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What Are Your Most and Least Favorite Pasta Shapes?

Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 10:55 AM

Favs: capellini and linguini

Worsts: penne and fettucini

With pasta, to me it's all about mouth-feel. This trait determines whether I like or dislike a pasta shape.

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  1. Munkipawse RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 11:01 AM

    i love capatavi but think that farfella is overrated. I agree that fettiucini is a bit odd too. For me, Fettuchin always seems so doughy/chewy for lack of better definition. Have you ever had the spaghetti that is hollow and has ridges on the outside, Bucatini? It has a nice mouth-feel.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Munkipawse
      Perilagu Khan RE: Munkipawse Jan 23, 2012 11:08 AM

      Bucatini is marvelous (Mrs. Khan's personal fav, dontchaknow), but I've never encountered bucatini rigati. Latini, by the by, makes tremendous bucatini, but it ain't cheap.

      1. re: Perilagu Khan
        EWSflash RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 08:54 PM

        After my mother spent years pooh-poohing any but the thinnest long pasta in the '60s and onward as a battle cry, I started experimenting and realized that I just love bucatini and bucatelli. My all time favorite il=s linguine, for the long pasta, not sure why I prefer it so to spaghetti. I like fettucine and orzo, not so much fusilli, it's been overdone and overexposed, to me it says grocery store deli pasta salad with Miracle Whip.. Radiatore is a favorite, as are campanelle and gemelli. pennette, the smaller the better, usually, and for some dishes I have to use shells or elbows. And last but not least, tortellini with a tasty filling.

      2. re: Munkipawse
        CanadaGirl RE: Munkipawse Jan 24, 2012 05:23 PM

        I have to ask - what is it about bucatini that you find enjoyable? I find if frustrating to eat and have put it on my least favourite list. Given the other posts, I am definitely in the minority!

        1. re: CanadaGirl
          Munkipawse RE: CanadaGirl Jan 24, 2012 06:35 PM

          I like the weight, ridged texture and how creamy it becomes when cooked. For me it leaves spaghetti in the dust.

          1. re: Munkipawse
            ttoommyy RE: Munkipawse Jan 24, 2012 07:13 PM

            You said it all Munkipawse!

            1. re: Munkipawse
              Perilagu Khan RE: Munkipawse Jan 25, 2012 06:53 AM

              As Auric Goldfinger said of gold: "All my life I've admired its color, its brilliance, its divine heaviness." ;)

            2. re: CanadaGirl
              powella RE: CanadaGirl Feb 2, 2012 06:21 PM

              I am with you on this one, CanadaGirl. I can never seem to figure out how to get bucatini into my mouth. Dead last on my list. First place is a tie between elbows and shells!

          2. sunshine842 RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 11:04 AM

            farfalle and twists of all descriptions are the shapes of choice Chez Sunshine -- tagliatelle and fettucine are fab if they're fresh.

            1. Brianne920 RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 11:12 AM

              Favorites: Gemelli, Orecchiette, and Quadrefiore

              Least Favorites: Ditalini and Fettuccine

              For me, it is definitely about texture, and also about that texture/shape's ability to convey sauce/seasoning of every kind. I'm a sauce girl.

              16 Replies
              1. re: Brianne920
                EWSflash RE: Brianne920 Jan 23, 2012 08:56 PM

                Oh! Forgot Orecchiette, another favorite

                1. re: EWSflash
                  melpy RE: EWSflash Jan 24, 2012 09:02 AM

                  +1 If only my regular store would carry it all the time. Also is anyone familiar with the long fusili from NE? It is like thick screw shaped spaghetti but has a whole like bucatini. I also love pappardelle.

                  1. re: melpy
                    Perilagu Khan RE: melpy Jan 24, 2012 09:21 AM

                    Yeah, had that long fusili once and really liked it.

                    1. re: melpy
                      Brianne920 RE: melpy Jan 24, 2012 10:01 AM

                      Might this be what you mean?


                      If so, I believe I've seen it Italian specialty stores in or around Philly, or you could buy online!

                      1. re: Brianne920
                        Perilagu Khan RE: Brianne920 Jan 24, 2012 11:32 AM

                        That's exactly what I had in mind.

                        1. re: Brianne920
                          melpy RE: Brianne920 Jan 25, 2012 04:28 AM

                          Yeah that's it. It was so ubiquitous as a child that I have a hard time justifying seeking it out. I do pick it up when I see it, if reasonably priced.

                          1. re: melpy
                            Brianne920 RE: melpy Jan 25, 2012 06:05 AM

                            Absolutely. Growing up in a heavily Italian area, paying a ton for dried pasta that isn't something really special makes me grouchy.

                          2. re: Brianne920
                            IndyGirl RE: Brianne920 Jan 28, 2012 08:21 PM

                            Hey, I've seen that before but never tried it--I'll be sure to do so now! thanks!

                            1. re: Brianne920
                              Sharuf RE: Brianne920 Dec 28, 2013 08:21 AM

                              The link does not work.

                          3. re: EWSflash
                            paulj RE: EWSflash Jan 24, 2012 11:40 AM

                            I had problems cooking orecchiette (the little ear shaped cups). They tended to nest inside each other, producing, in effect, thick pasta that did not cook evenly.

                            1. re: paulj
                              IndyGirl RE: paulj Jan 28, 2012 08:21 PM

                              I had the same issue.

                              1. re: paulj
                                ttoommyy RE: paulj Jan 29, 2012 02:51 PM

                                Stir often and buy a premium brand. Never had that happen.

                                1. re: paulj
                                  coll RE: paulj Dec 28, 2013 09:37 AM

                                  I've only had that issue with Trader Joe orecchiette. Never again.

                                2. re: EWSflash
                                  josephnl RE: EWSflash Jan 31, 2012 04:45 PM

                                  Orecchiette for sure if it's a meat sauce. I love the way a small bit of ground veal or beef seems to land in each "ear"!

                                3. re: Brianne920
                                  Firenzilla RE: Brianne920 Jan 24, 2012 11:55 AM

                                  Orecchiette is one of my favorites too. I get what EWS is saying about fusili, but it does such a great job of carrying sauce... I really like it in a lot of different pasta dishes.

                                  One I have never liked is angel hair- it just always seems mushy even when cooked properly

                                  1. re: Firenzilla
                                    foiegras RE: Firenzilla May 17, 2012 03:01 PM

                                    Hmm ... I would go the other way, although there kind of is no such thing as a bad pasta shape (not that I've had, anyway).

                                    I will not order angel hair in a restaurant, but I used to cook it myself all the time. The secret is (for dried), 2 minutes exactly. It's fantastic for really getting a meal on the table in a hurry.

                                    I started eating thicker pasta for glycemic index reasons. Spaghetti is actually a favorite, cavatappi, farfalline, shells. I wish I had a little better selection of pasta locally.

                                4. t
                                  thimes RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 11:15 AM

                                  Bucatini is one of my favorites as well.

                                  I am also loving lumaconi right now (a few brands I've seen recently are calling it conchiglioni - but I'm not arguing pasta nomenclature in this post) - which is like a big snail shell - thus the name. hmmm picture a short but large 1/2 curled tube pinched closed at one end . . . okay not great but you can google it. So great with rich chunky sauces (winter sauces for me) because the big chunks get all caught in the pasta hole - just lovely.

                                  Honestly there isn't a shape I don't like - I couldn't even pick one if I had too. Maybe I could say I don't like pasta x with sauce y but not a shape in and of itself.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: thimes
                                    Perilagu Khan RE: thimes Jan 23, 2012 12:20 PM

                                    I've had lumaconi once. It's a rarely encountered shape in my part of the world.

                                    1. re: thimes
                                      kubasd RE: thimes Jan 24, 2012 08:45 PM

                                      I love lumaconi!! The pipette by Barilla is really close, if not exact.

                                      1. re: kubasd
                                        thimes RE: kubasd Jan 24, 2012 11:17 PM

                                        I had never seen those Pipette (googled them) yes they are the same but smaller than what I'm used to. I'll have to track those down.

                                    2. mattstolz RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 11:24 AM

                                      i love campanelle and gemili. they both grab lots of good sauce. also love israeli couscous.

                                      not a huge fan of plain ole spaghetti or farfalle

                                      1. l
                                        laliz RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 11:33 AM

                                        Love Gemelli and rigatoni and spaghetti most. NOT angel hair or spaghettini or linguini

                                        12 Replies
                                        1. re: laliz
                                          livetocook RE: laliz Jan 23, 2012 11:40 AM

                                          Fav: Any long noodle except for angel hair, rigatoni

                                          Worst: Farfelle, rotelle, Any sized shell shaped.

                                          I'm surprised by the hate on for Fettucini. It's in my top 5 fav :)

                                          1. re: livetocook
                                            laliz RE: livetocook Jan 23, 2012 02:27 PM

                                            I really don't want fettucini or pappardelle; you can have mine. ;~)

                                            1. re: laliz
                                              kgrote RE: laliz Jan 24, 2012 10:00 PM

                                              I was going to put pappardelle as one of my favorites! There's nothing like big, wide, floppy noodles coated in a buttery sauce. According to Wikipedia, it's so popular in Italy that they have whole festivals to celebrate it!

                                              1. re: kgrote
                                                Munkipawse RE: kgrote Jan 24, 2012 10:44 PM

                                                Who makes a good boxed parppadelle that you can reccommend? I've never been able to find it at the market.

