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Pasta Shapes Compendium

There are over 600 pasta shapes, each with a delicious purpose. Long pasta, short pasta, pasta that can be stuffed, pasta for soups- the uses for pasta are endless! There are some shapes and sizes that are better suited for holding sauces in their ridges, while others are better for baked dishes. Use our popular Pasta Shapes Compendium to learn more about the more popular shapes.



A thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center – just wide enough to soak in a few saucy juices. The name comes from Italian: buco, meaning "hole".

In the Caribbean, it’s simply referred to as ‘long macaroni.'

Pronunciation: boo/kah/TEE/nee

Where spaghetti or linguine get coated with sauce, bucatini gets coated and filled with sauce. It’s the ultimate delivery vehicle for velvety pasta sauces like cacio e pepe or carbonara. That hollow center gives you more sauce with each bite.



Shape: ruffled, delicate cone shape

Pronunciation: kampa-nell-e

Italian for: “Bellflower” or “little bells”

Recommended sauce pairings: thicker sauces in everyday recipes and casseroles

Originally rolled by hand, campanelle lends a beautiful, visual element to just about any dish.

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Chow Mein Noodles

Chow Mein Noodles aren’t usually classed as pasta. Chow Mein Noodles are Chinese noodles traditionally made from wheat flour. Through a proprietary process, however, TENDERONI Chow Mein Noodles are made strictly from the finest durum wheat semolina giving you an unsurpassed quality of noodles superior in taste, texture and nutritional value.

(As far as we’re aware, Tenderoni Chow Mein Noodles are the only chow mein noodles not made from white flour).



Short tubes with a slight bend in the shape.

Recommended sauce pairings: meat, cream, seafood, or vegetable based.

Adults and kids alike enjoy this shape in the American favorite, Macaroni & Cheese. Additionally, because this shape is hollow, it pairs nicely with a variety of sauces.



Shaped like long, flat ribbons and generally served with heavier, meat-based sauces.


Pronunciation: feht-tuh-CHEE-nee

Italian for: “Little ribbons”

Recommended sauce pairings: meat, cream, cheese, seafood, vegetable, or oil based

Because of its shape, Fettuccine pairs nicely with full-bodied sauces.



S-shaped strand twisted into a spiral.

Pronunciation: JE-mele

Italian for: “Twins” or “unicorn horns”

Recommended sauce pairings: just about any type of sauce

This spiral-shaped pasta appears to be two thin tubes twisted around each other but is actually an S-shaped strand twisted into a spiral. Its twists and spirals give it a refined look while staying al dente.



Broad, flat, rectangle shaped pasta.

Pronunciation: luh-ZAHN-yuh

Italian for: “Cooking pot”

Recommended sauce pairings: meat, cream, and vegetable-based sauces

Put a creative culinary spin on your next meal. This shape is popularly used in recipes that require baking. Fillings might include meat, ricotta, seafood, chicken, or spinach.



Flat, ribbon-like pasta

Pronunciation: ma-FAL-da

Italian for “Little queens”

Recommended sauce pairings: delicate butter- or oil-based sauces

Narrower than lasagna but with similar rippled edges on both sides, the flat surfaces of Mafalda match well with sauces used on linguini and fettuccine and lend a new sophistication to a favorite recipe.

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Penne Rigate

A short-cut tubular pasta. Penne describes the slanted "quill" shape on both ends and Rigate means with ridges. The ridges capture flavor making this cut great for a wide range of sauces; from vegetable sauces to meat sauces.

Pronunciation: PEN-nay

Italian for: “Quills” or feather”

Recommended sauce pairings: chunky meat, chunky vegetable, cream, or oil based.

Penne compliments virtually every sauce and is exceptional when paired with a chunky sauce. Penne is ridged and ideal to lock-in flavor. This shape is great for baking dishes, too



A big, tube-shaped pasta is perfect for holding thick meat and vegetable sauces and offering a hearty mouthful with every forkful.



A spiral-shaped pasta is the most popular cut for pasta salads, especially those made with an oil and vinegar dressing.

Pronunciation: Roh-TEE-nee

Italian for “Twist”

Recommended sauce pairings: meat, cream, vegetable, and oil based

Originating in Northern Italy, this shape pairs nicely with sauces full of flavor. The tight spiral locks-in the flavor allowing the shape to pair with both simple and sophisticated sauces. Children enjoy this fun shape. Also, these shapes are great when used in pasta salads.



Shaped like sea shells, are ribbed, and point at the tips, with a fat center. Their outer ridges hold the sauce, and the inside hides more sauce.

Recommended sauce pairings: meat, cream, vegetable, and oil based

Put a creative culinary spin on your next meal by adding shells to a variety of dishes.

Fill large shells with meat, cheese, seafood, chicken, or vegetables. Large Shells are good for baking dishes. Toss mid-sized Shells with chunky sauces. Add Small Shells to soups, pasta salads, or casseroles.



Long, thin, round-shaped pasta.

Pronunciation: spuh-GEHT-ee

Italian for: “Little strings”

Recommended sauce pairings: meat, seafood, vegetable, or oil base.

Spaghetti, a staple of traditional Italian cuisine, is one of the most versatile and popular shapes. Spaghetti shapes complement a variety of sauces.



Pasta resembling a child’s spinning top

Italian for “Spins”

Recommended sauce pairings: Thick sauces or vegetable soups and stews.

Originally rolled by hand around an umbrella stick, this curly rolled pasta was often left to dry in the warm Italian sun.

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