9 Types Of Short Italian Pasta To Try

Egg Noodle Pasta

This versatile pasta can be baked, put into soups, used in pasta salads or topped with light or heavy sauces. Egg noodles are short, loosely twisted pasta and a common pasta choice for dishes such as beef stroganoff.

Farfalle Pasta

Also known as bow tie pasta, this short pasta gets its name from its unique shape -- the name is derived from the Italian word "farfalla," which means "butterfly." Farfalle comes in varying sizes, but is consistently thick and therefore durable for use with many sauces, though it's most common use is with cream sauces and tomato sauces.

Fiori Pasta

Fiori pasta gets its name from the Italian word for "flower," because it is shaped as such. Its shape is similar to rotelle pasta, which resembles a wheel with spokes. Both types of pasta are thick and decorative and can be used in many ways, including baking with ground beef. They go well with meat, cream, vegetable or seafood sauces.

Fusilli Pasta

Also known as rotini, this type of pasta is shaped like a corkscrew or a tight spiral. Fusilli is a unique pasta in that it can be made by mixing other ingredients into the dough to affect the flavor, including tomatoes, spinach or cuttlefish. Because of this, it's a popular choice for pasta salads. It also easily bakes into casseroles.

Gnocchi Pasta

No, gnocchi is not a stuffed pasta -- surprise! Gnocchi looks like little pasta roly polys and the noodles are basically noodle dumplings. The pasta can be made from semolina as many other pasta are, but gnocchi can also be made from wheat flour, eggs or potatoes. They are essentially lumps of noodles, but don't traditionally contain a filling.

Macaroni Pasta

As spaghetti is the classic long pasta, macaroni is the archetype short pasta. The possibilities are endless when cooking with macaroni and extend well beyond the classic mac n' cheese -- you can bake it, use it in pasta salads, mix it into soups, throw it in chili or top it with any sauce.

Penne Pasta

Penne pasta is identifiable by its hollow, tube-like shape with grooves and slanted ends. The pasta goes well with any sauce, but especially chunky sauces like meat or vegetable sauce such as pesto.

Rigatoni Pasta

Rigatoni looks like penne pasta, but larger and without the slanted ends. This pasta is a favorite in southern Italy and perfect for anything from cream or cheese sauces to chunky meat sauces.

Ziti Pasta

Whereas rigatoni pasta is tube-like, ziti more resembles a hose -- the noodles are thicker and the holes are smaller. Because the pasta is so thick, it goes well with meat dishes and meat sauces, which is why it is often baked into a casserole-like dish.