                                                1. re: Munkipawse
                                                  Perilagu Khan RE: Munkipawse Jan 25, 2012 06:55 AM

                                                  I think De Cecco may make a pappardelle.

                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                    livetocook RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 31, 2012 07:28 PM

                                                    Pappardelle is fantastic and yes, De cecco is a great brand!

                                                  2. re: Munkipawse
                                                    kgrote RE: Munkipawse Jan 25, 2012 08:12 AM

                                                    I live in a tiny podunk town, so I can't get boxed pappardelle. I just make it myself (it's better that way anyway).

                                                    1. re: Munkipawse
                                                      ttoommyy RE: Munkipawse Jan 25, 2012 11:35 AM

                                                      I think pappardelle is one pasta that should be fresh, not dried. But that's just my opinion.

                                                      1. re: ttoommyy
                                                        MangaLisa RE: ttoommyy Jan 30, 2012 10:14 AM

                                                        Trader Joes has a good Pappardelle

                                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                                          foiegras RE: ttoommyy May 17, 2012 03:03 PM

                                                          Agreed ... it just doesn't translate to dried for some reason.

                                                          Last time I had it was with a boar ragu ... most excellent. You're making me want to go back to that restaurant!

                                                  3. re: livetocook
                                                    Miss Needle RE: livetocook Jan 23, 2012 02:34 PM

                                                    I hate hate rotelle. Ever since I was a kid, it reminded me of bacterial colonies in petri dishes.

                                                    1. re: Miss Needle
                                                      EWSflash RE: Miss Needle Jan 23, 2012 08:56 PM

                                                      Too funny, Miss Needle- and you're right

                                                2. c
                                                  CanadaGirl RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 11:49 AM

                                                  I have to say that I was thinking bucatini for LEAST favourite before the thread even opened up! And I see it is on more than one favourite list. To each their own I guess. :)

                                                  Least favourite: bucatini, cappelini, penne lisse

                                                  Favourite: penne rigate, farfalle, spaghetti.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: CanadaGirl
                                                    Perilagu Khan RE: CanadaGirl Jan 23, 2012 12:21 PM

                                                    Good old spaghetti is popular for a very good reason.

                                                    1. re: CanadaGirl
                                                      pdxgastro RE: CanadaGirl Jan 31, 2012 04:10 PM

                                                      Meanwhile, spaghetti is my LEAST favorite but I will eat it when carbo loading for a sports event. Isn't that odd??

                                                    2. southernitalian RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 12:04 PM

                                                      My favorite is very al dente radiatori. Especially in cold pasta salads. I honestly don't think I ever met a pasta I didn't like but most of the time, angel hair and spaghettini gets cooked too long and turns to mush.

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: southernitalian
                                                        Perilagu Khan RE: southernitalian Jan 23, 2012 12:23 PM

                                                        Capellini is tricky, no doubt about it. But even when it clumps together a bit I can't help but wolf it down. Absolutely love the stuff.

                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                          sunshine842 RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 12:30 PM

                                                          especially with a simple sauce. Aglio e olio, or a very fresh tomato sauce (basically chopped tomatoes warmed by the heat of the pasta, with a little fresh basil. Yum)

                                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                                            Perilagu Khan RE: sunshine842 Jan 23, 2012 12:36 PM

                                                            I've got a bacon, parsley, mushroom, fresh tomato and white wine sauce that is an absolute knockout on capellini. And I agree that simple, light sauces are usually best on this pasta.

                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                              sunshine842 RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 12:37 PM

                                                              Oh, yum -- proportions, please?

                                                        2. re: southernitalian
                                                          Munkipawse RE: southernitalian Jan 23, 2012 12:37 PM

                                                          Hi SouthN,

                                                          +1 I completely forgot about the radiatori! I love those too... My kids often request those by asking, "Mom! can you make the little radiators tonight with the sauce?" haha... Good stuff and I like the nice little nooks and cranies for the sauce to cling too. :)

                                                          1. re: Munkipawse
                                                            LongIslandChef RE: Munkipawse Jan 24, 2012 07:15 PM

                                                            wow, I read halfway down this thread and no one had mentioned Radiatori but finally there it was. Have loved them since I was a kid and yes, I called them little radiators back then too ;-)

                                                            1. re: LongIslandChef
                                                              coll RE: LongIslandChef Dec 28, 2013 09:38 AM

                                                              They are great for the younger set, that's for sure.

                                                        3. k
                                                          kimm99 RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 12:38 PM

                                                          I grew up eating Rigatoni with meat sauce every Sunday, I loved how some of the meat would always wind up inside the tube. I like shells as well for the same reason. That being said, I like gemelli and penne too. I hate hate hate Rotini, it is not allowed in my house.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: kimm99
                                                            EM23 RE: kimm99 Jan 23, 2012 01:04 PM

                                                            I share your disdain for the rotini. Add to that the other twisted noodles - fusilli and farfalle and the wagon wheel (can't think of the name right now)- and that's my least favorite list - probably because of too many lousy pasta salads in the 80's.

                                                            For favorites I love spinach tagliatelle with a Bolognese, linguine for a Carbonara, bucatini for all'Amatriciana and orzo for chicken soup. Rigatoni, ziti and penne rigate are cool too.

                                                          2. ttoommyy RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 12:46 PM

                                                            I can honestly say I have never met a pasta shape I didn't like. But my all-time favorite since childhood has always been conchiglie (shells). I just love the way they hold the sauce and sometimes bunch together inside of one another.

                                                            11 Replies
                                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                                              Sooeygun RE: ttoommyy Jan 23, 2012 01:42 PM

                                                              Have to agree with you about liking all the shapes.

                                                              I was visiting my Italian friend and she commented that she didn't even know why they bothered making penne lisce (the smooth penne) cause the sauce doesn't stick to it and I realized, I had never bought it before.

                                                              Tonight it's cavatappi with shrimp. Mr S cuts the shrimp in half and they curl up, sometime entwined right around pasta.

                                                              1. re: Sooeygun
                                                                melpy RE: Sooeygun Jan 25, 2012 04:30 AM

                                                                Same reason they make ziti?

                                                                1. re: melpy
                                                                  Sooeygun RE: melpy Jan 25, 2012 08:18 AM

                                                                  I'll ask her next time what her opinion is on ziti. That's another one I never buy.

                                                                  1. re: Sooeygun
                                                                    coll RE: Sooeygun Dec 28, 2013 09:39 AM

                                                                    Smooth penne is more for salads. Popular with delis and fast food places.

                                                                    1. re: coll
                                                                      mbfant RE: coll Dec 29, 2013 11:15 PM

                                                                      Actually, even though smooth penne may be popular with delis, pasta salads are not traditional in Italy (and Italian purists don't even acknowledge their existence). I actually prefer them to ridged, but it's completely subjective.

                                                                      Although the ridges do help hold the sauce, what is more important is to use a bronze-extruded pasta, hence rough textured, which not only holds but actually absorbs the sauce.

                                                                      1. re: mbfant
                                                                        coll RE: mbfant Dec 30, 2013 04:11 AM

                                                                        I should have qualified, I used to sell various pastas in the NY market, and that's where the smooth penne vs ridged had its niches.

                                                                        Bronze extruded isn't easy to find here, at least not in the supermarket, but I do grab some when I see it. Then I put it aside for a special occasion!

                                                                        I like to mix ziti and penne in the same dish myself, it seems boring with just one or the other. Probably sacrilege, I know!

                                                                        1. re: coll
                                                                          mbfant RE: coll Dec 30, 2013 06:58 AM

                                                                          Unusual and eccentric but not sacrilege if you're careful about the cooking times.

                                                                          1. re: mbfant
                                                                            coll RE: mbfant Dec 30, 2013 08:38 AM

                                                                            Unusual and eccentric, that's me all right!

                                                              2. re: ttoommyy
                                                                EWSflash RE: ttoommyy Jan 23, 2012 09:00 PM

                                                                I really like the way the peas snug themselves down into the shells in the pasta salad we make. My MIL commented on how difficult it must have been for me to put all the peas into the shells- I told her she was worth the extra effort. :-)

                                                                1. re: EWSflash
                                                                  Mattkn RE: EWSflash Jan 26, 2012 09:20 PM


                                                                  1. re: EWSflash
                                                                    EM23 RE: EWSflash Jan 31, 2012 08:17 PM

                                                                    Nice!!! How to be a good daughter in-law.

                                                                2. arktos RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 01:42 PM

                                                                  ++: Spaghettini, Malloreddus, Fregula and Orecchiette. And Orzo!

                                                                  - -: Penne, Fusilli, Bowtie and especialli Buctani.

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: arktos
                                                                    EWSflash RE: arktos Jan 23, 2012 09:01 PM

                                                                    When I was sick as a kid my mom made us Pastina (Ronzoni brand) with a ton of butter and salt. I still love that wonderful fluffy texture

                                                                    1. re: EWSflash
                                                                      melpy RE: EWSflash Jan 24, 2012 09:05 AM

                                                                      We added Calabro Parmesan cheese, no salt, an egg and black pepper. If I could justify the calories I would totally make some tonight.

