easy pasta recipes for every human on the planet

Types of Pasta

The shape of each kind of pasta complements the overall impression that a recipe tries to create.

Holes, stripes, various lengths and even simulations of natural objects form a vast number of different Pasta types, that are said to be more than 300 worldwide (or more than 600 counting the variations).


lazypasta.com presents them alphabetically, as used in our easy pasta recipes.

CannelloniCasarecceConchiglie / ConhiglioniCouscousDitalini / DitaloniElbow MacaroniFarfalle (Bow Ties)FusilliGnocchiLasagnaLinguineLumaconiMacaroni / MaccheronciniMafaldine or ReginetteNoodlesOrzoPappardellePenne / Mezze penne (- Rigate)RavioliRigatoniSpaghettiTagliatelleTortellini / Tortelloni



Literal meaning (Italian):

large tubes



Cannelloni originated in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna and was traditionally made with beef or veal. It has since become a popular dish across the world, often filled with combinations of cheese, spinach, and other vegetables.


These pasta tubes are stuffed with meat or vegetables and cheese to impressive results.




Literal meaning (Italian):




Casarecce is a type of pasta originating in Sicily, Italy. The name Casarecce originates from the Sicilian word “caserecci” meaning small house-shaped macaroni which was created by pressing dough between two fingers to create its distinctive shape.


These are narrow pasta stripes, twisted and rolled like tubes.
This pasta is best used when served with chunky sauce and can be used in a variety of casserole dishes.


Conchiglie / Conhiglioni


Literal meaning (Italian):

shells / big shells



Conchiglie, also known as “seashell” pasta, is believed to have originated in southern Italy during the 16th century. The shape of the pasta was allegedly inspired by the seashells found on Italian beaches.


Shells make a great addition to soups or as the base of a wonderful salad. For a fun twist on a time-honored tradition, try remaking your favorite Macaroni and Cheese using Shells. Large Shells are best when stuffed with your favorite mixtures of cheese, meat and vegetables. Stuff with meat flavored with taco seasoning, top with salsa and bake for a delicious Mexican dish, or create your own stuffed treat.




Literal meaning:

from the Arabic word Kaskasa, meaning “to pound small” or the Berber Seksu, meaning “well rolled“, “well formed“, or “rounded



Couscous is believed to have originated in North Africa and has been a staple of Mediterranean cuisine for centuries. Couscous is traditionally made from semolina, but can also be made from other grains such as barley or wheat flour. It is usually served with a sauce or stew, either hot or cold. It can also be used to prepare salads and side dishes. Couscous is a versatile dish that can be adapted to many different cultures and cuisines.


Couscous is a traditional Maghrebian dish of semolina (granules of durum wheat) which is cooked by steaming. It is traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it. Couscous is a staple food throughout the North African cuisines of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Libya and the Western Sahara.


Ditalini / Ditaloni


Literal meaning (Italian):

Little Thimbles



Ditalini is a type of pasta that originated in the Southern Italian region of Campania. It has been around since at least the 16th century, and is traditionally used in soups and salads. It is made from durum wheat semolina and usually cut into small tubes about 1/2 inch long.


This versatile shape can be used as the base of any dish. Bake it, stir it into soups, or create great salads and stir-fry dishes.


Elbow Macaroni



Elbow macaroni is a classic type of pasta that originated in Italy. It was first made popular in the late 19th century and has since become a staple in many cuisines around the world. It is especially popular in Italian and American dishes.


A highly versatile shape that can be topped with any sauce, baked, or put in soups, salads and stir-fry dishes. Elbow Macaroni is traditionally used to make Macaroni and Cheese, but why not change it up and add in some seasonings, proteins, or veggies for a delightful dish.


Farfalle (Bow Ties)


Literal meaning (Italian):




Farfalle is a type of pasta that originated in Lombardy, Italy and is believed to have been around since the Middle Ages. It gets its name from its distinctive shape which resembles bow ties or butterflies. The term “farfalle” actually translates to “butterflies” in Italian.


Bow Ties brighten any meal with their interesting shape. Thick enough for a variety of sauces, or a perfect addition to a number of salad or soup recipes

Farfalline is a small version of the bow tie or butterfly shaped pasta. This versatile shape can be used as the base of any dish. Bake it, stir it into soups, or create great salads and stir-fry dishes.




Literal meaning (Italian):

little spindles



Fusilli is a type of pasta originating from Southern Italy, popularized throughout the world through Italian cuisine. It is made from durum wheat semolina and shaped like a corkscrew or helix, twisted into short spirals that look like springs or telephone cords. Fusilli has been produced since at least the 16th century. It is typically used in pasta salads and baked dishes.

The name “Fusilli” comes from the Italian word fuso, meaning spindle, referring to the type of tool used to make this type of pasta. The traditional method involves winding a ball of dough around a special long metal pin with grooves on it, creating the spiral shape


This long, spiraled shape can be topped with any sauce, broken in half and added to soups, or turned into a beautiful salad. Fusilli also bakes well in casseroles.




Literal meaning:

from the Italian word nocchio, meaning “a knot in wood“, or from nocca, meaning “knuckle



Gnocchi, a type of pasta originating in Italy, have been enjoyed since the Middle Ages. It is believed to have been served as a light meal for peasants.


