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A Simple Guide To Pasta Shapes

A Simple Guide To Pasta Shapes

Pasta is a wonderfully versatile addition to any meal time, especially for kids! It can be made with thick, creamy sauces, vibrant veggie sauces, no sauces, and even baked to enhance its wholesome flavour. Do you know that the shapes pastas come in are there for different reasons, and can affect the taste of your dish? We’ve put together a simple guide so that you know which pasta shape to pair with your favourite #MyMzansiPasta recipe.


There’s a reason spaghetti is so widely loved - the satisfaction of chewing on a beautiful bundle of noodles, twirled carefully around your fork, is unbeatable. Spaghetti is usually served with rich tomato sauces, mince ragus or simple toppings of olive oil and garlic.

Give our Spaghetti Bolognaise a whirl.


Penne is tubular, and cut at an angle with ridges that help thicker tomato or vegetable sauces to cling to the pasta, ensuring the right ratio with every piece.

Read through our Creamy Salmon and Pea Penne for midweek inspiration.

Conchiglie and Orecchiette

These little guys are shaped like shells and ears, which hold heavier sauces. The sauce fills the cups to the brim, making these shapes perfect for a pasta bake.


Linguine is similar to spaghetti, but its flattened shape makes it lie a little more luxuriously on the plate. The extra surface area also helps it hang onto light sauces made with cream or with seafood.


These are shaped like butterflies or bowties with crinkly edges. The “wings” hold sauces wonderfully, and they’re also perfect for cold pasta salads. Best of all, kids love them.


Macaroni are tiny tubes. They don’t need to hold sauces because they’re often found swimming in minestrone, or in a cheese sauce ready to be baked. Macaroni has become one of the world’s favourite pastas thanks to the popularity of classic Mac ‘n Cheese.

Put smiles on all the faces around the dinner table with our Smoky Mince Mac ‘n Cheese.


Lasagne, whether traditional or meat-free, must be one of the world’s favourite dishes. For a truly classic lasagne, try using delicate sheets of fresh egg pasta, for true Italian flavour.

Check out our various delicious, Naturally Tasty lasagne recipes.


Cannelloni is in the same pasta family as lasagne, and is usually paired with the same ingredients. The only difference is that with cannelloni, the sheets are rolled around the filling, rather than layered up with it.

Fill up on flavour with our Ricotta-Stuffed Cannelloni with Baby Marrows.


Ravioli are delightfully small sheets of pasta folded over a dollop of stuffing and pinched together to form a delicate parcel. Classic ravioli fillings include meat, cheese, spinach and butternut.


Tagliatelle is shaped flat like linguine and has a lovely soft texture. It can be served simply with tomato and basil sauces, which are perfect for kids.

Tuck in to our Creamy Tagliatelle Carbonara with Sausages.

See more of our easy dinner ideas for inspirational pasta dishes that will delight your tastebuds.

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