                                                                      1. re: EWSflash
                                                                        ttoommyy RE: EWSflash Jan 24, 2012 09:31 AM

                                                                        "When I was sick as a kid my mom made us Pastina (Ronzoni brand) with a ton of butter and salt. I still love that wonderful fluffy texture."

                                                                        Did she cook it in milk? My mother did. It was so comforting. Mmmmmmm.

                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                          Munkipawse RE: ttoommyy Jan 24, 2012 06:36 PM

                                                                          That sounds so yummy. I think i'm gonna have to pinch that recipe to make for my munkies. They love creamy warm pasta sauces.

                                                                      2. re: arktos
                                                                        njmarshall55 RE: arktos Jan 25, 2012 10:49 AM

                                                                        Found out about fregola from Lidia's show on Sardinia. Can't seem to find it anywhere in stored, but seems simple to make.
                                                                        I enjoy Orecchiette, especially with sausage and broccoli rabe. Had to make it one time with "Little Hats"...some imported brand...and they stuck together in big clumps, so no more of that one. I grew up on elbow macaroni in cold salad. So I no longer use that one either.
                                                                        For red sauce/gravy, I'll stick with gemelli, fusilli. The really small sizes (orzo, acin de pepe, etc.) for soups.

                                                                        1. re: njmarshall55
                                                                          ttoommyy RE: njmarshall55 Jan 25, 2012 11:33 AM

                                                                          "Found out about fregola from Lidia's show on Sardinia. Can't seem to find it anywhere in stored, but seems simple to make."

                                                                          Fun to make...for the first 5 minutes. By the time you have enough of the little buggers you're thinking..."now why did I decide to do this?" lol Luckily I can found them in quite a few stores where I live.

                                                                      3. Bada Bing RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 02:04 PM

                                                                        Hey, variety is the spice of life. And in service to Family Values on this site, I won't spell out an analogous question, from the intimate sphere, that occurred to me on hearing your question.

                                                                        That said, I actually like penne rigate for its flexibility in many sautes, baked dishes and even mac and cheese. I love bowties (farfalle) for summer dishes with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil dishes. Linguini with my heirloom-tomato red sauce.

                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                          Perilagu Khan RE: Bada Bing Jan 23, 2012 02:15 PM

                                                                          I'm quid tertium on farfalle unless it's Barilla. Barilla makes absolutely perfect farfalle. The little "knot" at the center is as delicate and tender after cooking as the rest of the pasta. Most pasta makers don't get that right.

                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                            Bada Bing RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 02:29 PM

                                                                            Interesting. It's true that that's a tricky point with farfalle. There is an issue of unevenness.

                                                                            But I've been happy with De Cecco and Mueller's brands as well. I should try side-by-side some day to see if I'm missing something.

                                                                            1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                              sunshine842 RE: Bada Bing Jan 23, 2012 03:21 PM

                                                                              Barilla really is better than all the other brands (yep, I've tried and tried). I even doubted their claim about being #1 in Italy til I visited a couple of Italian supermarkets -- yep, they're right -- an entire aisle lined in dark blue boxes.

                                                                              Only time I don't buy Barilla is if I'm buying fresh pasta -- and Barilla is one of just a handful of brands to which I'm absolutely loyal -- I've thrown out too many boxes of pasta i didn't like.

                                                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                EWSflash RE: sunshine842 Jan 23, 2012 09:03 PM

                                                                                I have to agree- after haunting the specialty stores for years for the DeCecco and other hotsy totsy $3/lb pastas, that Barilla really delivers flavor and texture at a lower price.

                                                                                1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                  foiegras RE: EWSflash May 17, 2012 03:11 PM

                                                                                  I am all about the deCecco ... and I've been paying 1.99/lb lately. Lidia's brand is pretty nice, great rough texture. It wants to stick to my pans though. The deCecco plays nicer in that respect.

                                                                                  1. re: foiegras
                                                                                    EWSflash RE: foiegras May 28, 2012 09:43 PM

                                                                                    I love DeCecco, and always will, but it's not always easy to get my hands on.

                                                                              2. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                seamunky RE: Bada Bing Jan 24, 2012 01:06 AM

                                                                                I thought that was the intention and perk of the farfalle shape...the knot has a bit more bite to it and provides textural contrast to the tender wings. I always enjoyed that.

                                                                                1. re: seamunky
                                                                                  Bada Bing RE: seamunky Jan 24, 2012 04:41 AM

                                                                                  I agree. But it's just also possible for the center to be frankly uncooked, so on testing I always test exactly that center spot.

                                                                                  1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                    MangaLisa RE: Bada Bing Jan 30, 2012 10:18 AM

                                                                                    Exactly why I avoid farfalle... I like my pasta to have bite... That means a knot in the middle of my bow or soggy sides

                                                                              3. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                biondanonima RE: Perilagu Khan May 29, 2012 12:28 AM

                                                                                Interesting about Barilla farfalle - I am not a fan of farfalle in general because of the hard center knot, but I haven't tried Barilla (to my knowledge ), even though it is my favorite brand. Perhaps I'll give it a go, although I don't think farfalle is a good sauce holder anyway due to its flatness.

                                                                                I love pretty much all long pastas and most of the short shapes too, but I absolutely adore gigli (sometimes also called campanelli, I think). They just grab the sauce so well and have such a great mouthfeel. Mafalde are also fantastic.

                                                                            2. mattstolz RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 02:31 PM

                                                                              i think the most important thing is definitely how the pasta is cooked more than the shape. even my favorite shapes drop much, much lower on my list when overcooked

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                Munkipawse RE: mattstolz Jan 23, 2012 02:42 PM

                                                                                Mattsoltz, slightly off topic-- but i had to laugh to myself about your last comment. It reminded me of an old boyfriend that I had who would only eat pasta after it had been cooked to the point of mush. When I tried to get him to try pasta that i cooked he claimed it was too hard!?!?! and it wasn't even cooked al dente but past the point of al dente. Needless to say he's gone but the sight of overcooked pasta always brings back memories of him serving us "hospital" quality pasta... *i think i just barfed a little* heh.

                                                                                1. re: Munkipawse
                                                                                  mattstolz RE: Munkipawse Jan 23, 2012 05:55 PM

                                                                                  my family likes their pasta overcooked too! it is beyond frustrating. I have resorted to taking a serving or two's worth out of the water at the right time for myself and tossing it with its own sauce while i (with a heavy, heavy heart) overcook theirs.

                                                                                  However, i REFUSE to overcook it for them when i have made the noodles myself. no way.

                                                                                  1. re: Munkipawse
                                                                                    EWSflash RE: Munkipawse Jan 23, 2012 09:04 PM

                                                                                    Maybe he had bad teeth??

                                                                                    1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                      Munkipawse RE: EWSflash Jan 24, 2012 05:09 AM

                                                                                      ...more like a non-discriminating palate. He was under the assumption EVERYTHING tasted better cooked a l-o-n-g time. Ick...

                                                                                      Hmm speaking of family my mom isnt so fond of al dente either. I'm gonna have to ask if its cause the way her mom cooked or maybe just a preference. Growing up she only served us spaghetti and macaroni. I didnt try other shapes until i was out and away at college.

                                                                                      1. re: Munkipawse
                                                                                        foiegras RE: Munkipawse May 17, 2012 03:13 PM

                                                                                        I will say this for my mother ... there were errors, in and out of the kitchen, but she was an absolute believer in al dente.

                                                                                2. Cheese Boy RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 23, 2012 07:15 PM

                                                                                  Faves: Trottole .. Mafalde .. Bucatini .. Casarecce .. Acini di Pepe .. Cavatelli .. Rigatoni .. Cavatappi

                                                                                  Least Fave: Elbows ... Spaghetti ... Rotini ... Ditali

                                                                                  1. RealMenJulienne RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 05:23 AM

                                                                                    I like the thin spaghettis and angel hair type pastas. I really dislike all the the non-noodle types like penne and farfalle. I know Italians have all these rules for pairing pasta with sauce but to me the long thin noodles work best with any kind of sauce. I think it's because they have more surface area so sauce sticks better.

                                                                                    Farfalle can be good too, but it really has to be handmade to be great. All the others I will skip.

                                                                                    1. p
                                                                                      Puffin3 RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 05:58 AM

                                                                                      Capellini which has to be watched carefully because it can overcook in seconds and for a pasta that absorbs lots of sauce mafaldine.

                                                                                      1. j
                                                                                        jbsiegel RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 06:00 AM

                                                                                        FAVS: Cellentani, Farfalle, and Ronzoni used to make a long fusilli that was fantastic. Sadly, I can't find that any more...just the short little pieces which I don't like.

                                                                                        LEAST FAV: Ziti, linguini

                                                                                        1. m
                                                                                          Maximilien RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 06:39 AM

                                                                                          I recently discover Fregula pasta, and it has become one of my favourite pasta.

                                                                                          I never really cared for baked pasta (Lasagna ) or stuffed pasta (Cannelloni, ... )

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Maximilien
                                                                                            italianyc84 RE: Maximilien Jan 24, 2012 08:30 AM

                                                                                            favorite: bucatini, anelletti, cavatappi, fettucine/taglia/pappardelle (I like wide pastas), gemelli

                                                                                            least favorite: angel hair

                                                                                            1. re: italianyc84
                                                                                              Perilagu Khan RE: italianyc84 Jan 24, 2012 09:22 AM

                                                                                              Funny--I like pappardelle but cannot abide fettucini.

