Three Common Types of Pasta

by Travis Loncar on January 3, 2012

Happy New Year, all yinz Penn Mac followers! Or, “Felice Anno Nuovo” for our Italian folks. We hope you had a safe but adventurous, peaceful but boisterous, and traditional but novel New Year’s celebration! May your days become brighter and your resolutions become realities! Speaking of resolutions, actually, as a child, one of my “all the time” resolutions was to be able to identify any given type of pasta at sight or audible description. Weird, I know; but when you come from a family that eats many an Italian pasta dish, it’s sort of expected that these types of things become rudimentary knowledge. Sadly, I never quite mastered the whole list – as it is quite big – but I did manage to commit around five or six types of pasta to memory. Today, we’ll cover just three. Here’s to hoping that you, like me, could use a little refresher!

1. Angel Hair

For me, Angel Hair has always been the easiest type of pasta to identify visually. Let’s be honest; the name brings about imagery that can only be associated with the pasta that it identifies. Delicate, thin strands of noodle characterize this type of pasta. It takes around 3-5 minutes to cook and is typically complimented with any one of many sauces when served. You might see it in the form of an Angel Hair pasta nest, as is shown below.

angel hair

2. Fettuccine

One of my favorite types of pasta, Fettuccine (meaning “”little ribbons”) is roughly the same length as spaghetti, but flatter and generally wider. This type of pasta takes a bit longer to cook (roughly 10-12 minutes) and, like Angel Hair, goes great with a variety of gourmet sauces. My personal favorite: Fettuccine pasta with Alfredo sauce (or Fettuccine Alfredo). Yum.


3. Farfalle

Bow ties, bow ties, who wants some bow ties? I do. We’ve reached my absolute favorite type of pasta, Farfalle. Needless to say, this pasta features cute little bow tie shaped noodles. Like Fettuccine, Farfalle pasta takes around 10-12 minutes to cook and goes well with a good amount of sauces. Two of my favorite uses are in a salad sprinkled with olive oil or cooked in good old-fashioned butter.


Well, that was simple! Perhaps looking at these three types of pasta jogged your memory a bit? If you’re looking for something that goes a lot more in depth, check out this infographic on the different types of pasta from Charming Italy. We’re confident that you’ll find the pasta that you’re looking for! That’s all for today, though. Once again, best wishes to you and yours in 2012! See you next time!

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