How to pronounce Italian pasta shapes

background made with uncooked spaghetti and butterflies pasta nicely positiond on top, as in a painting

Italy is the reign of dry and fresh pasta, but this delicious aliment is consumed on all continents nowadays.
It is a very inexpensive food and, at the same time, it is healthy and easy to cook. Pasta can also be the main ingredient in many refined recipes. Read about all types of pasta and listen to the correct pronunciation of their names in Italian. 


Bavette (it's plural) have the same shape as linguine, a sort of flatted spaghetti, narrower than tagliatelle. Bavette are a typical dish in the region of Liguria.


Cannelloni are a cylindrical type of pasta. They are served with a filling and covered in sauce. Cannelloni can be stuffed with Ricotta cheese and spinach or with ground beef cooked as a Ragù. Once they have been stuffed, they are baked in tomato sauce or Béchamel sauce.


Conchiglie are named after seashells because they have the same shape: the perfect shape to encapsulate loads of sauce.


Fettuccine is the Italian translation of little ribbons. It is a type of pasta similar to flat thick noodles made of eggs and flour. Remember: Fettuccine Alfredo is not an Italian dish. It was created in the US by Italian emigrants. Do not try to order it in Roma or Venezia.


Fusilli are a short helicoid shaped pasta, often translated in English as rotini. But if you ask for rotini pasta while visiting Italy, nobody will understand you.


Linguine (it's plural) are a sort of flattened spaghetti, also called trenette or bavette. Do not call them linguini: the correct plural is linguine.


Maccheroni are a short tubular shaped pasta to be served in a tomato sauce or ragù sauce and grated Parmigiano Reggiano


Maltagliati in Italian means badly cut. This type of pasta looks like ribbons cut diagonally in very irregular pieces.


The word Orecchiette means small ears. This home-made pasta is typical of the region of Puglia, and it is served with cime di rapa, some sort of leafy vegetables, we could not find a translation for in English.


Paccheri are a type of pasta looking like a large tube, traditionally made in Campania. They can be stuffed.


Pappardelle are a fresh pasta similar to wider fettuccine.


Passatelli are home-made pasta prepared with bread crumbs, eggs, grated Parmesan cheese and nutmeg. They are cooked in chicken broth. It is a traditional dish from Emilia-Romagna.


Penne are a type of short cut pasta with a cylinder-shape. The word penne also means pens, feathers.


Ravioli are a type of filled pasta. The filling is sealed between two layers of thin egg pasta dough, and they are served in broth or with sauce. 


Spaghetti are long, thin, cylindrical pasta. They are the Italian version of noodles. 

Spaghetti alla chitarra 

Spaghetti alla chitarra are named after the guitar-like device used to cut this kind of pasta, traditionally found in Abruzzo and Puglia.


Tagliatelle are made of fresh egg pasta and they are shaped as flat ribbons. They can be served with funghi or with all sort of sauces.


Trofie are a traditional short handmade pasta from Liguria. They are traditionally served with Pesto sauce.

17 August 2023
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