                                                                                              1. re: italianyc84
                                                                                                italianyc84 RE: italianyc84 Jan 24, 2012 12:43 PM

                                                                                                oh, I also love paccheri and cavatelli (if that counts as a shape!)

                                                                                                I looooooove pasta.

                                                                                                Really angel hair is the one one I don't care for.

                                                                                                1. re: italianyc84
                                                                                                  italianyc84 RE: italianyc84 Jan 24, 2012 12:43 PM

                                                                                                  oh, and I love orrechete. And this thread.

                                                                                                  1. re: italianyc84
                                                                                                    italianyc84 RE: italianyc84 Jan 26, 2012 06:02 AM

                                                                                                    Garganelli, too.

                                                                                                    Hmm. I seem to really prefer heartier pastas, a little thicker shapes...

                                                                                              2. p
                                                                                                PotatoPuff RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 10:24 AM

                                                                                                Favorites: penne rigate, rotini, seashells, and sometimes rotelle, elbows, papardelle or spaghetti

                                                                                                Least favorites: penne lisce (smooth, no ridges), angel hair, farfalle, rigatoni, orzo, ZITI. I hate hate hate ziti, no idea why. Maybe because I prefere rigate to lisce...

                                                                                                1. Bob W RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 12:56 PM

                                                                                                  Great thread! I'm big on orechiette, farfalle, pappardelle, radiatore, gemelli, and linguini. Didn't like shells as a kid but I do now. Also like fusilli and that long fusilli even more. Oh, orzo too, especially in salads.

                                                                                                  Not so big on cappelini, ziti, penne, rigatoni, and spaghetti.

                                                                                                  No love for strozzapreti ("priest stranglers")? Great shape and the best name in the pasta family!

                                                                                                  21 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                    thimes RE: Bob W Jan 24, 2012 01:21 PM

                                                                                                    how can you not have love for strozzapreti? I love those and the name just makes it even better.

                                                                                                    1. re: thimes
                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: thimes Jan 24, 2012 01:44 PM

                                                                                                      my kiddo wouldn't eat his tortellini until I told him they were supposedly modeled after some lady's belly button.

                                                                                                      he asked for "belly button noodles" for years.

                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan RE: sunshine842 Jan 24, 2012 01:46 PM

                                                                                                        Little mention of filled pastas in this thread. Has anybody even mentioned ravioli?

                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                          Bob W RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 02:01 PM

                                                                                                          Speaking of ravioli, I wonder if anyone on here has ever had raviolonghi (long raviloli)? For many years there was a shop on Federal Hill in Providence, the Providence Cheese Shop, that made these. Great for people who really like ravioli filling and lots of it. I need to find out if Venda Ravioli, also on the Hill, makes them. Venda's products -- ravioli and tortellini, at least -- are available at Costco and BJ's under the Mama's brand.

                                                                                                          Raviolonghi: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sue_cl/2...

                                                                                                          OK, no raviolonghi on Venda's website but they do have ravioletti and tortelloni, for those who like some variation in size. www.vendaravioli.com

                                                                                                          1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                            pdxgastro RE: Bob W Jan 31, 2012 04:18 PM

                                                                                                            Heck, with all that filling, they might as well be cannelloni. ;o)

                                                                                                          2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                            sunshine842 RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 03:12 PM

                                                                                                            it was the amusing nature of the names, not the shapes themselves that I was talking about.

                                                                                                          3. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                            Jeri L RE: sunshine842 Jan 24, 2012 10:49 PM

                                                                                                            This reminds me--I wouln't eat vermicelli for YEARS after my Dad told me what it meant! Some of my favorites are buccatini, gemelli, radiatore and campanelle. I will often buy a new shape of pasta just for novelty.

                                                                                                            1. re: Jeri L
                                                                                                              sunshine842 RE: Jeri L Jan 24, 2012 10:51 PM

                                                                                                              Heh - I thought I was the only one who did that.

                                                                                                              1. re: Jeri L
                                                                                                                Munkipawse RE: Jeri L Jan 24, 2012 10:57 PM

                                                                                                                So... What did your dad say about vermcelli? You have my interest piqued. ;-)

                                                                                                                1. re: Munkipawse
                                                                                                                  thimes RE: Munkipawse Jan 24, 2012 11:18 PM

                                                                                                                  little worms if I remember correctly

                                                                                                                  1. re: thimes
                                                                                                                    Perilagu Khan RE: thimes Jan 25, 2012 06:57 AM

                                                                                                                    That's why I prefer to call it capellini. ;)

                                                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 25, 2012 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                      Vermicelli is a little thicker than capellini, but not as thick as spaghetti.

                                                                                                                      When it's sold by gauge, Capellini is a #3, vermicelli is a #5, and spaghetti is a #7

                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan RE: sunshine842 Jan 25, 2012 07:54 AM

                                                                                                                        Ah! Didn't realize that. What about spaghettini? What gauge is it?

                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                          sunshine842 RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 25, 2012 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                          I'm having trouble finding that one -- but I *think* it's the same as vermicelli at #5 -- and it seems to be a regional thing -- the #5 I made for lunch today (Barilla) is labeled as "spaghetti No. 5" here in France (not to be confused with Mambo #5 Or Chanel No. 5...!)

                                                                                                                          It's the same as what I bought in the US labeled as Vermicelli. Go figure.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                            Perilagu Khan RE: sunshine842 Jan 25, 2012 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                            My head hurts...

                                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                              sunshine842 RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 25, 2012 12:46 PM

                                                                                                                              I feel your pain. That's the other reason I stick with Barilla -- then I only have to work with one set of names.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Munkipawse
                                                                                                                    sunshine842 RE: Munkipawse Jan 24, 2012 11:18 PM

                                                                                                                    Vermicelli means 'little worms'

                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                      Munkipawse RE: sunshine842 Jan 25, 2012 07:26 PM

                                                                                                                      Uh... Gag. :-p

                                                                                                              2. re: thimes
                                                                                                                melpy RE: thimes Jan 25, 2012 04:33 AM

                                                                                                                Bricco in Harrisburg PA make an amazing strozzapretti in a cream sauce with short rib on top. So decadent. They have a rotating menu but if the manager we like is there you can still order it.

                                                                                                                1. re: melpy
                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan RE: melpy Jan 25, 2012 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                  I've been to Bricco only once, but it was outstanding. Next time I'm back in Harryburg I'll see if I can lay my paws on some of that Bricco short rib strozzapretti.

                                                                                                                  1. re: melpy
                                                                                                                    Bob W RE: melpy Jan 25, 2012 07:43 AM

                                                                                                                    Yum -- something to look forward to for our next visit to Hersheypark.

                                                                                                              3. tcamp RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 01:33 PM

                                                                                                                Funny thread! I am continually telling #2 son that "they all taste the same" when he rejects angel hair. "Mom, I keep thinking it really *is* hair!!!"

                                                                                                                That said, I'm not keen on angel hair either (sticks together too much) and rigatoni seems really boring. Just tubes!

                                                                                                                I prefer farfelle, oreccheitte, and most others with ruffled edges.

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: tcamp
                                                                                                                  thimes RE: tcamp Jan 24, 2012 01:54 PM

                                                                                                                  you'd love campenelle then. very ruffly

                                                                                                                  1. re: thimes
                                                                                                                    Bob W RE: thimes Jan 24, 2012 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                    +1 for the ruffly campanelle.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                      tcamp RE: Bob W Jan 24, 2012 04:21 PM

                                                                                                                      Looked them up....adorable. Need to venture further afield to locate. I notice that some responders do not enjoy the uneven cooking that comes from ruffles but to me, major part of the charm.

                                                                                                                      1. re: tcamp
                                                                                                                        thimes RE: tcamp Jan 24, 2012 05:16 PM

                                                                                                                        Barilla makes them, so I can find them in my regular supermarket - although I know that everyone's markets are different.

                                                                                                                2. Juniper RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 01:37 PM

                                                                                                                  Unconditional Love: orzo, linguine, spaghetti, penne rigate, rigatoni
                                                                                                                  Conditional Love: capellini (only when tossed with olive oil or in puttanesca sauce), fettucini (only with cream-based sauces), elbows (only in Hong Kong café style soups or on kids' art projects)
                                                                                                                  Hate: shell-shaped pastas, farfalle, and orecchetti as they never cook evenly

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Juniper
                                                                                                                    Spot RE: Juniper Jan 24, 2012 08:10 PM

                                                                                                                    Gotta say farfalle is the only shape I can't abide. At least for me, its wings are woefully overdone before its center gets to where it needs to be.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Spot
                                                                                                                      ttoommyy RE: Spot Jan 25, 2012 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                      "its wings are woefully overdone before its center gets to where it needs to be."

                                                                                                                      I love the contrast between the soft wings and the crunchy little center. I think that's why they exist!

                                                                                                                  2. a
                                                                                                                    antimony RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                    Short, textured ones, mostly. Penne if I don't want massive sauce-grabbing, radiatori or fusilli if I do. (I like radiatori better but I am more likely to find fusilli inexpensively, so I only spring for radiatori if I'm making cold pesto pasta salad or something.) Tortellini for filled pasta. Gnocchi. Couscous, if it counts, in it's applications. Further afield -- ddeok and nian gao are two of my favorite foods, not just favorite noodles.

