Oodles of Noodles

Not all pastas are created equal. Variations in size, shape, serving methods, and cooking time all combine to create the intricacies that define this hallmark ingredient of Italian cuisine. Among other identifying characteristics, some are infinitely more adorable than others. (Spaghetti? Please, too basic.) Though we definitely can’t claim to have mastered all of them, below you’ll find our guide to Panrimo’s Top 7 Cutest Italian Pastas.

7) Barbina

A long, thin noodle similar to angel’s hair pasta, Barbina is cute mostly for it’s name, which translates to ‘little beards’. Often twisted into a shape resembling a bird’s nest or a ‘little beard’, this pasta is great for a charming, pre-portioned appetizer.

6) Orecchiette

A pasta traditionally made in the southern part of Italy, orecchiette or ‘little ear’, is a small thumb-sized noodle made in an oval shape that looks just like it’s namesake (cute!). Though the signature orecchiette dish is made with the rapine leaf, this pasta can be cooked with a variety of vegetable based sauces and is often paired well with broccoli or ricotta cheese.

5) Fusilli Bucati

These tightly spiraled pieces of pasta add cuteness to any dish! Translated as ‘holed rifles’, they are surprisingly long (about 2 inches) and uniquely suited for consumption with any kind of chunky sauce (the pieces of vegetables or meat get caught in the twirls). Most cooks recommend serving this pasta with an artichoke heart cream sauce.

4) Radiatore

Designed in the 1960s by an industrial engineer who had apparently always aspired to be a chef, radiatore are small, chunky pasta that closely resemble the old-school radiators used to keep buildings warm. Their compact design couples with an innovative rippled edge to make this cutesy pasta delicious as well as efficient. Their form maximizes heat and flavor absorption!

3) Farfalle

An ancient form of pasta, dating back to the 16th century, farfalle are commonly referred to as ‘bow-tie’ pasta in the West. Their given name, however, is much cuter and more feminine: ‘butterflies’. Usually served with tomato or cream-based sauces, this pasta is definitely the sort that encourages children to play with their food.

2) Campanelle

This pasta has many names (alternatively referred to as gigli or riccioli), but one, distinctive shape. Shaped like a conch shell (picture a cone with ruffles along the side), this kind of pasta is best suited for casserole dishes and heavy sauces. Despite it’s hearty, comfort food designation, the name translates to ‘little bells’. So delicate!

1) Stelline 

Here it is, the pasta all children love to eat: Stelline, the noodles shaped like stars. Seriously, who can resist star pasta? A staple in every kind of soup imaginable, stelline pasta is small, cute, and perfect for convincing even the pickiest eater to pick up a spoon. Go ahead, wish upon a star! Or eat it, whichever.

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