The Many Types of Dried Pasta: Tube-like Pasta

Elbow Macaroni

This pasta is a small and hollow tube that is curved into a semicircle. It somewhat resembles the shape that your elbow makes when you bend it. You will likely see this pasta used in macaroni and cheese and other casseroles.


Also known as manicotti, these are usually about three to four inches long and rolled to be about one inch in diameter. Cammelloni, or manicotti, is generally boiled then stuffed with cheese and meat, or sometimes cheese and spinach, and finally covered in marinara sauce.


Penne is a type of pasta that comes from Italy. It is a tube or cylinder shped pasta with ends that are cut at an angle. If you ever hear anyone say “penna,” they are referring to more than one piece of the popular pasta. Penne comes in two styles, smooth which is known as “penne lisce” and with ridges which is known as “penne rigate.” Penne Rigate is also the kind that is generally seen in grocery stores.


This pasta has a tube-like shape and is bigger than penne but it’s ends are not cut at an angle. It’s surface has ridges in it which are good for holding sauce whether it is creamy or chunky. The tube is even eide enough that it can be stuffed with soft foods like cheese or ground meats.


Cellentani is tube-shaped pasta that is thinner than penne but thicker than elbow macaroni, and it is formed into a spiral.

Pasta Skeleton

Halloween Skeleton Made of Pasta

Uses: This can be a fun Halloween project to decorate with or it can be a great educational activity to learn about the different bones in the body.


  • various types of dried pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, penne, rotini, wagon wheels, shells, etc.)
  • construction paper
  • glue
  • crayons
  • pencil

Procedure/What to do:

  • Draw a stick figure of a person on the paper just so you have the size of skeleton that you want.
  • Arrange the various types of dried pasta on the skeleton outline. Do not use glue yet so that you can change the pieces around if you wish to do so.
  • Once like how your pieces look, glue them into place.
  • If you are doing this as an educational activity, use the crayons to label specific bone structures of the body.

Tip: If you want a ready-made outline of a skeleton to follow, click here