                                                                                                                    Least favorites: anything long (more because I am a klutz -- I love the taste/mouthfeel of fettuchine but I end up wearing it). About the only long pastas I buy aren't Italian ones -- udon, soba, kalguksu, and generally end up in soup, not sauce. Other dislikes: orzo (just don't like the mouthfeel at all), farfalle and ravioli because I find to get them cooked to the point of not having raw bits means they're mostly mush.

                                                                                                                    I've had lots of other shapes but don't have strong feelings one way or the other.

                                                                                                                    1. w
                                                                                                                      westaust RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 02:19 PM

                                                                                                                      Favorites: Papardelle, Rigatoni, Penne

                                                                                                                      Least Favorites: Capellini, Fusilli, Spaghettini

                                                                                                                      1. f
                                                                                                                        fara RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 07:26 PM

                                                                                                                        it really depends on the recipe. but in general I don't like rotelle, cavatappi or bucatini. i keep linguini, zite, farfalle, and elbows on hand.

                                                                                                                        1. h
                                                                                                                          hsk RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                          Interesting - I always thought pasta shapes were all about the sauce they are intended to pair with, although I've encountered "pick your pasta pick your sauce" places.

                                                                                                                          I actually never met a pasta shape I didn't like as long as I liked the sauce.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: hsk
                                                                                                                            huiray RE: hsk Jan 24, 2012 09:20 PM

                                                                                                                            For me, the sauce is seldom enough to surmount my dislike of penne, for example.

                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                              Perilagu Khan RE: huiray Jan 25, 2012 07:00 AM

                                                                                                                              Amen to that, brother! Or sister.

                                                                                                                              And to my mind the pasta and sauce are coequal. Poor sauce will ruin marvelous pasta and vice versa.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                huiray RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 25, 2012 07:57 AM

                                                                                                                                psst...it's 'brother'.

                                                                                                                          2. huiray RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 09:19 PM

                                                                                                                            Fresh: spaghettini, spaghetti, radiatore, pappardelle, wonton noodles (fine), ee meen.
                                                                                                                            Dry: linguine, fedelini/spaghettini, tagliarelle (esp. Cipriani stuff).

                                                                                                                            Hates: penne, rigatoni, orzo; super-dried clumps of fine noodles.

                                                                                                                            1. kubasd RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 24, 2012 10:27 PM

                                                                                                                              Faves: Campanelle, gemelli, bucatini, fusilli lunghi, and lumaconi/pipette, radiatore, cellantani
                                                                                                                              Least: fettucini, farfalle, ziti, rotelle

                                                                                                                              sooo except for the bucatini and fusilli lunghi I like smaller shapes that have more substance to them (at least in my mind). Especially because they hold sauce so well. The longer ones I like with a simple butter sauce, olive oil, or white clam sauce.

                                                                                                                              1. lynnlato RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 25, 2012 07:31 AM

                                                                                                                                calamarata - I recently bought some at a gourmet shop and made a ragu and my family and I LOVED it. They are rings that are about 1/2" thick - think calamari, but thicker - and they have a lot of bite & firmness. SO good that I ran out and bought more.

                                                                                                                                Rigatoni is close to my heart because my mom always made it. I like the lightness of angel hair in the summer.

                                                                                                                                18 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                                  Cheese Boy RE: lynnlato Jan 25, 2012 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                  +1 for calamarata . Love those.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                                                                                    lynnlato RE: Cheese Boy Jan 25, 2012 03:22 PM

                                                                                                                                    Since I'm relatively new to the calamarata maybe you could help me. In my searches I've noticed that they are mainly paired with seafood-based sauces. Howe do you eat the calamarata? I need some more ideas! :)

                                                                                                                                    Also, I bought some durum pasta in Paris when I was last there. It was a shape I had never seen before - called trofie (short, narrow spirals). I understand it's traditionally served w/ pesto.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                                      ttoommyy RE: lynnlato Jan 25, 2012 04:37 PM

                                                                                                                                      "Also, I bought some durum pasta in Paris when I was last there. It was a shape I had never seen before - called trofie (short, narrow spirals). I understand it's traditionally served w/ pesto."

                                                                                                                                      Pesto, green beans and potatoes is the traditional recipe.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                        lynnlato RE: ttoommyy Jan 25, 2012 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                        Yea, I saw that when I googled it for the spelling (a la Martha Stewart - ha).

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                          huiray RE: ttoommyy Jan 25, 2012 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                          Very interesting, this (apparently) very Ligurian pasta, and this green beans + potatoes thing. You mean like this? http://www.culinate.com/books/collect...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                            ttoommyy RE: huiray Jan 26, 2012 06:35 AM


                                                                                                                                        2. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                                          Cheese Boy RE: lynnlato Jan 25, 2012 09:16 PM

                                                                                                                                          IMO calamarata are best in ANY heavily sauced preparations. I almost always have mine with tomato sauce, but I have made them with pureed chickpeas and enjoyed them that way as well. Since calamarata are rather thick-skinned to begin with, you don't want to have a mouthful of them without some generous amount of a WET ingredient as well. This is probably why seafood is paired so often with them. HTH.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                                                                                            lynnlato RE: Cheese Boy Jan 26, 2012 04:23 AM

                                                                                                                                            That makes sense, CB. I enjoyed them with straight up tomato sauce (w/ crumbled Italian sausage). I just can't get excited about a cream sauce w/ shrimp, scallops, etc. and I suppose it because of the very reason you metioned.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                                                                                              Perilagu Khan RE: Cheese Boy Jan 26, 2012 07:04 AM

                                                                                                                                              Might be good with a rich pork ragu.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                Cheese Boy RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 26, 2012 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                Yes !!! Boar, pork, or beef ragu -- they all work . Top with two or three scoops of ricotta, close your eyes, and imagine you're eating cannelloni in Amalfi. Works for me.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan RE: Cheese Boy Jan 26, 2012 01:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I'll just shave a bit of Romano on mine and imagine I'm in Bolzano. ;)

                                                                                                                                            2. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                                              CindyJ RE: lynnlato Jan 26, 2012 01:20 PM

                                                                                                                                              Trofie -- you see that all throughout Liguria, land of pesto, and recently I've started seeing it at some upscale Italian markets, which is exciting.

                                                                                                                                              But calamarata is my new favorite pasta discovery! Yes, I serve it with a seafood-based sauce. Let me try to describe how I use it.

                                                                                                                                              There are two recipes that I've "hybridized" and modified that are the basis for my preparation. One is from Bon Appetit http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo.... I did NOT make the basil rouille that the recipe calls for. The other is "Zuppa di Pesce" on p. 264 of Batali's "Molto Italiano." There's a similar recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ma...

                                                                                                                                              I use shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, and lobster when it's on sale. The last time I made this dish, I cooked each of the fish ingredients separately (in the same pot) and then combined them in the sauce at the end. That way each of the ingredients were cooked properly and not overcooked. It took only a little longer -- everything cooks pretty quickly -- but it was worth the extra time. Oh, I added a little saffron to the sauce, too.

                                                                                                                                              I wish I had an actual recipe to give you, and if you need one that's precise, I'll work one up for you. Besides the shellfish and calamari, the next most important ingredients are sliced fennel,saffron and good quality tomatoes; canned tomatoes are fine.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: CindyJ
                                                                                                                                                lynnlato RE: CindyJ Jan 26, 2012 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                Oh boy Cindy, you've piqued my interest now in trying a seafood-based preparation. You had me at "fennel, saffron and good quality tomatoes". Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                FYI Perilagu Khan, my momma raised me to be a romano lover too. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                                                  CindyJ RE: lynnlato Jan 26, 2012 02:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                  What's fun about that dish is that, if you cut the calamari right, it's almost hard to tell the calamari apart from the calamarata by sight.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: CindyJ
                                                                                                                                                    lynnlato RE: CindyJ Jan 26, 2012 09:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Right. I get that, and can dig it too. Now I must have it. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: CindyJ
                                                                                                                                                      foiegras RE: CindyJ May 17, 2012 03:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I was figuring that was the reason for the seafood sauces ;)

                                                                                                                                            3. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                                              italianyc84 RE: lynnlato Jan 26, 2012 06:00 AM

                                                                                                                                              LOVE these, too!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                                                                                msmarm RE: lynnlato Apr 26, 2012 02:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                Just had calamarata for the first time. Got my imagination to twirling.... With the current penchant for things tiny, savory and sweet -- mini-muffins, mini-cupcakes, mini-brownies, etc....

                                                                                                                                                For the creative/experimental souls (or maybe this has been done already), how about using the al dente calamarata pieces as a form to stuff, cold as party finger food, or baked with/without sauce.

                                                                                                                                                And as kids like to play with their food and eat what they've made, how about a junior chef experience in the kitchen - stuffing the calamarata with a healthy mixture?

                                                                                                                                                Then there's wrapping a stuffed unit with a half a strip of bacon or ham (thereby the enclosing savory hors d'oeuvre, bottom and top). Or for a dessert version, fill with something sweet and wrap once around vertically with a piece of fruit leather.

