Top 5 Pasta Shapes

Niamh O'Sullivan and Emily Harmon

Pasta dishes are among the easiest meals to cook and they are staples in many different cultures. However, different pasta shapes cook differently, creating contrasting textures. We have created the ultimate list of the best pasta shapes (in no particular order). Before reading, know that we respect the classics, such as penne and spaghetti, but our selections simply outrank them.

#5: Fusilli

Fusilli is one of the most common pasta shapes, and when it comes to pasta salad, we think it’s the best bet. Additionally, its spiral shape allows sauce, cheese or any other toppings to stick between each layer, guaranteeing an exquisite bite. When eaten as is, its unique texture adds excitement to an otherwise boring plate of pasta.

#4: Farfalle (Bow Tie/Butterfly)

This bow-tie-like pasta shape is amazing if you want a little more surface area for your sauces to coat the pasta, and it means your toppings have an even easier time staying on your bite. Although most pastas may fall off your fork, with farfalle, you can skewer it to pick up multiple pieces of pasta at a time. This pasta is great by itself but is also magnificent in salads, with sauces, meat or seafood dishes.

#3: Rigatoni

The thick and tubular shape of rigatoni makes for an incredible eating experience. You may eat the pasta normally, but if you’re feeling risky, you could stick your fork through the middle of the tube, scooping it into your mouth. Baked rigatoni is one of several dishes that can be made; it is a delicious and classic dish, coated in meat sauce and topped with steamed vegetables and a sprinkle of cheese.

#2: Cavatappi

Cavatappi is tubular and spiraled; it is the best of both worlds. When topped with cheese, it melts flawlessly, giving it a consistently delicious flavor. The variety of cavatappi dishes is countless; it can be eaten in both regular and pasta salads, mac ‘n cheese or even in casseroles.

#1: Capellini (Angel Hair)

Angel hair is a classic pasta shape, with its lengthy and thin noodles. It cooks in just 2-6 minutes and is easily found at any grocery store. To fully enjoy this pasta, twirl it on your fork, which gives you more noodles per bite. It can be served with meats and sauces, in pasta bakes or simply by itself.