Shapes Encyclopedia

Get to know some of your favorite pasta shapes better or find a new favorite with this helpful guide.

campanelle Shapes Encyclopedia



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.

elbow-macaroni Shapes Encyclopedia



Shape: 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.

fettucine Shapes Encyclopedia



Shape: Long, flat shape

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.

gemelli Shapes Encyclopedia



Shape: 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.

lasagna Shapes Encyclopedia



Shape: Broad, flat, rectangle

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.

mafalda Shapes Encyclopedia



Shape: Flat, ribbon-like

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.

penne Shapes Encyclopedia



Shape: Hollow tubes. Ends are cut at a diagonal so they are pointed.

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.

rotini Shapes Encyclopedia



Shape: Short, tight, spiral pasta

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.

shells Shapes Encyclopedia



Shape: Variety of sizes, shape of a sea shell

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.

spaghetti Shapes Encyclopedia



Shape: Long, thin, round shape

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 compliment a variety of sauces.

trottole Shapes Encyclopedia



Shape: Resembles 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.