                                                                                                                                              2. k
                                                                                                                                                KateBChi RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 25, 2012 08:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                Hate, hate, hate capellini aka angel hair pasta. Why even bother with pasta because this stuff is a nuisance. Home-made fettuccine is a delight with the right sauce. I also love penne with the right sauces and cavatappi/rotini. Farfalle needs to be cooked properly and you can't always rely on the box estimated timing. The middle can be undercooked while the rest is al dente. Linguine, tagliatelle, spaghetti, spaghetti alla chitarra, rigatoni are also great with the right sauce pairing. I don't like bucatini as it is too difficult to eat. You can't really twirl it around a fork like most long pastas and I find it too chewy. All the rest have their places and moments in the right sauces and contexts. Except angel hair pasta it has no reason to be.

                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: KateBChi
                                                                                                                                                  huiray RE: KateBChi Jan 25, 2012 08:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I like angel hair although I usually go for the related fedelini & spaghettini.

                                                                                                                                                  Bucatini is a dislike of mine too - just too stiff, unwieldy, feels like eating long lengths of small "rubber tubing" to me.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                    Perilagu Khan RE: huiray Jan 25, 2012 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                    It is difficult to chuff, but I really like the texture.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: huiray Jan 25, 2012 12:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                      hey, can you stick one end in your mouth and use it to slurp up a really good sauce?
                                                                                                                                                      *evil grin*

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan RE: sunshine842 Jan 25, 2012 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                        God forbid you should accidentally suck up a meatball and the whole dam' thing blows up in your face!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                          sunshine842 RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 25, 2012 01:42 PM


                                                                                                                                                    2. re: KateBChi
                                                                                                                                                      CanadaGirl RE: KateBChi Jan 25, 2012 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Exactly why I dislike bucatini! But we seem to be in the minority on this one...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: CanadaGirl
                                                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan RE: CanadaGirl Jan 25, 2012 11:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                        A burgeoning minority...

                                                                                                                                                    3. c
                                                                                                                                                      cgarner RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 25, 2012 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                      “Sunday macaroni” at Grandmom’ was Conte Luna “cut macaroni” which was a thin smooth ziti. You could fit one on every other tine of your fork (hahah)
                                                                                                                                                      I found a blog that has pictures of the pasta box and the shapes they made

                                                                                                                                                      Conte Luna doesn’t exist any more and Grandmom passed away, and I can’t get my Sunday Gravy to taste just like hers, so it’s now a faint childhood memory for me

                                                                                                                                                      Today, one of my all time favorite pastas is cavatelli, especially if you can score some home made
                                                                                                                                                      Orecchiette is a close second
                                                                                                                                                      The long fusilli are fun to eat too!

                                                                                                                                                      Just about the only “pasta” shape I’m not a fan of, elbow macaroni

                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cgarner
                                                                                                                                                        pdxgastro RE: cgarner Jan 31, 2012 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                        And I liked when rigatoni got so wide in cooking that you could fit your whole fork in the center hole. (I think we played with our food too much)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pdxgastro
                                                                                                                                                          Rilke RE: pdxgastro Feb 1, 2012 05:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I still do this :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                            ttoommyy RE: Rilke Feb 2, 2012 07:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Me too.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                                              Cheese Boy RE: ttoommyy Feb 2, 2012 08:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Thirded. And to add to the playfulness, I would cut the rigatoni in half, and then keep halving the halves till I got a whole bunch of thin rings I was pleased with. And yes, I still do this sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                      2. tcamp RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 25, 2012 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks to this thread, I realize that I have been thinking, lo these many years, that rotini and fusilli were essentially the same shape. Now I see that fusilli are long, spiral shapes. Hah, wikipedia even sez they are often confused.

                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tcamp
                                                                                                                                                          ttoommyy RE: tcamp Jan 25, 2012 02:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                          But there is fusilli that looks like this. No confusing this with rotini. :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                                            jbsiegel RE: ttoommyy Jan 25, 2012 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                            This is the one I **love**! I used to be able to buy one by Ronzoni in my local grocery store. Sadly, they don't have it any more.... That "other" stuff they call fusilli is not fusilli at all (in my world!)...

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                                              tcamp RE: ttoommyy Jan 25, 2012 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Good god, I've found the source of the confusion. This isn't Fusilli Jerry, it is Rotini Jerry.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                                                Bob W RE: ttoommyy Jan 26, 2012 07:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                When I lived in Baltimore years ago, I used to buy this at an Italian store called Trinacria (still around). They sold it loose and you took it home in brown paper bags. Great stuff, fun shape.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                                                  ttoommyy RE: Bob W Jan 26, 2012 07:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  "They sold it loose and you took it home in brown paper bags. Great stuff, fun shape."

                                                                                                                                                                  You just brought back a memory of buying loose pasta at the little grocery store a few doors down from where I grew up in Jersey City, NJ. The spaghetti, long fusilli and other similar shapes were wrapped up in white butcher paper and tied with string. Thanks for reminding me of this Bob W.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                                                    Brianne920 RE: Bob W Jan 27, 2012 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh God, I love Trinacria. Love.

                                                                                                                                                              2. b
                                                                                                                                                                Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 25, 2012 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                My favorites: linguini, bucatini, spaghettoni (like bucatini, but solid instead of hollow), gemelli, orzo, ditalini, and for macaroni and cheese, good ol' elbows.

                                                                                                                                                                Least-favorites: angel hair, vermicelli, wagon wheels, farfalle.

                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                                                                                                                                                                  italianyc84 RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Jan 26, 2012 06:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  omg, I need to find spaghettoni!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: italianyc84
                                                                                                                                                                    Cheese Boy RE: italianyc84 Jan 26, 2012 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    If you can't find spaghettoni, try some spaghetti alla chitarra instead.
                                                                                                                                                                    You'll get a very similar mouthfeel and a whole lotta pasta in a mouthful that's for sure.
                                                                                                                                                                    Unlike capellini, these are two pastas that are HEAVY. You'll likely need a nap afterwards.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                                                                                                                      Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: Cheese Boy Jan 26, 2012 03:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I ate at an incredible new Italian restaurant during a recent trip to Baltimore called Chazz: A Bronz Original (owned by the actor Chazz Palminteri), and ordered one of the best pasta dishes I've ever had: spaghettoni all'amatriciana.

                                                                                                                                                                      I had never heard of spaghettoni before, but it was perfect. I believe that dish is traditionally served with bucatini, which also makes sense.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                                                                                                                                                                        Cheese Boy RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Jan 26, 2012 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Definitely a good pasta choice Lou. I have to laugh because I went to Borgatti's one day (in my old nabe) and who was standing right behind me in line ?? Chazz and a friend of his. He knows good pasta ... LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                        Borgatti's --> http://borgattis.com/ravioli/index.php

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                                                                                                                                                                    Perilagu Khan RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Jan 26, 2012 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Solid bucatini? That must have to cook a spell just to get to al dente!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                                                                                                                                                                      IndyGirl RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Jan 28, 2012 08:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh I forgot about wagon wheels and farfalle. Add those to my hate list!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. JReichert RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 26, 2012 07:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Funny! My favorites are penne rigate, fettuccine, orrechiette, conchiglie and farfalle. Something with substance and holds the sauce well.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. CindyJ RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 26, 2012 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        For me, it totally depends on how it's being served. When I take the time to make a duck ragu, I love a good imported pappardelle or tagliatelle with it. When I'm making a hearty meat sauce, linguini or penne rigate are my pastas of choice. And I recently discovered a new pasta shape that I'm loving with spicy seafood -- it's called calamarata, and as you might guess, it looks like slices of calamari tubes.

                                                                                                                                                                        My least favorite pasta shapes -- elbow macaroni, which I find totally boring, and angel hair.

                                                                                                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: CindyJ
                                                                                                                                                                          Perilagu Khan RE: CindyJ Jan 26, 2012 01:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          My poor angel hair's takin' a beatin'. ):

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                            ttoommyy RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 26, 2012 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I suspect that most people do not like capellini/angel hair because it gets mushy very quickly. They might change their tune if they cooked it directly in the sauce accompanying it and not boil it first.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                                                              Perilagu Khan RE: ttoommyy Jan 26, 2012 02:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Hmmm. I've never cooked it that way.

                                                                                                                                                                              That said, mine doesn't get mushy. I begin testing/tasting it almost directly it goes in the pot and I drain it when it is just this side of al dente. No mushiness. But clumping is another story. That certainly happens often, although it doesn't bother me overmuch.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                sunshine842 RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 26, 2012 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                me, too -- I have it out of the water within a minute or two -- and I've never had overcooked angel hair.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                  Cheese Boy RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 26, 2012 03:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Clumping is definitely a problem with capellini. To avoid clumping it's best to add cold tap water to the pot as you're draining the pasta. DO NOT add cold water to already drained pasta because you will get rubbery pasta as a result. What you want ultimately is to stop the cooking process and to bring the temperature of your cooking water several degrees down. To do this, add the water ONLY to the SURFACE of the hot water already in your pot (as you're hovered over your sink or colander). I add a cup of cold tap water at a time, and then I only drain A CUP of water from the pot each time. I do this 3X (for a pound of pasta). Add a cup, swirl, drain a cup. Add a cup, swirl, drain a cup. Add a cup, swirl, drain a cup. After the third time, I drain the entire pot and plate the capellini. The resulting capellini behave really well -- almost as if I removed the excess starch from their exterior that acted as their glue. This technique works especially well for orecchiette also ... another pasta shape notorious for sticking. HTH.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                                                                                                                                    sunshine842 RE: Cheese Boy Jan 26, 2012 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I must be leading a charmed life, because the only time I've ever had clumpy angel hair was if I let it sit and go cold without adding a little oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                                                                                                                                      mattstolz RE: Cheese Boy Jan 26, 2012 05:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      that sounds way more complicated than just taking it out of the water at the right time, finishing it in the sauce, and serving immediately.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan RE: mattstolz Jan 26, 2012 05:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        But what about the extra pasta? I always make enough for multiple helpings.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                          mattstolz RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 26, 2012 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          extra pasta?

