As every self-respecting social media “foodie” will tell you, there’s a way to appear like you know your stuff. In a nutshell, you should be able to rattle off fancy restaurant food names like you’re Gordon Ramsay’s muse. And that includes pasta types like penne and macaroni.
Here’s what every scared-of-being-caught-out foodie won’t tell you, though. They probably only know penne and macaroni. There’s more to pasta than you see on your foodie friend’s Instagram feed, and it’s all the super-interesting stuff of gastronomic dreams.
Let’s take a look at some of these here; you’ll know why we’re waxing poetic about these then.
The Curious Case Of Pasta Types
Not all pasta is the same, as you’ve probably guessed by now. Thin and long varieties like spaghetti and angel hair don’t take much time to cook. Thicker variants like elbows and shells (not kidding: those are actual pasta types) are harder by texture and take much longer to cook.
Another interesting tidbit: the sauce you’d use with your pasta also varies according to the pasta type. With the thicker varieties, you can go with a thick, chunky sauce. With the thinner varieties, as you’ve probably figured, you’d go with a thinner, runnier sauce.
Now, without a-wasting much time-a, let’s a-take a look at the types of a-pasta. Andiamo!
1. Heavenly – Angel Hair Pasta
You’ve got to admire the Italians for their creativity. While we’ve got our apsaras and malinis, they went ahead and made angels even better: they gave them edible friggin’ hair!
Not literally, just so you know. Angel hair pasta, or capelli d’angelo, is a thinner version of the thinnest pasta, capellini. Often served in a nest-like shape, angel heart pasta has graced many a dinner since the 14th century.
It goes well in a soup, or you can pair it with seafood and/or a light sauce.
2. Ravishingly Good – Ravioli
Some might argue that this isn’t technically a pasta, and more of a dumpling. However, it’s made of pasta dough, and is served with pasta sauce or in a broth. That’s pasta enough for us.
Ravioli is traditionally prepared right at home. In Rome and Latium, you can enjoy your ravioli with a filling of ricotta cheese, nutmeg, pepper, and spinach. In Sardinia, your ravioli would arrive typically stuffed with ricotta and grated lemon rinds.
Today, ravioli is often mass-produced in factories, causing Italian grandmothers to nod disapprovingly and do the Italian hand thing.
Yep. That Italian hand thing.
3. Don’t LOL At My Name – Fusilli
You’ve probably seen it a lot. It’s not exactly rare, fusilli. But not a lot of people are sure what to call this corkscrew-shaped pasta.
Modern fusilli: machine-made
To make it, thin strips of pasta dough are wrapped around skewers and then cut into small pieces. With fusilli, you can’t make do with a short boil; these babies need a solid 13-14 minutes in the steamy water to cook properly.
That’s about all you need to know about pasta types. For a more hands-on approach, try one of the Italian delis on the Swiggy app. The next time your Insta-celeb friend posts pictures of pasta, you can be the know-it-all everyone hates in the comments section!