Pick Your Pasta

Pasta is synonymous with Italy, but for decades historians have fought about who invented this delicious food.  Most people assume that pasta originally came from Italy, but that isn’t exactly what the records show.

In 2005 National Geographic reported that scientists unearthed the oldest bowl of noodles; long thin, 4,000 year-old noodles. They were found during an archaeological dig in northwestern China. Now here is where it gets more interesting. These noodles were made from two different kinds of millet, but Italian noodles and North American noodles; the ones most of us enjoy from our local markets, are made largely from wheat. This is why many records indicate Italy was the birthplace of pasta.

According to many history buffs, wheat based noodles were first discovered in Ancient Rome around the 1st century. What exactly did the chef’s of the day create? Fine sheets of dough that they called Lagana. This word eventually developed into Lasagna. Several similar versions started to appear in Israel in the 3rd century.

We may never know for sure who can lay claim to the birthplace of authentic pasta, but there is one certainty -Italy perfected it. Worldwide there are 600 different types of pasta.  We are all familiar with Spaghetti, but here we look at some of the other popular Italian pasta.




This is a stuffed pasta that’s typically a half-circular or circular  shape and  stuffed with meat





Just like spaghetti in shape, except that it’s hollow in the middle.





Large tubes that can be smooth or ridged. They are usually filled with meat before being covered in sauce and baked.




This word means “corkscrews”. They’re hollow and twisted.





Short pieces of pasta with a rolled edge.



Conchiglie Conchiglie

This is common seashell-shaped pasta.




This word means butterflies, but the shape is like bowties.





These are similar to the cavatappi in that they’re shaped like corkscrews, but they’re flat pieces of pasta that   have been twisted instead of round pieces.





The word “gemelli” means “twins,” and this pasta looks like two short pieces of  pasta twisted together.





These are thumb-sized pieces of thick pasta that are actually made from  potatoes





This pasta looks like a snail shell. It’s basically a hollow tube that’s been folded  in half.




radiatore  Radiator

This word means“radiator,” and this pasta is shaped like little mini radiators.





A small tube-shaped pasta with straight-cut ends.







This is small stuffed pasta that’s shaped almost like a half-moon. They are usually stuffed with either cheese or  meat.

Of course there are many other types of Italian pasta that you can find at local grocery stores and at Italian shops in your neighborhood, but the ones listed above are common and should be easy to find. Keep reading Madaleno Magazine. In a future article we will be looking at the various types of sauce that go with all of these wonderful pastas.


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