                                                                                                                                                                                          im not sure i know what this is...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                            ttoommyy RE: mattstolz Jan 27, 2012 06:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            "extra pasta?

                                                                                                                                                                                            im not sure i know what this is..."

                                                                                                                                                                                            Same here!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                              Perilagu Khan RE: mattstolz Jan 27, 2012 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Well it doesn't stay "extra" for long!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                            Cheese Boy RE: mattstolz Jan 26, 2012 08:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Especially with pesto, my technique is better.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Capellini seem to clump regardless of whatever doneness. JMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                                                                                                                                            Puffin3 RE: Cheese Boy Jan 27, 2012 05:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            If you are getting 'clumpy' capellini or any pasta it's because you are not cooking it in enough water/salt. Washing/rinsing away the surface starch ruins any pasta dish. The idea is to serve pasta that has finished cooking in the sauce so that the pasta has absorbed some of the sauce. and the small amount of surface starch has helped some sauce stick to the pasta. When it see pasta served swimming in a sea of sauce it makes me weep. LOL All this presupposes you are interested in cooking/serving authentic pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Puffin3
                                                                                                                                                                                              Cheese Boy RE: Puffin3 Jan 27, 2012 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              'All this presupposes you are interested in cooking/serving authentic pasta.'

                                                                                                                                                                                              This is so very true. We should all prepare pasta the way WE prefer and forget about what the textbooks have to say. Whatever works for each of us is truly what counts. EOS.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                    SeoulQueen RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 26, 2012 08:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Love: spaghetti, pappardelle, fusili,

                                                                                                                                                                                    Hate: penne, angel hair, rigatoni

                                                                                                                                                                                    Speaking of which, my husband made dinner for me tonight (YAY!) but he made a pasta dish and used rigatoni! (BOO!)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. l
                                                                                                                                                                                      leslieinGA RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 26, 2012 09:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      God bless all of you! I live in a small town in Georgia and we have very little selection when it comes to pasta. The basics and that's it. I saw Ditalini the other day and was amazed and grabbed a couple of boxes.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: leslieinGA
                                                                                                                                                                                        Cheese Boy RE: leslieinGA Jan 26, 2012 10:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Leslie, in that nice little town in Georgia, they've got to have kidney beans. It's optimal to make some nice pasta e fagioli with those Ditalini. Just a thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: leslieinGA
                                                                                                                                                                                          Perilagu Khan RE: leslieinGA Jan 27, 2012 07:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          And that's where the Internet is such a help. You can get any and every pasta on the web. No instant gratification and you pay for the shipping, but hey, what do you want? An egg in yer beer? ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. IndyGirl RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 28, 2012 08:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Despise angel hair and macaroni. Probably hate macaroni the most.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I've gotten sick of penne, too, but it used to be my standby. I'll be looking in this thread for new ideas!

                                                                                                                                                                                          Sometimes I just buy regular old spaghetti-shaped pasta (but a premium brand), and I also like linguini.

                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: IndyGirl
                                                                                                                                                                                            ttoommyy RE: IndyGirl Jan 29, 2012 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Curious...What shape is "macaroni?" When I was growing up we always used the word "macaroni" to mean all dried pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                                                                              Rilke RE: ttoommyy Jan 29, 2012 03:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              She means elbows. The word macaroni (maccheroni) really covers all dried eggless pasta, but since elbows have become the most popular shape in "macaroni and cheese", the word macaroni has become synonymous with elbows.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                                                                                Cheese Boy RE: ttoommyy Jan 29, 2012 11:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Macaroni, especially in Latin communities, is USUALLY (but not always) associated with ONE shape -- a shape known to Italians as Mezzi Occhi di Lupo.
                                                                                                                                                                                                It's a pasta shape smooth in texture and shares the same length (and diameter) as mezzi rigatoni. Ronzoni refers to them as Macarrones, and you can find them especially in Mexican neighborhoods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                                                                                                                                                  ttoommyy RE: Cheese Boy Jan 30, 2012 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ah yes. I have seen these in bodegas in my neighborhood. Thanks Cheese Boy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cheese Boy RE: ttoommyy Jan 30, 2012 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yep. I hadn't checked to see if you were from NY/NJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                    (and familiar w/ bodegas), but yes, the Macarrones are usually readily available at most neighborhood bodegas. You gotta love those bodegas -- quarter waters, forties, loosies, macarrones, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. IndyGirl RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 28, 2012 08:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I forgot to add rotini.

                                                                                                                                                                                              OK, so angel hair, rotini, macaroni, wagon wheels, fusilli, bowtie are on my least favorite dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I really do *like* pasta, though!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                jbsiegel RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 29, 2012 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Does cous cous count? If so, add that to my fav list!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                                                                                                                                  kubasd RE: jbsiegel Jan 29, 2012 01:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hey, it is pasta! Not a grain like I thought for my college career..... whoops! ha

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                                                                                                                                    sunshine842 RE: jbsiegel Jan 29, 2012 10:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's pasta, but it's cooked and presented so differently, I'm not sure it fits into this discussion all that well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                    MangaLisa RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 30, 2012 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Faves: Pappradelle, Rigatoni ... Just because I seem to purchase them more... But I think I love them all.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Least Fave: Farfalle due to the uneven cooking, dried in the box tortolini... Ewww. Thank goodness when frozen came outI

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. mamachef RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 31, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Best: finest egg noodles available. I love pastina as well, especially alphabets. It appeals to my inner child and my big mouf.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Worst: Croxetti. Nobody ever, ever cooks it enough and the center is like library paste. It's too expensive, and I don't care that it's handstamped, because frankly it all ends up the same way

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Aabacus RE: Perilagu Khan Jan 31, 2012 03:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Worst: Spaghetti and angel hair (Done. To. Death.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Favs: All else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Delucacheesemonger RE: Perilagu Khan Feb 1, 2012 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Favs: Bucatini, Oriecchette( ear looking, not shell looking ), Greek large orzo, Sardinian fregola

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Worsts: Rotelli, penne, ziti

