what pasta is closest to orecchiette

If you love pasta, then you know just how many pasta shapes there are. Even at the grocery store, it may be hard to choose. While some reach for the classics—Spaghetti, Penne, Pasta Shells—some pasta shapes are just too fun to pass up.

In Italy, the many shapes and styles of pasta were created with a dish or application in mind. Where thick sturdy noodles with wide hollows, like Rigatoni, were made to take on hearty sauces and meat ragùs, concave noodles like Orecchiette were made to scoop up small ingredients. Baked pasta dishes, like macaroni and cheese, are often made with Elbows or Shells for gathering gooey cheeses in their sturdy bends and hollows. Some pasta shapes, like the tiny pastina Orzo, have transcended their original use as a soup cut by appearing in everything from cold picnic pasta salads to cheesy side dishes. While every pasta has its place, that doesn’t mean you can’t get inventive with your creations.

Our Ultimate Guide to All Pasta Shapes includes a little history and some inspiration for best-loved pasta cuts—some you may already know and love, while some you may want to try for yourself!

Named after its tiny “peppercorn” shape, Acini di Pepe is small and spherical. It is best known as the star of the beloved classic, Italian Wedding Soup. This tiny pastina, or soup cut, is usually baby’s first pasta in Italy. Serve it up in brothy soups and cold pasta salads.

We love Acini di Pepe in Spicy Garlic Chicken with Acini di Pepe Pasta & Snow Peas.

If you can’t find orecchiette, substitute any shaped pasta, such as fusilli, farfalle or penne. Clean the broccoli rabe by cutting off 1 inch from the bottom of each stem.
what pasta is closest to orecchiette

Spaghetti Alla Chitarra (Spaghettini)

This squared spaghetti is named after the guitar-shaped kitchen utensil, the chitarra. A unique thick cut with an irresistible al dente bite, Spaghetti alla Chitarra is a versatile pasta that pairs up with any number of sauces—from simple tomato to heart meat sauces, like the traditional Abruzzese Lamb Ragù.

We love Spaghetti alla Chitarra in Anchovy & Caper Butter with Spaghetti alla Chitarra.

Shop now! Available in Semolina.

Originating in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, these long, flat ribbons of pasta are close in size to fettuccine. Their flat ribbon shape makes them perfect for capturing chunky, hearty sauces. In Italy, Tagliatelle are one of the most popular pasta shapes and are often served like the Italian-American “spaghetti and meatballs.”

We love Tagliatelle in Figgy Tagliatelle with Goat Cheese & Prosciutto.

Similar to rigatoni, but with a twist! These twisted tubes come to you from Naples, Italy, where they are served with rich, full-bodied sauces and ragùs. Tortiglioni is fun to say, but it is also a superb sauce-capturing shape ready for the chunkiest of sauces and even cheesy baked pasta recipes.

We love Tortiglioni in Tortiglioni with Ham & Peas.

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One of Italy’s most beloved pasta shapes, these pasta rings are made up of a rich, but delicate egg pasta stuffed with cheese, meat or other savory fillings. Traditionally, Tortellini are served in broth-based soups, but are versatile enough for any number of sauces: from light tomato sauces and oil-based sauces to creamy picnic pasta dressings.

We love Tortellini in Pasta Fagioli Tortellini Soup.

Get even more yummy recipes from our 11 Recipes for Your Favorite Stuffed Pasta Rings Collection.

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Thinner than its more famous sibling, this beloved long cut is best paired with lighter, thinner sauces that won’t overwhelm its delicate form. We love Spaghettini with a fresh-tomato and herb Pomodoro sauce and a light scampi butter sauce with shrimp.

We love Thin Spaghetti in Garlicky Spaghetti with Kale, Tomatoes and Pancetta.

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As fun to say as it is to eat, this shell-elbow pasta hybrid features a curved tube shape with a ridged exterior. This unique pasta cut is ready to scoop up sauces and small ingredients. Try it in cheesy baked pasta dishes with gourmet upgrades like artichokes, peas, pancetta and mushrooms.

We love Shellbows in Roasted Pepper Bruschetta & Tomato Sauce with Italian Sausage.

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This classic Southern Italian pasta consists of smooth, straight-cut tubes perfect for capturing sauces and small ingredients. Ziti is famous for its role in traditional Napolitano meat sauces and cheesy baked pasta dishes featuring ricotta and tomato.

We love Ziti in Cheesy Baked Ziti.

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Bucatini (also known as perciatelli)

This long cut originates in the Lazio region of Italy. Named for its “hole” running down its center, this straw-like pasta is made to suck up lighter tomato sauces and seafood-based sauces. Bucatini is famous for role in Roman classics like Amatriciana and Cacio e Pepe.

We love Bucatini in Silky Tomato & Cream Pasta.

Get even more yummy recipes from our 12 Best Bucatini Pasta Recipes Collection.

Shop now! Available in Semolina.

“One Pan” Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Arugula – How to Cook Pasta & Sauce in One Pan


What pasta is closest to orecchiette pasta?

1. **Cavatelli**: These small pasta shells have a similar shape and texture to orecchiette. 2. **Farfalle**: Bowtie pasta can work in some recipes that call for orecchiette, although the shape is different.

What kind of pasta is orecchiette?

A typical Puglian pasta, orecchiette (pronounced o-rek-kyet-teh) were named for their shape, which resembles little ears. Made only from semolina, water and salt, their rough surface holds onto sauces and allows them to be prepared in a variety of ways. Now there is a commercial version of this pasta.

Is there another name for orecchiette?

Names and variations In the vernacular of Taranto they are called recchietedde, or chiancaredde. In Cisternino orecchiette are made with durum wheat; they are larger and take on a different shape, with deep internal ribs, very similar to an ear. They are defined recchie d’ privte ( lit. ‘priest’s ears’).

What is the English of orecchiette?

Orecchiette, ‘little ears‘, are small, slightly unevenly shaped saucers, and good for sticky sauces.

Is orecchiette a good pasta sauce?

Orecchiette has one big thing going for it that other pastas do not: its cup shape makes it the perfect vehicle to hold special pasta sauces. The creamy tomato sausage pasta sauce featured in this recipe is orecchiette worthy! Decadent? Yes. Have salad tomorrow!

What are healthier alternatives for pasta?

Regular pasta is made with refined wheat flour, leaving these noodles with scant levels of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Here are six pasta alternatives to traditional pasta which can be enjoyed with out sacrificing vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbs. They are, Zucchini noodles, Squash noodles, Quinoa pasta, Rice pasta, Black bean pasta, Shirataki noodles. Spaghetti squash is an excellent pasta substitute. Spiralized vegetables is an healthier substitute to pasta.

Can you substitute orecchiette for pasta?

Although orecchiette is a unique shape, there are other types of pasta that will suffice as substitutes. The cup-like structure of orecchiette allows for sauce and vegetables or meat to nestle inside and cling to the pasta, so choosing something that will act similarly is ideal.

Can you eat Orecchiette pasta?

In fact, because of the unique shape we find we eat it slower than a pasta shape like mac and cheese or penne, which makes it feel more satisfying. Orecchiette pasta is often served with a simple tomato sauce. It also works well with chunky sauces and vegetables. And it’s fantastic for mac and cheese (why not?). How do you pronounce orecchiette?

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