The Glossary of Pasta Types

If you love pasta, you’ll love learning the pasta types you don’t already know. There are over 600 different pasta shapes, each with a useful purpose. Long pasta, short pasta, stuffed pasta, pasta for soups- the uses for pasta are endless! Some pasta shapes and sizes are better suited for holding sauces in the ridges, while others are much better for baked dishes. Use our Pasta Shapes Glossary to learn more about the different pasta types.



Ziti is a very common tube-shaped pasta, commonly used in many American family dishes. The Ziti name originated from the word Zita, which means the bride. In Naples, Ziti is considered the traditional pasta served at weddings as the “Zita’s” bride’s pasta. Ziti is best paired with fresh, light sauces like olive oil or a simple, sweet tomato sauce. Ziti is also a great addition to baked casserole dishes. Popular dishes that contain ziti are called Ziti al Pomodoro and Ziti Alla Amatriciana. At Trattoria il Panino, we make homemade Ziti al Pomodoro and Ziti Alla Amatriciana. 



Plates of ravioli consist of a square or round pillow-shaped stuffed pasta, similar to dumplings. Inside the filling consist of cheese, meat, and sometimes vegetables. Ravioli are formed by layering flat pasta topped with filling and then placing another flat layer on top. The edges are then sealed to keep the filling inside the pasta. We top our ravioli dishes with a variety of sauces, including black truffle cream, crab meat sauce, and San Marzano sauce. 



Penne is the most famous Italian pasta shapes and is loved across Italy and the United States. Penne has a short cylinder-shaped pasta that has angled edges. A quill inspired the shape. Penne’s large diameter and ridges make it ideal for retaining sauces. Penne pairs well with thick meat or vegetable-based sauces because of its ridges can easily retain the sauce. You can also try penne with spicy tomato sauce, basil and Parmigiano and tomato, capers, olives, and anchovies at Trattoria il Panino. 



Gnocchi is miniature pasta dumplings, usually made from wheat, eggs, potatoes. With a slightly dense texture and potato flavor, they are a hearty type of pasta. Gnocchi has been a traditional type of pasta in Italy since the Roman era. Gnocchi has been a staple in Italy, sometimes made with squash and breadcrumbs before using potatoes. We pair our Gnocchi with mozzarella and basil. 


Don’t miss out on the different kinds of pasta in Italy. We offer the world’s best pasta at Trattoria il Panino