Gnocchi are normally made of potatoes, but their pasta version looks a lot like Conchiglie (Shells).

When cooked with finely diced ingredients, they tend to gather them in.




Literal meaning:

from lasanum, Latin for pot, probably something like “chamber pot



Lasagna is believed to have originated in Naples, Italy in the 14th century. The dish has since become a staple of Italian cuisine and is popular around the world. It is traditionally made with layers of wide flat noodles, cheese, tomato sauce and various other ingredients.


Create original Lasagna casseroles by using chopped vegetables, cheeses and any kind of sauce. You can also assemble your casserole and freeze it for a later meal.




Literal meaning (Italian):

little tongues



Linguine is an Italian pasta that originated in the Liguria region of Italy. It has been a staple part of Italian cuisine since the 16th century and is still popular today.


It features a long, narrow shape that resembles the flat form of spaghetti, a great shape to complement a variety of sauces. Also a good choice for salads and stir-fry dishes.




Literal meaning (Italian):

big snails



Lumaconi, also known as lumache or giganti, is a type of pasta originating in Italy. It was originally made in the regions of Apulia and Calabria, where it remains popular today.


Lumaconi are bended tubes of pasta, about the size of a ping pong ball, that look like snail shells, and are often filled with ricotta cheese and served with a variety of sauces.


Macaroni / Maccheroncini


Literal meaning (Italian):




Macaroni is a traditional Italian dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It was originally made from durum wheat semolina and shaped into a variety of different shapes, such as elbow macaroni or shells. Today, macaroni is made with a variety of different ingredients, including whole wheat, corn, and rice. A highly versatile shape that can be topped with any sauce, baked, or put in soups, salads and stir-fry dishes.


Mafaldine or Reginette


Literal meaning (Italian):

honest or little queens, respectively. A tribute



Mafaldine or reginette is a type of ribbon-shaped pasta that originated in Italy. It was created as a tribute to Princess Mafalda of Savoy in the early 20th century, hence its name.

mafaldine crop

Mafaldine or Reginette is wide, flat ribbon pasta that has rippled edges on both sides. It is a popular pasta type and is commonly served with pesto, tomato sauce and other sauces from the Italian cuisine.





Noodles are believed to have originated in China during the Han dynasty, approximately 2000 years ago. Since then they have become a popular food item in many countries and cultures, particularly throughout Asia.


The noodle is a type of staple food made from some type of unleavened dough which is rolled flat and cut into one of a variety of shapes.




Literal meaning (Italian):




Orzo is a type of pasta originating from Italy that dates back to the 8th century. It is made from barley flour and is shaped like a large grain of rice, but is smaller than the traditional pasta varieties such as spaghetti and penne.


This small, grain shaped pasta can be topped with any sauce, added to soups, or baked as a casserole. Perfect as a side dish as well as a main course. It is also sometimes used to make deserts and pastries.




Literal meaning (Italian):

the ones to gulp, from the verb “pappare”, to gobble up.



Pappardelle is an Italian pasta type that originated in the region of Tuscany. The dish dates back to the 14th century and was traditionally served with a rabbit-based sauce. It remains popular today and can be found in both Italian and non-Italian cuisines.

Pappardelle are large, very broad, flat pasta noodles, similar to wide fettuccine.  The fresh types are two to three centimetres (¾-1 inch) wide and may have fluted edges.


Penne / Mezze penne (- Rigate)


Literal meaning (Italian):

quills or feathers


Penne compliment virtually every sauce and are exceptional when paired with a chunky sauce. Penne Rigate are ridged and ideal to lock-in flavor. Penne Rigate pairs nicely with chunky meat, chunky vegetable, cream, or oil based sauces. Also, these shapes are great for baking dishes.



Literal meaning: unknown, probably associated with the Italian regional rava (a variant of rapa) meaning turnip


Ravioli are square round pillows of pasta that have a filling consisting of ingredients such as cheese, meats, vegetables and seasonings. Ravioli can be served with a red sauce or it can be served with butter, oil or cream.




Literal meaning:

large grooved


Rigatoni’s ridges and holes are perfect with any sauce, from cream or cheese to the chunkiest meat sauces.



Literal meaning (Italian):

lengths/pieces of cord


America’s favorite shape, Spaghetti is the perfect choice for nearly any sauce, or it can be used to make casseroles or stir-fry dishes. Go beyond tomato sauce and see what your favorite becomes.



Literal meaning (Italian):

cut-ups, from tagliare, meaning to cut

Tagliatelle and tagliolini is a traditional type of pasta from Emilia-Romagna and Marche, regions of Italy. Individual pieces of tagliatelle are long, flat ribbons that are similar in shape to fettuccine and are typically about 6.5 mm to 10 mm (0.25 to 0.375 inch) wide. Tagliatelle can be served with a variety of sauces, though the classic is a meat sauce or Bolognese sauce. Tagliolini is another variety of tagliatelle that is long and cylindrical in shape, not long and flat.


Tortellini / Tortelloni

Literal meaning (Italian):

diminutive of tortello, meaning cake, fritter



Tortellini is a ring-shaped pasta typically stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables. Tortellini is commonly served in a broth or cream sauce.


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