Penne vs Rigatoni
How to Choose the Right Pasta for your Recipe?
Here’s a fun fact you probably didn’t know about; there are over 600 pasta shapes. That’s a whole lot! If you’re a fan of pasta, you know how important it is to understand these shapes. It’s the only way you’ll effectively choose the best type of pasta for your recipe.
Penne and Rigatoni are two of the most common types of pasta, but they’re often mistaken for each other. What are they? How do they differ from each other? Most importantly, what works best with what? Here’s a quick guide to Penne vs. Rigatoni!
What Is Penne?
Penne is a cylindrical-shaped pasta whose name is derived from the Latin word for quill or feather. In most cases, this paste is available in 2 main variants; penne rigate and penne lisce. Penne rigate comes with ridges and is sturdier, while penne lisce has a smooth appearance. This kind of pasta is popular in Italy due to its versatility with most types of dishes.
What Is Rigatoni?
Rigatoni is a tubular pasta that has a hollow center. Its name is derived from ‘rigato,’ an Italian word that means ridge or furrow. This pasta comes with a broad surface and deep ridges that are great for holding various types of sauces and grated cheese.
What Are the Main Similarities Between Penne and Rigatoni?
In addition to being 2 of the most loved types of pasta globally, Penne and Rigatoni have a similar shape. They are both cylindrical and hollow and can complement most meals. These 2 kinds of pasta have a relatively large surface area and can take just about any kind of sauce.
The best part is that they can sit in your pantry for a long time and still cook to a perfect al dente
What Are the Top Differences Between Penne and Rigatoni?
Despite having an almost similar appearance, Penne and Rigatoni are different.
- Size: Rigatoni is bigger than Penne.
- Shape: Penne is straight, while Rigatoni has a subtle curve.
- Ends: Penne is cut diagonally and has pointed ends. Rigatoni, on the other hand, is cut straight, and its ends are square to its walls.
- Circumference: Rigatoni has a larger circumference compared to Penne.
- Texture: Penne could have ridges or be smooth, while Rigatoni always has ridges on the outside.
You should note that both types of pasta are made from the same ingredients, so they have similar tastes.
Rigatoni al Forno – A yummy baked Rigatoni pasta recipe you don’t want to miss!
How to Pair Penne Vs. Rigatoni
Typically, hollow pasta works well with thick and hearty sauces, while thin pasta is reserved for light cream or oil-based sauces. There are, however, some regional recipes that call for either.
Here’s a simple guide to the sauces that work perfectly with Penne or Rigatoni.
For Pasta Salads
Pasta salads are fun which is why they’re often preferred for picnics. There are no rules for the kind of pasta you should use in this case because it’s all about having a good time. So you can be as creative as you wish. Penne is, however, most preferred.
For Baked Pasta Dishes
Baked pasta has always been a favorite, and there was a time when it was reserved for special occasions and holidays. Isn’t it amazing that you can enjoy it all year long? For these kinds of dishes, Rigatoni is the best option because the ridges will capture all the cheesy goodness of your sauce.
For Oil or Butter Sauces
These kinds of sauces work best with thin types of pasta as they don’t overwhelm their shape. However, you don’t need to restrict yourself to delicate pasta to enjoy oil and butter sauces. You can try them out with Penne as it is smaller compared to Rigatoni.
For Cream or Cheese Sauces
Creme and cheese cause a call for sturdy and hollow pasta with ridges that can capture the thick & rich sauce. This is why we recommend that you go for rigatoni or penne rigate.
For Vegetable Sauces
Vegetable sauces are versatile and often vary in terms of ingredients and creaminess, which is why it’s hard to stick to just one type of pasta. However, if your sauce has minimal ingredients and is light, you should use Penne. If your sauce is chunky, thick, and creamy, it will pair perfectly with Rigatoni.
For Meat Sauces
Pasta with meat sauces is the ultimate comfort food; it’s flavourful, filling, and hearty. If you want to capture the delicious essence of the meat sauces, you should serve them with tubed pasta that has ridges. Rigatoni or penne rigate would work perfectly.
For Seafood Sauces
Seafood sauces are often oil-based and light in texture which is why they work well with thin pasta. You should pair them with Penne as it is smaller than Rigatoni.
For Tomato Sauces
Before choosing the best type of pasta for your tomato sauce, you first need to make the distinction between light and rich sauces. For light sauces, you should go for penne pasta. Rich tomato sauce, on the other hand, is thick and bold and should be paired with rigatoni or penne rigate. The ridges will take on the sauce, making your meal more flavourful.
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