Tagliatelle al ragù, the dish foreigners call spaghetti bolognese, features one of the hundreds of different pasta shapes found in Italy. Photo: Silvia Marchetti
Tagliatelle al ragù, the dish foreigners call spaghetti bolognese, features one of the hundreds of different pasta shapes found in Italy. Photo: Silvia Marchetti

Explainer |
Penne, tagliatelle, linguine, tortellini, vermicelli – pasta’s myriad shapes and their colourful names

  • Italy has 300 listed pasta shapes, each with variations depending on where it’s made and names of curious origin – like half sleeves and ‘slap across the face’
  • Whether fresh or dried, long or short, straight or twisted, boiled or baked, the one constant is the texture of the pasta when served: always al dente

Tagliatelle al ragù, the dish foreigners call spaghetti bolognese, features one of the hundreds of different pasta shapes found in Italy. Photo: Silvia Marchetti
Tagliatelle al ragù, the dish foreigners call spaghetti bolognese, features one of the hundreds of different pasta shapes found in Italy. Photo: Silvia Marchetti
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