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Pasta Rods


Synonyms:  pasta sticks OR pasta strands

Long strands of pasta are challenging to eat, and that's part of their charm.  Medium-sized rods like spaghetti are normally served with light tomato-based sauces.  Thin rods like angel hair pasta and vermicelli work best in broths or with thin sauces, while thicker rods like perciatelli go well with heavier, chunkier sauces.  Rods are best if they're served immediately after being cooked.  If you're planning to serve a lot of people, consider using small pasta tubes or shapes. 


angel hair pasta = angel-hair pasta = angel's hair pasta = fine hair = capelli d'angelo    Angel hair pasta is like spaghetti, only the rods are very thin.  It's usually served in a broth or with very thin and delicate sauces. Equivalents:   One pound dry = 1 pounds fresh = 8 cups cooked  Substitutes:   capellini (similar, but just a bit thicker) OR vermicelli (thicker still) OR tagliolini (ribbons, not rods) OR spaghetti (much thicker)  See also:  PASTA

bigoli   Pronunciation:   BEE-go-lee   Notes:   This Venetian pasta resembles thick spaghetti, only it has a rough surface to better absorb flavorful sauces.  It's good with shellfish, beans, or hearty meat sauces.    Substitutes:   spaghetti OR vermicelloni 

capellini   Pronunciation:   cah-peh-LEE-nee   Notes:   These are thin rods of Italian pasta, just a bit thicker than angel hair pasta.  They're normally served in a broth or with a very light sauce.  Substitutes:   angel hair pasta (thinner) OR vermicelli (thicker) OR tagliolini OR spaghettini OR spaghetti (much thicker) 

chitarra = spaghetti alla chitarra   Notes:  These pasta rods resemble spaghetti, only their cross-sections are square instead of round.  They're named after the guitar strings that were traditionally used to cut the pasta.  Substitutes:  spaghetti OR linguine (wider) OR spaghettini (thinner) OR fettucine (ribbons, not strands) 

ciriole    Notes:   A specialty of the Umbrian region of Italy, this is a ribbon of pasta that's been twisted and stretched until it's a long, thin rod, roughly twice the diameter of spaghetti.   Substitutes:  stringozzi OR tagliatelle OR linguine 

fedelini = fidelini   Pronunciation:  fay-day-LEE-nee  Notes:  These Italian pasta rods are just a bit thicker than vermicelli.  They're usually served with a very light sauce, or broken up and served in a broth.  Substitutes:  angel hair pasta  Substitutes:   vermicelli OR spaghettini OR angel hair pasta OR fideos

mparrettai  Notes:  This unusual variety of Italian pasta consists of poorly wrapped straws of dough, about 8 inches long.  Substitutes:  fettucine OR bucatini

spaghetti   Pronunciation:  spah-GEH-tee  Notes:   The most popular pasta variety, spaghetti (Italian for "little strings") works best with light tomato or cream sauces.  Don't use it in pasta salads.   Substitutes:  linguine (wider) OR spaghettini (thinner version of spaghetti) OR fettucine (ribbons, not strands) OR vermicelli (thinner still) OR angel hair (thinner still) OR spaghetti squash (lower in calories)  

spaghettini   Pronunciation:  spah-geh-TEE-nee Notes:   This is thin type of spaghetti.  It works best with light, delicate sauces.   Substitutes:  vermicelli OR angel hair (thinner) OR spaghetti (thicker) OR rice sticks 

vermicelli   Pronunciation:   ver-mih-CHELL-ee  Notes:   Vermicelli (Italian for "little worms") is similar to spaghetti, only with very thin strands.  Serve it with very light sauces, or break up the rods and serve the pieces in a broth.  Substitutes:  fedelini (similar) OR capellini (thinner) OR angel's hair pasta (thinner still) OR spaghettini OR rice sticks 

vermicelloni    Notes:    This Italian pasta is a thick version of vermicelli, that's often served with hearty meat sauces.  It's hard to find in the United States.  Substitutes:   bigoli OR spaghetti 

Copyright 1996-2005  Lori Alden