All Shapes of Italian Long Pasta

All Shapes of Pasta (Long Pasta)

Apr 03, 2020Federico Milone

It’s easy to say that you love pasta. But any Italian would wonder, “what kind of pasta?” Italy’s most famous traditional dish, in fact, comes in many different flavors and shapes.



We divide pasta into two categories: long and short pasta types, spaghetti or penne. But this distinction is only the beginning! If you tried out all possible shape and sauce combinations, you would be able to eat a different pasta dish every day for a year! Of course, not all types of pasta are equally popular, and some shapes are more common than others. Every region in Italy has its own, traditional variety, very difficult to find in other parts of the country. For example, orecchiette are synonymous with Puglia, just as malloreddus are typically Sardinian. Let’s make a list of pasta types...we are sure it will stimulate your culinary creativity!



  • Spaghetti, Italy’s most popular long, thin noodle is famous all around the world. You can match this pasta with almost any sauce. We suggest to use with them our chili Arrabbiata Sauce Pasta.
  • Pappardelle are long, large, flat noodles, fairly similar to fettuccine. Their name comes from the verb pappare, which means to gobble up. Any meat sauce will go well with this pasta.
  • Tagliatelle: There are many names for similar types of pasta; in fact, this pasta all’uovo is a lot like fettuccine. They are long, ribbon-shaped noodles from northern Italy. In Lazio and Tuscany, they are referred to as fettuccine. Pair this pasta with a thick sauce for best results, as our Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce with Ricotta Cheese.
  • Capelli d’angelo (angel hair) are a thinner kind of spaghetti. They are often used in soups or paired with light sauces.
  • Mafaldine are also ribbon-shaped, though they also have peculiar, wavy edges. The curled part of the noodle retains sauce better than the flat part. Mafaldine are very popular in Naples, named in honor of Princess Mafalda of Savoy. In some parts of Italy, they are also called reginette.
  • Linguini are often eaten in fish-based recipes such as linguine with seafood, or linguine with shrimp sauce. The length is the same as spaghetti but, instead of having the cylindrical shape, they have a flat appearance.
  • Bucatini are a type of long pasta, similar to large perforated spaghetti. The sauce par excellence of this pasta shape is all'amatriciana: a sauce based on bacon and tomato. 
  • Fusilli with a Hole is a format originally from Campania, with a shape similar to an elongated fusillo. It was made by Neapolitan housewives by rolling a bucatino around a knitting needle. Delicious with a simple tomato and basil sauce.



This one is only a short list of the most popular types of long pasta. Stay tuned for more information about short pasta! If you are looking for high quality, Magnifico Food is the best resource. 

Buy your favorite one on Magnifico!

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