The Many Types of Dried Pasta: Ribbon/String-like Pasta

Spaghetti

“Little strings” is the literal translation of Spaghetti. These pasta noodles are long and thin strands. The word spaghetti is plural for “spaghetto” which is the Italian word for one piece of the pasta. “Spaghetto” literally means “twine” or “thin string” Spaghetti is quite popular and can be found just about anywhere in the world.

Vermicelli

When eating this pasta, try not to think about it, but its name literally means “little worms” in Italian. It is long and round and thinner than spaghetti. There is a version that is thicker and called Vermicelloni but is it still thinner than spaghetti and it is harder to find.

Capellini

This long and round pasta is thinner than spaghetti and vermicelli and its name literally means “thin hair.” In fact, you may have more commonly heard of this pasta referred to as Angel Hair pasta.

Fettuccine

The name of this pasta literally means “little ribbons” in Italian and it looks like just that. Fettuccine is made from flour and eggs and it is a thick, very flat noodle. In authentic Italian dishes, fettuccine is often made fresh. You can find it dried in your local grocery store and the dish made with this pasta that is most common in fettuccine alfredo.

Linguine

This long strand of pasta is thin and flat, like a cross between spaghetti and fettucine. In Italian, linguine literally means “little tongues.” A popular dish with this pasta is linguine and clams, or linguine al vongole