It’s All About Pasta!

Has this ever happened to you? You’re dining at a nice Italian restaurant and you begin looking at all the different menu selections, only to realize that you have no clue as to what all the various pasta choices are? It used to happen to me all the time. So, let’s try to sort through it all and have a quick look at the different types of pasta.

Lasagna
This is an easy one to start out with, and also one of the best tasting pastas. Lasagna comes in long, thick, wide strips that are boiled in water first. They are then placed on top of each other with assorted fillings placed in between them. The standard filling would be meat and cheese, but it could also include a wide array of sausages, mushrooms and a host of other ingredients. Mozzarella cheese is put on top and it is baked in the oven. I’m getting hungry just talking about it.

Farfalle
Farfalle certainly has a unique name to it. It is a small, bow shaped pasta that is used mainly in many types of pasta salads.

Macaroni
Oh, another easy one for everybody. Macaroni is a small, hollow, tube shaped pasta that is used in many different pasta salads and macaroni salad. Of course, it is also the key ingredient in one of every child’s favorite foods, macaroni and cheese!
Cannelloni
I always liked the name of this pasta as a kid growing up. Cannelloni is a large round pasta tube. This pasta is generally stuffed with meat and cheese and baked in the oven. Cannelloni can also be used in casseroles.

Spaghetti
I know you know this one! Spaghetti is one of my favorites. It is a long thin pasta strand that is boiled in water, drained, and then mixed together with your favorite spaghetti sauce. My grandmother had an excellent recipe while I was growing up.

Tortellini
Tortellini is a stuffed pasta that is half circle shaped and filled with all types of ingredients. These include meat, sausage, cheese, mushrooms, and many others including combinations of all those listed. Mixed together with your favorite sauce and tortellini is a delicious dish.

Ravioli
Ravioli is somewhat similar to tortellini except that it is square shaped and a little larger in size. Ravioli can be stuffed with meat, as well as other different ingredients including cheese. It is then mixed with sauce, or it can be breaded and toasted. That’s right, toasted ravioli is fantastic!

Fettuccine And Linguine
Also known as “ribbon noodles”, these two pasta noodles are flat, long, and stringy. You will find fettucine usually mixed together with alfredo sauce. Both of these patas are great with shrimp.

Penne
Penne pasta are short, fairly small round tubes that are diagonally cut. Penne pasta is used in a wide variety of casseroles, pasta salads, and mixed with your favorite sauce on its own.

Manicotti
Manicotti are large, ridge shaped tubes that are generally filled with ricotta cheese and spinach and then baked in the oven.

Vermicelli
Vericelli is also known as “angel hair” pasta. It is a fine, thin sting of pasta. Many times it is mixed together with alfredo sauce, or used with shrimp and crab.

This should help give you something to go on the next time you visit your favorite Italian restaurant. While there are many more types of pasta available, these are the more popular choices. The only question that remains would be…is it time to eat yet?

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