Serious Debate Topic [NOT 25/3/21]

picture of different types of Italian pasta shapes
mmmm carbs

Hi friends! I saw a thing on the facebooks that said: by your thirties you should have a pasta shape you vehemently despise for no particular reason. mine’s rotini

So now I am curious? What’s yours? Please don’t limit your answers to options in the image, I know there’s tons of shapes and we are a very fun group.

I hate ziti. I don’t understand why anyone would use it. Just fucking use penne or rigatoni, it will hold the sauce better. Plus ziti noodles look too much like limp macaroni noodles. Not a fan.



  1. Cannelloni and tortellini are the most off-putting pastas for me. Why are they always so damn bland and never stuffed enough? I get really excited when pasta is on the menu but those two are a hard pass because life’s too short to keep trying them and coming away disappointed.

  2. Speaking of someone who knows hatred intimately, I can’t say that I can bring myself to the level of hatred for any particular pasta shape.  What I do feel about certain pastas, however, is a pretty high level of “what the hell is the point?”  Mostly for the really fancy shapes that you either find in specialty stores or at potlucks where some dipshit decided that they needed to impress everyone with the pasta they found online that came in the shape of a ’57 Chevy.  You know what?  Nobody gives a fuck about your pointless pasta.  Just use one of the common shapes and it will be fine.

    Pro tip:  if possible, try to purchase pasta which is run through a bronze die.  This is the more traditional method and it creates teeny tiny flaws in the surface of the noodles which then grabs your sauce and allows it to stick to the pasta.  The stuff costs a little more than your 99 cent box of store brand pasta–but it really is worth it.  The teflon die-cut pasta (which is most pasta out there) just lets your sauce run off the noodle which is annoying.

    • In my days of boxed pasta, capellini was the best of the basics–always an improvement over spaghetti. Fettucine Alfredo, however, was the worst growing up. So bland, carby, and dairy-y.  It’s like the pasta equivalent of Wonder bread and government cheese.

    • I can’t imagine liking both angel hair and linguine but not spaghetti… See now, I hate angel hair. It’s probably the only pasta shape I’m not very fond of, but I had that opinion far earlier than my thirties. I think the thinness of the noodles makes them too easy to overcook.
      Radiatore are fun, but my favorite fun shape is cavatappi/cellantani. Rotini are the standby favorite of the house though. 

    • Opposite feeling. I prefer spaghetti to angel hair. It’s more substantial. Angel hair always feels like mush. And i don’t buy it so I’m not making it improperly, everyone else is.

  3. Fusilli, you old bastard! 

    No, seriously. I have nothing against fusilli, or the rigatoni making the phone call.
    But I do seriously dislike farfalle* (aka, bowtie pasta). It’s always in cold pasta salads at the deli counter, where it’s undercooked and paired with cold cheese and congealed olive oil. No thanks. Ideally, it should be a dream for picking up flavour, but there are actually far more ideal shapes out there to do it. 
    And rotelle/ruote (aka, wagon wheels) can go directly to hell.
    * I also harbour this irrational distaste for the name, because I always hear it in my head like an old New Yorker or Bostonian my grandparents’ age. Ah, memories.

  4. Rotini & Fusili (baaaaasically the same) are BOTH trash-pastas, because they are damn-near impossible to cook to a *proper* al dente…. 30 seconds too short, and you’re practically crunching your way through ’em, but 45 seconds after that, they’re beginning to separate like dandelion seeds before you can get them drained😠😡🤬
    See also penne/mostaccioli/rigatoni/ziti…
    much too easy to overcook into oblivion!😠😡🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬
    They do NOT perform well, for the cook with ADHD😉😂🤣
    Which is why I prefer a nice, sauce-catching pasta, which is easy to use a timer for, and comes out consistently fabulous, in the categories of “bite texture” and “holds it’s damn shape (without constant collapse or breakage!)
    Cavatappi (aka cellentani), is 100% my go-to pasta shape…
    Like me, it is a fluke, from the 1970’s, that didn’t quite do what it was expected/supposed to do, under pressure. But it cut its own path, holds up to a LOT of damn things, and gets the job done, to the satisfaction of many. It can take nearly any sauce you throw at it, can handle both the heat AND the cold, wet or dry conditions…
    It does well at mom’s & grandma’s place, AND can go hold its own in a fine dining establishment, and it’s just a bit quirky & unexpected, but folks typically like it & think it’s alright–sensible even, once they get to know it.
    It’s me, as a pasta! And that’s why I LIKE it.😁🤗🤣
    Because it’s HARD to overcook, if you set your timer, it goes in ANYTHING that elbows, ziti/rotini/rigatoni/mostaccioli/ etc. do, and it does it *easier,* without being undercooked😉
    AND it typically has those great ridges (and is often made by Co’s who use those brass dies!), so it carries a TON of flavor if you choose to use it💖

