A Pasta Glossary
Long Strands
Bucatini Long: thick tubes resembling hollow spaghetti.
Capellini: Also called capelli d’ angelo or angel hair. Very thin, delicate strands.
Fusilli Long: strands resembling a telephone cord but also the name for short spirals.
Spaghetti: Italian for "lengths of cord."
Vermicelli: Very thin spaghetti.
Flat Ribbons
Egg noodles: American-style noodles enriched with egg yolks.
Fettuccine: Flat noodles about 1⁄4 inch wide.
Lasagna: Very wide flat pasta noodles, also available in a no-boil version.
Linguine: Ribbons of pasta that are 1⁄8 inch wide.
Mafalde: Wide ribbons with one long ruffled edge.
Pappardelle: Ribbons about 1 inch wide.
Tagliatelle: Slightly wider than fettuccine.
Tubular Pastas
Elbow macaroni: Small curved tubular pasta.
Mostaccioli: Tubes about 2 inches long, available smooth and ribbed.
Penne: Tubes with diagonally cut ends.
Rigatoni: Large ribbed tubes.
Ziti: Medium tubes about 1 inch long.
Small Pastas
Acini di pepe: Tiny pasta stubs.
Alphabets: Tiny letter-shaped pasta.
Ditalini: Very short macaroni; also called tubettini.
Orzo: Although rice-shaped, orzo means “barley” in Italian.
Pastina: Very, very small pasta flakes.
Miscellaneous Shapes
Cavatelli: Small elongated ridged pasta.
Conchiglie: Medium shells good for sauce.
Creste di gallo: Curly medium-ribbed pasta that resembles a rooster’s crest.
Farfalle: Italian for “butterflies,” also called bow ties.
Gemelli: Two short spaghettilike strands that are twisted together.
Manicotti: Large tubes of pasta meant for stuffing.
Orecchiette: Disks that resemble small ears.
Radiatori: Small deeply ribbed pasta resembling little radiators.
Rotini: Corkscrew pasta, also called fusilli and rotelle.
Ruote: Wagon wheel–shaped pasta.
Asian Noodles
Cellophane noodles: Called bean threads or mai fun.
Chinese-style egg noodles: Tender whole-wheat strands, similar to egg linguine.
Rice sticks: Very thin rice stick noodles, also called mai fun or rice vermicelli.
Soba: Thin brownish gray noodles made from buckwheat flour.
Udon noodles: Long, thick, Japanese wheat noodles.


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