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. y
                                                                                                                                                                                                            youngnsassy RE: Perilagu Khan Feb 17, 2012 10:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm having an absolute ball googling all the unfamiliar pasta shapes and checking them out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            And I'm craving pasta now.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Antilope RE: Perilagu Khan May 28, 2012 05:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              As a kid I liked the pasta shapes in alphabet soup. I wonder if they have alphabet soup in Greece, Russia or China. ;-) Also I liked the wagon wheel shape. Orzo is kind of kool. It looks like rice, but it's pasta. I hate big, thick, rubbery shapes of pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. arktos RE: Perilagu Khan May 28, 2012 10:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                +++ Spaghettini, orzo, capellini.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                - - - Bucatini, penne (I think it means 'penis' in Italian), pasta wheels, fregola.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: arktos
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ttoommyy RE: arktos May 28, 2012 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not sure if you are joking, but penne is the plural of penna which means feather or quill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: arktos
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sunshine842 RE: arktos May 28, 2012 11:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nope. Penne translates as "quill" -- as in a feather pen (the end of a quill pen is cut at an angle, just like the pasta).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (crossposted with ttoommyy by mistake)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: arktos
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thimes RE: arktos May 28, 2012 12:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What a difference an "n" makes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Penne - "pen/quill"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pene - penis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thimes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan RE: thimes May 28, 2012 03:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I suspect there's a pasta shaped like a pene out there. Bleeve Ovid may have mentioned it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          foiegras RE: Perilagu Khan May 28, 2012 06:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have seen 'adult' shaped pasta before given as a gift ... but I don't think that's what you had in mind. Now that you mention it, this certainly seems like a gap in the pasta oeuvre ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mbfant RE: Perilagu Khan May 28, 2012 09:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There is a pastina (for soup) called cazzetti d'angelo ("angels' weenies"), also known as pisarei ("baby penises") and, at the other extreme, falloni ("big phalluses"). On the distaff side, there are fregnacce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This was meant to be a reply to arktos, but it didn't post that way, not an introduction of the topic out of the blue!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: arktos
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mbfant RE: arktos May 29, 2012 11:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not to be prudish, but for the record, the pasta names I listed are genuine traditional shapes not even remotely as graphic as the illustration arktos has so kindly provided. Those vulgarities are sold only in tourist shops. There is a long tradition of naming foods after naughty bits. And, for that matter, naughty bits after food. I actually wrote a semischolarly paper on this a few years ago (Italian food names, not just naughty bits).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mbfant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                huiray RE: mbfant May 29, 2012 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                @ mbfant: You are too modest. Your accomplishments would seem to be wide-ranging, including this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mbfant RE: huiray May 30, 2012 05:52 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  yes, c'est moi. Oretta and I are finishing the manuscript of a new book on pasta, a cookbook this time, in English but not a translation, so the question of what shapes people like is of great interest. I can't help feeling that those who don't like fettuccine might feel differently if they took the trouble to spell it properly. Who knows what they're eating? Clearly there are people who like a sturdy pasta and others who like something more slippery and comforting. Personally I prefer smooth to ridges, but not in a major way. And some of the comments suggest to me that people are judging a format unfairly because they have not bought a good brand. Properly made, cooked, and sauced pasta should not feel slimy. But this thread confirms what Oretta says: tradition is the most important factor, and much is highly subjective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mbfant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sunshine842 RE: mbfant May 30, 2012 12:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Would you please post when it's published? I'm a pasta junkie - and would love to have a really good cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and since my earlier kowtow was removed -- thanks for posting!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mbfant RE: sunshine842 May 30, 2012 01:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks. You may be sure I'll shout it from the rooftops, but first I have to finish the manuscript. (aargh)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mbfant RE: sunshine842 Dec 29, 2013 11:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You are my sunshine, sunshine842!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way" was published in October by W.W. Norton.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: mbfant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Perilagu Khan RE: mbfant May 29, 2012 02:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've got your book on the trattorias of Florence, Venice and Rome. It proved invaluable on our second honeymoon, which we spent in Venice. Alas, we spied no cazzetti d'angelo, nor pisarei, let alone falloni, in the Veneto.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      huiray RE: Perilagu Khan May 29, 2012 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Apparently falloni is found in Lazio (Region centered on Rome) ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (see pgs 99-100 of that Encyclopedia of Pasta that mbfant translated)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan RE: huiray May 29, 2012 06:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, you know what they say--everything's bigger in Lazio!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mbfant RE: Perilagu Khan May 30, 2012 05:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "I've got your book on the trattorias of Florence, Venice and Rome. It proved invaluable on our second honeymoon, which we spent in Venice. Alas, we spied no cazzetti d'angelo, nor pisarei, let alone falloni, in the Veneto."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm delighted the book, out of print now, was useful. Those shapes are rare to nonexistent in restaurants except possibly very particular neo-trattorias that go to some trouble to research and prepare obscure but traditional foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          foiegras RE: Perilagu Khan May 30, 2012 04:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Are you sure you conducted this second honeymoon properly? ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: foiegras
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Perilagu Khan RE: foiegras May 30, 2012 07:15 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You knocked that one out of the park.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tinnywatty RE: Perilagu Khan May 29, 2012 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I prefer ridged or textured shapes- the smooth ones like spaghetti, linguini, those wide flat ones, smooth penne etc just get slimy and gross me out. The only smooth pasta I like is orzo, which I eat only with butter when in need of a warm, bland and comforting meal- it's small enough that the texture is more like rice than big slimy flabby noodles. Lately I have been eating a lot of radiatore- tons of little ridges/edges make it feel lighter for summer pasta salads (doesn't pack into a bowl as densely as other types). Farfalle used to be a pasta salad favorite as well but I got tired of overcooked ends and undercooked middles. I don't like rotini- I think I associate it with other people's tuna pasta salads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like shells because they hold sauce well, and orecchiette because they were the only pasta that wasn't overcooked when I was living in the dorms- they tended to clump inside each other so would often be cooked to a perfect al dente. I've never actually bought it myself. I also like the thicker texture of the individual orecchiette shells- nice and chewy in the winter. We recently bought a variety pack that included gemelli, and I quite liked the shape until one batch was overcooked- then I kept associating the dense doughy texture with that shape. Any pasta is nasty when overcooked, whether thin and flabby or thick and squishy, so I prefer to make my own rather than let a family member or restaurant do it for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HillJ RE: Perilagu Khan May 30, 2012 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cold favs:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "bow tie" and "rotini"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  hot favs:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  short rigatoni

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  least fav hot or cold:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  wagon wheels (other than crafts projects) I just can't go there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thepinkmuse RE: Perilagu Khan Dec 28, 2013 07:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mine would be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Favs: Spiral, shell and angel hair

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Least: spaghetti and fettucini

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Who says that you only have to choose between white and red sauce when it comes to pasta? I am honestly not a big fan of the soggy birthday party "Filipino Sweet Style" spaghetti that's why I thought of preparing this recipe. This recipe is inspired by the usual Aglio Olio with nothing but garlic and parmesan, and I decided to add something to it... none other than my favorite--seafood! http://www.thepinkmuse.net/2013/12/se...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kontxesi RE: Perilagu Khan Dec 28, 2013 08:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Radiatore is my current favorite. It is so pleasing to bite into. I've not tried many of the shapes y'all have mentioned. I need to get myself into better stores!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not really a fan of long pastas. Spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine.... I can do fettuccine if it's fresh, but that's about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sharuf RE: Perilagu Khan Dec 28, 2013 09:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I like papardelle (wide noodles) as a base for meatballs in gravy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. When I make my clam sauce (canned chopped or minced clams) in a leeks and buttermilk gravy, I like to use shell-shaped pasta or orecchiette (which look like clam shells).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. For pasta al pesto, I like green fettucini, preferably fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As you can see, esthetics are the main consideration. (I was an art major).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. tim irvine RE: Perilagu Khan Dec 28, 2013 09:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think I like them all, but they need to be cooked properly and be selected correctly for the sauce or dish. However, I find thin spaghetti usually a mushy dud and pretty much always light up for home made pappardelle Bolognese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            msmarm RE: Perilagu Khan Dec 28, 2013 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not really on topic, but what can rigatoni #24 be Creatively used for?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Haven't done this, but I have a vision of it cooked nearly to al dente, stuffed half way with seasoned ricotta, tightly positioned vertically in a sauce-coated baking dish, filled to the top of the noodle cylinder with frozen/thawed peas, sauce over the top, then mozzarella/Parm, and baked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Might be a fun meal for kids to make....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What other pasta shapes besides shells can be stuffed - and with what?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: msmarm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sunshine842 RE: msmarm Dec 28, 2013 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              it's not really stuffed, but you can put sauce and ricotta on a cooked lasagna noodle and roll it up -- kids like it, and it makes buffet/group servings really easy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: msmarm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cheese Boy RE: msmarm Dec 28, 2013 10:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pastas that I've filled include:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                jumbo shells, manicotti, lumaconi, lasagna, ravioli, and rigatoni.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                moreace01 RE: Perilagu Khan Dec 29, 2013 07:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Faves: Bucatini, pappardelle, pipe rigate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Considering bucatini made it on a lot of lists, why is it so hard to find? I often can't get it at the grocery store and when I find it, I stock up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dislike - Rotini, elbows, wagon wheels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: moreace01
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan RE: moreace01 Dec 30, 2013 08:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think bucatini is becoming more popular. Slowly. Very, very slowly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    coll RE: Perilagu Khan Dec 30, 2013 08:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If they carried it in more mainstream supermarkets, it would take off like a jet. Whenever I serve it to guests, they go gaga over it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Perilagu Khan RE: coll Dec 30, 2013 08:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I agree that bucatini is a product that has real growth potential.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: Perilagu Khan Dec 30, 2013 08:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It IS hard to find, and it's my favorite pasta shape by far. Publix, our major supermarket chain in Florida, usually only carries its eponymous store brand, Mueller's, Ronzoni, and Barilla, and none of those make bucatini. I've bought it at Fresh Market from higher-end Italian brands that cost two or three times as much, and even they don't always have it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sunshine842 RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Dec 30, 2013 08:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Barilla most assuredly makes bucatini, but I don't know who carries it in FL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            josephnl RE: sunshine842 Dec 30, 2013 08:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've just discovered that all the Barilla pasta in our local market is made in the US, as compared with all the DeCecco being made in Italy. Is this important?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Perilagu Khan RE: josephnl Dec 30, 2013 09:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Only if the latter is actually better than the former. Personally, I think the DeCecco is slightly better, but I'm not sure the difference is enough to justify the considerably higher price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                josephnl RE: Perilagu Khan Dec 30, 2013 09:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I too think that DeCecco is slightly better. Does it have something to do with the flour in Italy being different? Do others think there is a real difference? Yes, DeCecco is slightly more expensive in Southern CA where I live, but we're talking ~20 cents per box...not enough to matter, at least to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  coll RE: josephnl Dec 31, 2013 06:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sure it's more about the customs and shipping costs with DeCecco. I used to buy their bucatini by the case from a local wholesaler, and give out half of it as gifts. Here DeCecco is about double the price, not to mention never on sale, the other day I did seek them out at the supermarket because I wanted angel hair cappellini, which is another type that the others don't seem to favor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Perilagu Khan RE: josephnl Dec 31, 2013 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Here in west Texas, DeCecco is considerably more expensive than Barilla. Twenty cents wouldn't be a big deal, but we're talking at least a buck per package more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cheese Boy RE: coll Dec 31, 2013 10:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ronzoni bucatini = PERCIATELLI

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            coll RE: Cheese Boy Jan 1, 2014 06:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Good to know, thanks. Actually most people don't even know that pasta "numbers" are different company to company, it's not some law in Italy that they all have to be the same!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Chemicalkinetics RE: Perilagu Khan Dec 29, 2013 11:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like the one with Alphabets shapes the best!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sharuf RE: Perilagu Khan Dec 30, 2013 09:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Don't recall seeing spaetzeli mentioned. They is the hand-made little lumpy noodles common in Central Europe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They are very good with goulash and other braised dishes.

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