Pasta comes in more than 600 different shapes and sizes. Using the right pasta shape can make all the difference when it comes to cooking the perfect dish, and it’ll make eating pasta that much more enjoyable.
At Carrabba’s, we are always asking ourselves “What’s in a shape?” Below are six examples of pasta shapes, and the dishes we’ve created with each.
Shape 1: Cavatappi “The Corkscrew”
This shape literally means corkscrew in Italian. It’s a spiral, hollow pasta that locks in flavor at each curve.
We use this shape for one of our side dishes called Cavatappi Amatriciana. Amatriciana sauce has tomatoes, onions, pancetta and Romano cheese. The sauce fills into the tight spirals of this pasta giving you a full bite of flavor every time.
Shape 2: Conchiglie “The Shell”
This pasta shaped is ridged on the outside, and hollow on the inside.
We pair conchiglie with a five-cheese sauce that seeps into the hollows of the shell. Some of our customers refer to this dish as an adult Mac n’ Cheese because it’s pure cheesy goodness.
Shape 3: Linguine “Little Tongues”
Traditionally, this shape is paired with seafood.
And true to form, we use linguine for our Shrimp and Scallop Alla Vodka, which is a tomato cream sauce.
Shape 4: Spaghetti “Thin String”
America’s favorite shape, spaghetti is great for a variety of tomato sauces.
We use this classic shape for a classic dish: Spaghetti and Meatballs.
Shape 5: Fettuccine “Little Ribbons”
Fettucine is one of the oldest and most common pasta shapes, and it’s long and flat shape make it great for heavy, rich cream sauces.
The thickness of fettuccine allows it to hold up to very hearty sauces, such as Alfredo. Our Fettuccine Carrabba features this sauce along with wood-grilled chicken, sautéed mushrooms and peas.
Shape 6: Rigatoni “Ridged or Lined”
The ridges and holes make this pasta perfect with almost any sauce from creamy to chunky meat sauces, like bolognese.
Our Rigatoni Martino is wood-grilled chicken, sautéed mushrooms and sundried tomatoes tossed in our housemade tomato cream sauce and topped with scallions and ricotta salata.
Think you know pasta shapes pretty well? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
And while you’re at it, find out what kind of pasta shape you are.