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Pasta Name Origins

Over the years I have worked at a few Italian restaurants.  This has left me with two distinct traits.  First, a burning desire to flee anytime I hear a Mario Lanza tune.  Second, is a tremendous amount of random facts about pasta.  During my short break between shifts, here are the translations for random noodle names.

Spaghetti: Little Twines

Vermicelli: Little Worms

Capellini: Little Hairs

Bucatini: Little Holed Ones

Fusilli: Rifles

Fettuccine: Little Slices

Lasagne: Cooking Pot

Linguine: Little Tongues

Cannelloni: Large Little Canes

Cavatappi: Corkscrew

Fusilli: Little Spindles

Gemelli: Twins

Manicotti: Sleeves

Mostaccioli: Mustache

Penne: Pens

Rigatoni: Large Lined Ones

Farfalle: Butterflies

Orecchiette: Little Ears

Orzo: Barley

Tortellini: Little Pies

Tortelloni: Large Little Pies

Gnocchi: Knot In Wood

Now it is time to return for the dinner shift.  Hope that covers them all.  Did I leave one out?  Want to challenge me to a random pasta name?  Want to pick the next topic?  Want to hit me with a random food question?  Leave a comment.

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About David Hayden

David Hayden is the creator of The Hospitality Formula Network, a series of websites dedicated to all aspects of the restaurant industry. He is also the author of the book Tips2: Tips For Improving Your Tips and Building Your Brand With Facebook.


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9 comments on “Pasta Name Origins

  1. yellowcat on said:

    No matter the name, shape or size, I love me some pasta.

  2. cassie on said:

    Pappardelle? Tagliatelle?

    • tipsfortips on said:

      Pappardelle- The best i can find is Pappare which is “to gobble up” Any Italian speakers who can tell us what the delle conjugation is?

      Tagliatelle- similar situation. Tagliare is “to cut.”

  3. Arlen Brooks on said:

    No matter the name, shape or size, I love me some pasta.

  4. Pingback: The Index « Tips on improving your Tips

  5. bonophool on said:

    pasta name endining with —oni and ending with –ini ,what does it indicate??????

    • tipsfortips on said:

      “Oni” would indicate large while “ini” would indicate small. For example tortellini means “little pies” whereas tortelloni means “big little pies”

  6. How about ziti?

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