    • Loathe.them.ALLLLLLLLLL!
      The cheaper “lines” brands (think green-box) separates on those lines, like they’re perforations, if you overcook them by 15 seconds, and there IS no point to flat pasta, which is not made on brass dies…
      Unless you plan to dye it with food coloring, and make your mama some rockin’ jewelry!😉😆🤣

      • Actually my comment was to @brightersideoflife. I understand your stance better, because at least you’re consistent disliking them all. Though I very much disagree that they’re difficult to cook properly al dente. I do agree with you on cavatappi being the best though. 

  5. Lasagna is ridiculous. Sauce up regular pasta like ziti or penne and put them on your plate and you can fork and eat them one or two at a time.
    Sauce up lasagna and try picking one up with your fork and it flops over and all the sauce falls off. They’re like a foot long and too big to fit on your plate. Eat maybe just two and you’re full. I don’t get it. It’s like lasagna is designed for something completely different.

    • Do you not make your lasagna in a pan, so that it comes out basically like a woven, Italian, pasta-paden, cheesy meatloaf–with a little red sauce?….
      I thought *everyone* made lasagna which you basically remove from the pan in “brick of meaty-cheesy-carbohydrated-goodness” form…
      It’s the rebar that weaves the brick onto solidness.😉💖

      • What is this “make lasagna in a pan” thing you speak of? I thought it was some kind of fettucine for people who are 14 feet tall. Maybe I should read the instructions some day. Are you supposed to remove the tomatoes from the can before you make sauce from them?

        • Sorry, I obviously missed the joke😖
          And I was trying to (badly!) mock the fact that, when & where I grew up in the upper Midwest, there was only *one* way those noodles got used–by making the… let’s just say *not* anywhere near authentic, version of cheesy-meatloaf which everyone called “lasagne”…
          Dense as concrete, filled with browned hamburger, spaghetti sauce from a jar/can, mozzarella, and cottage cheese (the grocery stores either didn’t carry ricotta, *or* it was much too expensive for many families’ budgets out there)…
          it was TASTY stuff, but the only things that made it ANY different than goulash or a “taco hotdish” were the seasonings used & those flat noodles (a lack of the beans & elbow noodles in Goulash, and a lack of fresh stuff or taco seasoning were seriously minor differences! Heck, our school used to literally make the browned hamburgerthey started with on Monday, work it’s way through the week, by adding spices in order, throughout that week. Sloppy Joes Monday>Italian Dunkers Tuesday>Goulash Weds & Lasagne Thursday with tacos using up the rest of the loose meat on Friday🙃).
          I was WELL into adulthood, before I learned that folks ever used the noodles for things which weren’t  just that sort of lasagne😉💖

  6. Angel hair can throw itself in the trash can. It has a 17-second window between al dente and “sorry I drank too much whiskey” levels of limp, and even if you nail it, it’s still either a pasta doughnut or it’s strands of too-thin-to-actually-hold-anything.

    Farfalle is imo the most disappointing — it should be good! But it usually isn’t.


