Contrary to popular belief, not all pasta shapes are created equal. Even though most pasta tastes the same, each shape has its own special purpose. Read up to make sure the next time you make a noodle dish you're using the best type to get the dankest taste. You'd be surprised what the shape of noodle can mean.

Angel Hair

These long, thin strands are spaghetti's skinnier, lesser known cousin. Its thinness makes it an ideal vehicle for lighter sauces. This way, the strands don't get lost in the sauce, so you actually get to taste that noodle-y goodness.

Bow Ties

Not only can you wear this for your next formal, but also this fun shape is thick enough for a variety of sauces. Bow ties also work well for pasta salads. Definitely worth picking up a box the next time you go to the grocery store. 


vegetable, cheese, corn, macaroni
Kirby Barth

As its name suggests, this type of noodle is typically used for everyone's fave comfort food, macaroni and cheese. It also works well with any type of dairy-based sauces (like butter and cheese) since those sauces need good a place to sit. Each mouthful will give you the perfect amount of sauce to noodle ratio.


ramen, vegetable, rice, soup
Kathleen Lee

This rice-like pasta is traditionally used in soups. It's tiny size makes it ideal putting in a spoon that will hold the right proportions of broth, veggies and noodle in each bite.


tagliatelle, wheat, carbohydrate, penne, spaghetti, macaroni, pasta
Maggie Gorman

These tubes go well with just about any type of sauce. It happens to go the best though with chunkier sauces. I may be biased, but given that my all-time favorite pasta dish is penne a la vodka, I'd venture to say that penne is the best type of pasta out there. 


cheese, basil, spaghetti, sauce, macaroni, penne, pasta
Amanda Shulman

Fun fact: the bigger the tube gets, the heartier the sauce you can use it with. These tubes are big enough to fill up with sauce and chunky meat. There's truly nothing better than biting into a noodle only to find a saucy surprise inside. 


parmesan, cheese, sauce, tortellini, pasta, squash
Neelima Agrawal

This ring-shaped pasta is usually stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables. Huge shells like these are meant to be stuffed so start filling 'em up. 

Wagon Wheels

Ok the real name for this type is actually "Rotelle" but that's boring af. Pasta "shapes" like these are every kids fave. Because of the holes, there is no where for thin sauces to go but the holes are perf for capturing flavor with meat or veggie sauces. It's also used for decorative purposes in soups and salads.

Now that you're a noodle expert, you can correct all of your friends when they use the wrong kind of noodle to make mac and cheese. Because it does make all the difference.