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-1 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-1 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-1 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-1 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-1 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-1 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-1 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.