10 most popular Italian pasta names in Italy

Italian pasta names

Learning words for Italian pasta names in English is like eating pasta! It’s always the same, yet always different… Italy is famous for its staple food ingredient of Italian Cuisine: Pasta. So dig into your Italian pasta dishes’ names like a freshly prepared plate of linguine!


  • Linguine is an Italian pasta that has a name which means “little tongues”. Linguine is four millimetres long, it is wider than spaghetti and it takes between nine and twelve minutes to cook Al dente.
  • Fusilli pasta is a corkscrew-shaped pasta. It is hollow in the middle and this pasta comes from Campania, which is the South region of Italy.
  • Italian Vermicelli is spaghetti-like but it is made with thicker strands than spaghetti. The Italian word Vermicelli translates to “Little worms” in English.
  • Tagliatelle is a long, flat, Italian pasta originating from the Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions of Italy. The name Tagliatelle derives from “Tagliare” which means “To cut”.
  • Lumaconi pasta is shaped like a snail shell and it comes in two textures: rigid and smooth. You have to boil the Lumaconi, then stuff it with cheese and vegetables before baking it into a dish called Lumaconi Farciti.
  • Rotini is an Italian pasta, which means “rotate” or “rotation.” Rotini is great for gripping chunky sauces and it can be substituted with Fusilli pasta.
  • Bucatini pasta’s name originates from the Italian word “Buco” meaning “hole”. It is popular in South Italy. Bucatini pasta takes two more minutes to cook than most pasta.
  • Fettuccine pasta is long like spaghetti but fatter than linguine. You can buy it either fresh or dried.
  • Capellini pasta is thinner than spaghetti and its name means “fine hair” in Italian. Some people confuse it with angel hair pasta, which is not the same and is thinner than Capellini pasta.
  • Bigoli pasta is a thick, Italian spaghetti-like pasta with rough surfaces for absorbing sauces. Italians used to cook it with wheat flour and it is popular with duck or game ragu.

Italian spaghetti


  • Italian Carbonara pasta sauce originated from Rome. Carbonara means “In the manner of coal miners”. This name comes from the black pepper sprinkled over the creamy egg and cheese Italian pasta sauce.
  • Amatriciana is an Italian pasta sauce made from tomatoes, guanciale, cheese, and olive oil. You have to serve it hot and is well together with Bucatini Italian pasta.
  • Pesto is a green pine nut sauce that originated from Genoa, the Capital City of Liguria in Italy. It is an uncooked sauce. You will enjoy Pesto at its finest if you serve it slightly warmed at room temperature.
  • Puttanesca sauce originated from Naples Italy. It is a tomato-based sauce that includes capers, olives, and garlic. The name Puttanesca originated from the word “Puttana” meaning “whore” in English.
  • Vongole is an Italian Clam sauce that is white in colour. The clams are usually minced and the Italian pasta name comes from the Italian word “Vongola” meaning “Clam” in English.
  • Frutti di mare, which means “Fruit of the sea” in Italian, is an Italian seafood pasta sauce which usually includes shellfish, wine, onions, garlic, and clam sauce.
  • Funghi e piselli is an Italian pasta sauce which means mushrooms and peas in English. Fry them in olive oil together with onions, garlic, and pepperoncini.
  • Cacciatore means “Hunter” in Italian, because of the sauce’s hunter style. The sauce is a mix of onions, herbs, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
  • Marinara is a hot Italian pizza or pasta sauce made from tomatoes, onions, and garlic.
  • Bolognese sauce got its name from Bologna where it originated in Italy. Spaghetti Bolognese is an Italian pasta with sausage or mincemeat included in the sauce.

Italian pasta dishes names


In Italy, you should eat pasta as much as you should practice their Italian pasta names… Almost every single day! So tuck into this article again tomorrow and read it until you can speak and understand Italian pasta names like true Italian!

We invite you to visit Martha Stewart’s website and enjoy her delicious recipes, so you can cook like an Italian chef.

Now that you know the most popular pasta and sauce names in Italy, discover 8 delicious Italian seasoning ingredients!

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