italian food

An Inside Look at Pasta Shapes & Functions

When it comes to understanding and enjoying Italian food, there are numerous aspects to consider and learn about. For example, did you know that different kinds of pasta are used for different purposes based on the geometric properties that they possess? Learning about these functions and what separates one pasta from another can maximize your culinary experience. 

At Scola’s Italian Restaurant, we make it our goal to provide our guests with a culinary experience that is sure to satisfy! With authentic Italian recipes, our food is delicious and classic! With this in mind, we thought it pertinent to take the time to delve into noodles and their best use. So, here we go!



This pasta is an all-time classic. Originating in Sicily around the 12th century, spaghetti has become a staple of Italian culture. Most popularly served with meatballs or some other form of meat, this cylindrical noodle is also versatile and can be used with any type of sauce. However, it is most popularly served with a red meat sauce.


Angel Hair

Similar to spaghetti in any regard, angel hair pasta is longer and much thinner. The simple delicate nature of this pasta makes it popular to be used with lighter sauces and vegetables. Angel hair pasta is often used in seafood dishes with shellfish or scollops due to the lightness of their texture.


This particular pasta is similar to spaghetti and is generally interchangeable. However, its main difference is its shape. Linguine is a longer, wider noodle that is flat on both sides making a small rectangle shape. This shape makes it ideal for thinner causes. Therefore, linguine is customarily used in pesto or herbed dishes with seafood. 



Similar to penne, another popular Italian pasta, rigatoni has a cylindrical shape with a hollow middle. Generally, rigatoni has a slightly larger circumference than penne pasta however the two can be used pretty interchangeably when it comes to meals. Other times rigatoni is used in dishes with thicker red sauce. It is thicker and holds up well to higher heat which is why it’s a popular choice for bakes!


Differing from all of the previous pasta types, fettuccine is made with eggs. These long noodles are thick narrow ribbons that are created by being rolled out and hand-cut. Generally, fettuccine is used in creamy thick sauces, its most popular use being alfredo. Oftentimes chicken or shrimp is added to the dish for additional flavor and protein.


Looking for authentic Italian food around Dracut? Visit Scola’s!

Here at Scola’s Italian Restaurant, our family strives to provide an authentic Italian experience. We value variety when it comes to our menu so that you have numerous classic Italian choices from your drink to your dessert and everything in between! Visit us today and experience the best pasta dishes in town!


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