You may think you know pasta, but do you really? Just ask yourself: How many types of pasta can you name? We all think of ourselves as knowing all there is to know about this much-loved Italian staple, but the reality is different. Truth is, there’s more to pasta than most of us could imagine.

Knowing pasta is all about knowing the different types and their uses. That’s where Olivieri® can help. We’ve been in the game of pasta and fresh sauces for over half a century, ever since Petronio Olivieri arrived as an Italian immigrant and opened his first pasta shop in Vancouver. Here’s what we can tell you about different types of pasta and what you can do with them.

Popular Types of Pasta

So, how many types of pasta are there? It’s estimated that there are more than 350 different types of pasta out there in the culinary world. But don’t worry; there’s no need to learn about them all. Let’s take a look at those that are most popular.

Spaghetti Those long and thin strands we all know and love.

For a lighter and thinner version of spaghetti, Angel Hair Pasta is a popular choice. Like traditional spaghetti, it makes a delicious accompaniment to meat and sauce, such as in this Angel Hair and Meatballs with Tomato Basil Sauce recipe.

Angel Hair and Meatballs with Tomato Basil Sauce

Penne – Short tubes, cut diagonally at either end, great for catching sauce inside.

Ravioli – A ‘filled’ pasta, shaped into little square pockets, with a sweet or savoury ingredient inside.

There are countless ways to enjoy ravioli recipes, but for a hearty, creamy, and comforting dish, this Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter and Sage will not disappoint. With sage leaves, pine nuts, salted butter, and Parmesan, the flavour of Olivieri Artisan® Butternut Squash and Creamy Mascarpone Ravioli is enhanced even further.

Linguine Noodles that are flat and wide, similar to fettuccine but not quite as thick.

This Linguine alla Chitarra with Leeks and Crispy Prosciutto is an elegant lunch or dinner that adds herbs, wine, broth, garlic, leeks, and more to Olivieri® Linguine Nested. What’s more, its elegant appearance makes it ideal for serving guests.

Linguine alla Chitarra with Leeks and Crispy Prosciutto

Rigatoni – Pasta tubes that are larger than penne and cut straight on both ends.

Farfalle – Also known as strichetti, this bow-tie-shaped pasta is ideal for pasta salads and light dishes.

Fusilli A spiral-shaped pasta, resembling a corkscrew, known for its ability to soak up sauce.

Cannelloni – Cylinders of pasta that are typically stuffed with a savory filling and baked in the oven.

Here’s a simple yet sophisticated blend of ingredients wrapped in cylindrical deliciousness, this Chicken and Prosciutto Cannelloni with Mushroom Alfredo Sauce. Not all pasta is for boiling, as in this instance, in which you bake it in the oven until it’s brown, crisp, warm, and ready to dazzle those taste buds. 

Chicken and Prosciutto Cannelloni with Mushroom Alfredo Sauce

Fettuccini – Long and flat noodles that are a little wider than linguine.

Tortellini – A filled pasta like ravioli but ring-shaped, typically filled with something savory and sometimes served in broth.

To enjoy this popular pasta type in a warm and comforting style, try Mama’s Tortellini Soup, in which delicious pockets of pasta are cooked in a hot chicken or beef broth with spinach, then topped with parsley and a sprinkle of your favorite cheese.

With Olivieri®, you’ll find plenty more types of pasta to make your next meal one to savour and cherish. If you’re wondering what types of pasta sauce to bring to the table, let’s take a look together.

Types of Pasta Sauce

Marinara Sauce – A traditional Italian tomato sauce for pasta, typically made with onions, herbs, and garlic.

Alfredo Sauce – A rich and creamy blend of butter, Parmesan cheese, and cream, that pairs well with linguine. 

Pesto Sauce – A firm favourite among foodies, pesto sauce is green, flavourful, and normally made from basil, pine nuts, olive oil, cheese, and garlic

Carbonara sauce – A creamy Roman classic made from eggs, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and cured pork.

Bolognese sauce – A mouthwatering blend of tomato sauce and beef, usually along with carrots, onions, celery, and more, depending on the style.

Just like with pasta, when it comes to pasta sauce types, the options go on and on. You can find out more in our guide to pasta sauces, and if you’re looking to bring one to your kitchen, take a look at our fresh sauce selection