Different Types of Pasta

Originally from Italy, pasta is now one of the most well-known dishes around the world and served at our Rapid City restaurant. It is extremely versatile and can be prepared in a variety of different ways. However, not all pasta is the same. There are many different varieties, and the names may differ depending on where you are in the world. The various types of pasta each have their own flavor, culinary use, and regional origin.

All pasta can be divided into either dry pasta or fresh pasta. Dry pasta is made from semolina flour and water, whereas fresh pasta is typically made from white flour and eggs, instead of water. When the pasta is cooked, fresh pasta is softer than dry pasta. The three main types of pasta are long or medium length, short-cut, and stuffed. While there are a few categorizations, the pastas still vary significantly within those categories.

Long pastas are typically made by extrusion or by rolling and cutting. Extrusion is when ingredients are forced through an opening with a design specific to the type of food, or shape of pasta in this case. Here are some of the most common long pastas and their characteristics:

  • Spaghetti – It is long, thin pasta that originated in southern Italy and is typically served with tomato sauce.
  • Linguine – It has a long, flat cut and originated in the Liguria Italy area. This pasta is typically served with a pesto or seafood sauce.
  • Fettuccine – This pasta is thick and wide and came from central/southern Italy. The most common used sauces with fettuccine are a cheese or vegetable sauce.
  • Lasagna – It is characterized by thin sheets of pasta, sometimes with fluted edges. It originated in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and is commonly baked with a Bolognese sauce.
  • Pappardelle – This pasta is made of egg-based dough and has thick, flat ribbons. It originated in the Tuscany area of Italy and is typically served with game-based sauces.

Short pastas are cut using extrusion processes. Some of the short-cut pasta types are:

  • Penne – It has a smooth tube shape and is from central Italy. Penne is typically served with tomato or meat sauces.
  • Rotini – It is characterized by twisted spirals and originated in northern Italy. This pasta is usually served with either a tomato or vegetable sauce.
  • Ziti – This pasta is an even-cut tube shape that originally came from southern Italy. Ziti is commonly used for casseroles.
  • Gnocchi – It is a round shaped ball of pasta that originated in a variety of areas, but most notably Italy. Gnocchi is used with thick or thin tomato and mozzarella sauces.
  • Farfalle – This pasta is a bowtie shape and came from the northern part of Italy. It is typically served with tomato or light vegetable sauces.
  • Cavatappi – It is cork-screw shaped and originated in Italy. Thick meat sauces are usually served with Cavatappi.

Stuffed pastas are comprised of any type of pasta that has a filling inside. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Ravioli – It is shaped like a square and filled with various fillings. This type of pasta originated in northern/central Italy and is served with various sauces, depending on the filling.
  • Tortellini – This pasta is a ring shape with a variety of fillings. It originated in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and is most commonly served with a broth.

This is just a small snippet of the various types of pastas used around the world. If all this talk about pasta has made you hungry, check out the pastas and other delicious foods on our menu. Come stop into our Rapid City restaurant and try our take on Spaghetti and Meatballs and Chicken Alfredo pasta. We are open all week from 11am-10pm Monday-Thursday, 11am-11pm on Friday, 7am-11pm on Saturday, and 7am-10pm on Sunday.