Semolina: (se moe LEE nah) Semolina is made from the endosperm of a Durum wheat kernel which makes up about 83% of the total wheat kernel, composed of starch and protein producing a firmer, more compact, and less stretchable dough.

Al dente: (al DEN tay) An Italian phrase meaning “to the tooth”, used to describe pasta or other foods that are cooked only until if offers a slight resistance when bitten into, but which is not soft or overdone.

All’ arrabbiata: (al arrah bee AT a) meaning “angry”. Used to describe a very hot chili sauce used with pasta. The anger in the name suggesting the ferocity of the heat, which of course, can be adapted to taste. 

Lisce: (LEE shay) meaning “smooth”. Used to describe the surface of pasta.

Rigate: (Re GA tay) meaning “fluted or ridged”. Used to describe the surface of pasta.

Acini di pepe (ah-CHEE-nee dee PAY-pay): Italian for “peppercorns”, referring culinarily to tiny peppercorn shaped pasta.

Alphabets: shaped accordingly, usually used in soups.

Cannelloni (kan-eh-LOH-nee): Large pasta tubes that are boiled, then stuffed with a meat or cheese filling and baked with a sauce.

Capelli D’Angelo (ka-PELL-ee DAN-zheh-low): Italian for “angel hair”. Describes a long, delicate, extremely thin cut of pasta. Because they are so fine, this cut must be served with a very light sauce or in a simple broth. Another use is to break in half and put into soups.

Ditali (dih-TAH-LEE): Tiny, very short tubes of pasta.

Farfalle (fahr-FAH-lay): Bow Ties - pasta shaped like small butterflies or bow ties or “butterflies”. Thick enough for any sauce, or make into a salad or soup.

Fettuccine (feht-tuh-CHEE-NEE): Italian for “small ribbons”, fettuccine is a flat long pasta that is best served with heavier cheese, meat and tomato sauces.

Fusilli (fyoo-SEE-lee): “twisted spaghetti” can be topped with any sauce; bakes well in casseroles.

Gemelli (jay-MEHL-lee): Italian for “twins”, referring culinarily to the short twists that resemble two strands of spaghetti twisted together.

Gnocchi (NYOH-kee): Italian for “dumplings” which are traditionally made from potatoes, flour, and eggs. Also refers to the ridged, shell-like pasta which looks like the traditional dish. Ideal served with robust, meat-based sauces or in a pasta salad.

Jumbo Shells: best when stuffed with your favourite mixtures of cheese, meat and vegetables.

Lasagne (luh-ZAHN-yuh): A wide, flat noodle, with ruffled edges. Boiled and layered with cheeses and sauces and then baked until bubbly and golden brown.

Linguine (lihn-GWEE-NEE): Italian for “little tongues”. Linguine are long, narrow, flat shaped pasta sometimes referred to as flat spaghetti.

Macaroni (mak-uh-ROH-nee) Elbows: Legend has it that upon being served a dish of this food, an early Italian sovereign exclaimed “Ma caroni!” meaning “how very dear”. This is the common name for tube-shaped pastas. Commonly referred to as “Elbows” or short curved tube. A highly versatile shape that can be topped with any sauce, baked, or put in soups or salads.

Manicotti (man-uh-KOT-tee): Tube-shaped pasta about 4 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Manicotti are boiled, then stuffed with meat or a cheese mixture, covered with a sauce and then baked.

Orzo (OHR-zoh): In Italian this means “barley” but it is actually a tiny, rice-shaped pasta slightly smaller than a pine nut. Orzo is ideal for soups and wonderful when served as a substitute for rice.

Penne (PEN-nay): large, straight tubes of pasta cut on a diagonal.

Penne Rigate (PEN-ay rih-GA-tay): large straight tubes cut on an angle. Cut on angles like pen quills, the roughened ridges and tubular shapes are ideal for holding robust sauces, meats, and vegetables. Penne’s firm texture, versatility and consistency enhance traditional entrée preparation. Ideal for oven baked dishes, as an accompaniment with entrees or as a substitute for rice or potatoes.

Rigatoni (rih-ga-TOE-nee): short, grooved tubes of pasta are an Italian classic. A popular cut with substantial texture, robust meat and delicate cream sauces cling to the soft golden edges and fill the tube with flavor. Rigatoni is ideal for baked dished, stuffing or simply tossing with butter and parmesan.

Rotini (roh-TEE-NEE): short “spirals”. Rotini’s twisted shape holds bits of meat, vegetables and cheese so it works well with any sauce, or you can use it to create salads or baked casseroles.

Shells: this shell-shaped pasta is formed to resemble a Conch shell. Also known as “conchiglie: (kon-KEE-lyay). Shells make a great addition to soups or pasta salad.

Spaghetti (spuh-GEHT-ee): comes from the Italian word for “strings” and in general is in the form of long, thin strands that are round and solid. Canada’s most popular pasta cut. Perfect choice for nearly any sauce.

Tubetti (too-BAYT-tee): Italian for “little tubes”, referring culinarily to tiny, hollow pasta tubes.

Tortiglioni (tor-tig-lee-o-nee) Scoobi Do – short spiral twisted tubular shape.

Vermicelli (ver-mih-CHEHL-ee): Italian for “little worms”, culinarily the term refers to pasta shaped into very thin strands. Vermicelli is much thinner than regular spaghetti.

Wagon Wheels: shaped accordingly, this pasta shape makes an interesting addition to salads or soups.


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