 3 cups x chicken broth
- 1 jar (24 oz.) x Alfredo sauce
- 1/2 glass x white wine
- Shavings of Parmesan cheese for garnish
- #optional extras
- 1/4 tsp x cumin
- 1/2 tsp x nutmeg
- 1tsp x tarragon salt and black pepper-to taste
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
- Add shrimp and garlic to the skillet. Cook until shrimp is opaque, about 3 minutes.
- Add penne pasta and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine.
- Pour in Alfredo sauce (add wine and other extras). Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes, or until pasta is cooked al dente according to package instructions.
- Divide the pasta then top each with some of the sauce from the skillet and parmesan cheese shavings. Serve immediately.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into the world of pasta as it’s a topic near and dear to my heart, since pasta is one of my favorite comfort foods. Now that you know all there is to know about pasta, maybe you can impress your friends and family with your newfound knowledge at your next Italian dinner party. As always, I’ll leave you with my favorite recipes for each type of pasta. Now, get cooking! Buon appetito!
PS. Do you have a favorite pasta dish? Share it in the comments below … I’d love to hear about it!
Charlene is a lover of good food. She enjoys nothing more than cooking up a storm in the kitchen and sharing her favourite recipes with her readers. She also enjoys reading a good book.