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  • Casarecce (from Italian: casereccio, which means “homemade”) are short twists of pasta originating from Sicily which appear rolled up on themselves.

    It is also a very popular pasta in other regions of Southern Italy. Therefore, the best sauces to serve with it are those of traditional Southern Italian origin with typically Mediterranean ingredients such as eggplant, tomatoes, cheese, and basil. This pasta is also often served with seafood or fish, such as swordfish.

    Sicilians often eat casarecce with what is known as Sicilian pesto. This is a sauce full of the flavours of typical local produce; ricotta, tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and pine nuts. However, there are a number of other local pestos, in Sicily, such as Trapanese pesto; which is made with basil, almonds, pecorino, and tomatoes as well as almond pesto without the tomatoes.

  • Fusilli (Italian: [fuˈzilli]) are a variety of pasta that are formed into corkscrew or helical shapes. The word fusilli presumably comes from fuso (“spindle”), as traditionally it is “spun” by pressing and rolling a small rod over the thin strips of pasta to wind them around it in a corkscrew shape

    Fusilli pasta were originally developed in Southern Italy by rolling fresh spaghetti around a thin rod and letting it dry.

    It is known to maintain its shape well with cooking and therefore contributes towards the visual beauty of the dish it is used in. More importantly they are very versatile and can be baked, used in pasta salads or served with vegetable, fish or quite heavy sauces such as Bolognese or other meat sauces.

  • Penne (Italian: [ˈpenːe]) is an extruded type of pasta with cylinder-shaped pieces, their ends cut at an angle. Penne is the plural form of the Italian penna (meaning feather but pen as well), deriving from Latin penna (meaning “feather” or “quill”), and is a cognate of the English word pen. When this format was created, it was intended to imitate the then-ubiquitous steel nib of fountain and dip pens.


    Penne is one of the few pasta shapes with a certain date of birth: in 1865, Giovanni Battista Capurro, a pasta maker from San Martino d’Albaro (Genoa), obtained a patent for a diagonal cutting machine. His invention cut the fresh pasta into a pen shape without crushing it, in a size varying between 3 cm mezze penne and 5 cm penne (pens)

  • Conchiglie comes from the Italian word conchiglia, which means seashell. In English, the root word “conch” gives you an image of a conch shell, making it easier to imagine the pasta shape.

    Unique pasta shapes contribute more than just aesthetic appeal to various dishes. They also serve a special function. For conchiglie, the seashell shape helps the pasta retain the flavor of the sauce.

    This variety goes amazingly well with thick sauces, such as tomato, meat, and heavy cream. Cook the pasta al dente and toss it in with the sauce and meat of your choice. It also goes well with shrimp and roasted tomatoes.

  • Rigatoni (Italian: [riɡaˈtoːni]) are a form of tube-shaped pasta of varying lengths and diameters originating in Italy. They are larger than penne and ziti, and sometimes slightly curved. If so, they are not as curved as elbow macaroni. Rigatoni characteristically have ridges down their length, sometimes spiraling around the tube, and unlike penne, rigatoni’s ends are cut square (perpendicular) to the tube walls instead of diagonally.

    The word rigatoni comes from the Italian word rigato (rigatone being the augmentative and rigatoni the plural form), which means “ridged” or “lined”, and is associated with the cuisine of southern and central Italy. Rigatoncini are a smaller version, close to the size of penne. Their name takes on the diminutive suffix -ino (pluralized -ini) denoting their relative size.

    Rigatoni is a particular favorite pasta shape in the south of Italy, especially in Sicily. Its eponymous ridges make better adhesive surfaces for sauces and grated cheese than smooth-sided pasta.

  • Vermicelli (Italian: [vermiˈtʃɛlli]; lit. ’little worms’, /ˌvɜːrmɪˈtʃɛli, -ˈsɛli/ also UK: /ˌvɛərmɪˈtʃɛli/) is a traditional type of pasta round in section similar to spaghetti. In English-speaking regions it is usually thinner than spaghetti,[5] while in Italy it is typically thicker.

    The first mention of a vermicelli recipe is in the book De arte Coquinaria per vermicelli e maccaroni siciliani (The Art of Cooking Sicilian Macaroni and Vermicelli), compiled by the famous Maestro Martino da Como, unequalled in his field at the time and perhaps the first “celebrity chef”, who was the chef at the Roman palazzo of the papal chamberlain (“camerlengo”), the Patriarch of Aquileia.

    The term vermicelli is also used to describe various types of thin noodles from Asia. In Vietnam vermicelli is the same as angel hair pasta or capellini.

    Vermicelli, called shaʿīriyya (شعيرية) in Arabic, is used in one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Egypt and the Levant. The vermicelli is browned by frying with oil or butter, then rice and water are added.

  • Spaghetti (Italian: [spaˈɡetti]) is a long, thin, solid, cylindrical pasta. It is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine. Like other pasta, spaghetti is made of milled wheat and water. Italian spaghetti is typically made from durum-wheat semolina.

    Originally, spaghetti was notably long, but shorter lengths gained in popularity during the latter half of the 20th century and now it is most commonly available in 25–30 cm lengths.

    Spaghetti is the plural form of the Italian word spaghetto, which is a diminutive of spago, meaning ‘thin string’ or ‘twine’.

    The popularity of spaghetti spread throughout Italy after the establishment of spaghetti factories in the 19th century, enabling the mass production of spaghetti for the Italian market.

  • Linguine (Italian: [liŋˈɡwiːne], English: /lɪŋˈɡwiːni/; sometimes anglicized as linguini) is elliptical in section rather than flat. It is about 4 millimetres in width, which is wider than spaghetti but not as wide as fettuccine. The name linguine means “little tongues” in Italian, where it is a plural of the feminine linguina.

    Linguine was traditionally served with sauces such as pesto but others such as tomato or fish-based sauces are popular as well. Linguine is originally made with durum wheat. It originated in Italy and is based on more traditional pastas. It is a type of pasta that finds its origin in Genoa. In the United States, National Linguine Day occurs on September 15 every year.