Let’s Talk About Long Pasta

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Long pasta is when the shape of pasta is long, not short.  I bet you would have never guessed. The typical example of long pasta is the beloved spaghetti.   But there is more to long pasta than just that!

Here are Some Common Long Pasta Types

  • Angel hair vs. Capellini: This is up for debate, however I’ve been told capellini is not as thin as angel hair.  Capellini in italian means angel’s hair, so the difference if any is minescule.   The difference is barely noticeable and different brands have different sizes.  For example, San Giorgio has very very thin angel hair that is thinner than other brands I’ve used.
  • Vermicelli This pasta is sometimes confused with angel hair, but is actually slightly thicker, but not as thick as spaghetti.
  • Thin Spaghetti: You then have thin spaghetti which is a nice compromise between angel and spaghetti.
  • Spaghetti: You also have regular spaghetti which is next in line.
  • Bucatini: Then there is a lesser known type of spaghetti called Bucatini.  This looks like spaghetti but is thicker and is actually hollow on the inside- yes hollow.

Where to Buy Pasta Online

Yes, you can purchase pasta online!  Amazon sells different brands from Barilla to Davinci to DeCecco (one of my favorites).  Why purchase online?  Why not?  For those with a busy schedule purchasing food online saves time, trips to the grocery store, and the undue annoyance and stress that comes along with that.

Sometimes prices are more online, sometimes they are less.

One large advantage of purchasing online is the ability to order organic pasta.  Stores often run out, or don’t carry organic pasta, so where do we go… online!  In some cases you may pay almost double, but for those who want to avoid the GMO wheat, organic is the way to go.

Cooking Long Pasta

Remember, you want it al dente – not mush.  This means a slight firmness when you bite into it – but not crunchy.   Thinner pasta will cook longer and faster than thicker strands.  So when cooking something like angel hair, it will only take anywhere between 2-3 minutes while something like spaghetti will take about 7 minutes.   But look at your package because not all brands make them the same width and size and this effects the time in the water.

Also remember it will continue to cook out of the water – especially the thinner pastas.  So keep that in mind.

What Kind of Sauce for Long Pasta?

There are many opinions as to which type of pasta to use for what kind of sauce or dish.   There will always be debate on this topic.

Whatever opinion I read or hear, there is just as valid an opinion on the opposing side.   I love lots of sauce on my pasta and have all my life.  My husband on the other hand prefers less sauce.

So I just simply cannot bring myself to tell you what I think is the “right” way.   However, I can say most Alfredo sauces are used with long flat pasta such as fettuccine, and lighter sauces are used with shorter pastas.   Here’s my marinara sauce recipe if you’re interested.

When I was in Italy, it was never once an issue and no one told me to do it this way, or do it that way.

I can look into it further if it so merits, looking at traditions and so forth.  But much of what I have learned over the years with Italian cooking is that you use whatever you have and whatever you like.

Don’t be shy, no matter how you choose to dress up the pasta in your pasta bowl, I promise no one will think less of you either way!

Simple Italian Recipes


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  1. The statement reads: “…thin spaghetti which is a nice compromise between angel and spaghetti.” But isn’t that what Vermicelli is? After all the question I posed on Google was “What is the difference between Vermicelli and thin spaghetti?” The ambiguity confuses me.