    • Angel hair is the only  spaghetti type that i can consistently cook well!😆😂🤣🤣🤣
      It’s *exactly* the right thickness, to mesh well with ADHD–put it in, stir…
      realize 3 minutes later that it’s probably clumped because you can’t remember if you stirred it after putting in, stir again….
      do something *totally* unrelated to cooking pasta, because you own an attention span the length of a goldfish’s…..
      Come tearing back into the kitchen again, because, “Oh SHITTHEPASTA!!!” scoop out a strand–still crunchy in the middle, stir…
      Check the sauce on the stove, stir that, get out the colander, put it in the sink. Check the pasta again. Stir…
      Pet the dog, tell her “Out of the kitchen,” check again, READY! Drain. Done.
      (Real spaghetti keeps going after the “pet the dog” step, and sadly & much too often then ends up with either a mushy “earthworm in a mud puddle three days too long” texture/mushy consistency, *or* melded into one giant lump-o-noodle at the bottom of the pan, because I forgot to stir!😉😆🤣)

  7. Ok, I’ll be that guy, I don’t care what the pasta is.  It is a vehicle for sauce.    The best noodle in the world is lame on its own.  Sauce is boss!

  8. do the things in sphagetti-os or alphabet soup count?
    And, honestly, I think my objection isn’t so much with the “pasta”, as it is with the olfactory resemblance to cat food when opening the cans…
    I think I’m pretty similar to @butcherbakertoiletrymaker and @loveshaq in my feelings towards pasta, I think I’m going to be hard pressed to have a more severe reaction than a: “what? why? eh, whatever…”

  9. no pasta i really hate….. farfalle irritates me some…. pain to cook right…and sauce slides right off it (but on the other hand…it being butterfly or bowtie shaped seems to make it awesome to kids and anything that makes them forget to wonder if theres veggies in a sauce has its perks)
    oh wait…no…actually…i hate all novelty shaped pasta (halloween,christmas,penis,dont care) every single one taste like cardboard..or possibly just like the cheap fucking gimmick they are
    i also hate gnocchi…but its not a pasta…so the nasty little doughballs get a pass today i guess

    • although I kinda like gnocchi, I had to google it to see what it actually was, and the first few question thingies that came up were basically variants of “is gnocchi pasta”, “what is the difference twixt gnocchi and pasta”, etc.
      but I do that roll/shake in olive oil and bake for a bit, which is pretty low effort and comes out well, and they are cheap enough…

  10. Elbows because they remind me of that crappy macaroni and cheese in a box but ORZO. NO! One day at my aunt’s she served this greek lamb and orzo soup and my cousin said ‘mmmm, maggot soup’. What has been seen cannot be unseen.

  11. I can’t really come up with a pasta that I really dislike. I’m not a big sauce person, oddly; I don’t get what I think is primarily an American fixation on sauces. So a little olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt-pepper, and maybe some pepper flakes, and I’m good. 

    • I think it’s based on a few things.

      Canned tomato paste and sauce are cheap. So it’s easy to stretch a meal.

      I have no clue what it’s like in the big cities, but it’s only been in the last 10-15 years that my area supermarkets have had decent olive oil and actual good parmesan. 

      Sure, someone could go downtown to the Hill for a specialty market (it’s the Little Italy of my city), but most midwestern and southern cities don’t even have that. When I lived in Tuscaloosa in the late 2000s, despite being the 5th largest city in the state, there was 1 “Italian” restaurant in addition to Olive Garden. 

      If your local store options for parmesan cheese are the Kraft canister and no one carries the good, fruity olive oils, your family meals aren’t going to be heavy on those for flavor. 

  12. The host of The Sporkful podcast recently completed a 3 year quest to invent and produce a new pasta shape with the intent of eliminating the weaknesses present in conventional mass-produced shapes. He chronicled his journey over the past 4 episodes of the podcast and the end result, cascatelli, is now available (kind of, it’s HEAVILY back-ordered). We were lucky enough to snag a box before it sold out but are waiting for a special occasion to prepare it and see what all of the fuss is about.As for least favorite pasta shape? I’m not a huge fan of the classic elbow macaroni. I think there are a ton of other shapes that do a lot better in mac and cheese, and cold gloppy pasta salad can get bent in general.

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