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Why are there so many different pasta shapes?


This is a question that many people have. Why are there so many different pasta shapes and sizes? Isn’t all pasta just the same? According to statistics there are more the 350 different pasta shapes from around the world. Let’s explore below the answer to this popular question about pasta shape.


Reasons Behind Different Shapes of Pasta

There is a plethora of shapes that pasta is available in and fall into various categories. You must be familiar with popular shapes such as ravioli (stuffed pasta), spaghetti (long pasta), linguini, penne (tubular pasta), farfalle, tortellini (stuffed pasta), spaghettini, fusilli, lasagna, etc.


In addition, there are lesser known and uncommon shapes like gigli, paparadelle, cappelleti, anelli, tagliatelle, etc. If you want to know reasons behind having pasta of so many different shapes, then read on.



Use of Different Sauces

One of the primary reasons why pasta is available in different shapes is related to use of sauce and how it is held by the pasta. Some food lovers prefer to have more sauce while there are people who only like a hint of sauce in their pasta.


In addition, heavier and heartier sauce can be used when bigger pasta is used. Similarly, lighter sauce is to be used when pasta is of smaller size since specific shapes tend to hold the sauces better compared to other shapes of pastas.


Similarly, pastas of tubular shape have several crevices and as such, they can hold onto flavors of meat, tomato, and similar other types of flavor enhancers with relative ease. On the other hand, if textured sauce is being used such as olive oil, pureed, or cream-based sauce then smooth pasta is the preferred option.


Likewise, if there is a sauce with thinner oil base then angel hair pasta works well with such sauce. On the other hand, if there is a thicker sauce then heavier and thicker pasta works better with such type of pasta. If you are planning to have cream sauce, then it will pair well with flat pastas and a sauce with tomato base will be able to better cling onto round pastas.



Cultural Differences

Cultural differences also play an important role in deciding the shape of the pasta we use. For example, it is a fact that food lovers in North America are more inclined towards standardized pasta. On the contrary, unique shapes are the preferred choice for Italians. The shapes are also decided by the food culture in a particular country.


For example, pasta is a fast dinner fix in many of the North American nations while people in Italy want to gather a complete pasta experience and do not consider it to be a common food items that they eat every day.



It can be said that there are different types of pastas available nowadays in different shapes. The reason for these different shapes is that a particular type of shape works well with a certain type of sauce, and you can experience the right taste.

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