Use Your Noodle! Spaghetti vs Linguine vs Fettuccine

Turns out, there is an official holiday for just about any food you can imagine. Case in point: September 15 is National Linguine Day.

Imagine! A whole day, just to celebrate one kind noodle!

So, we wondered: what’s the difference between spaghetti, linguine, and fettuccine, which sit next to each other on the grocery store shelf, and look so similar?

For those keeping score at home, linguine is wider and flatter than spaghetti, about 6-9 mm wide. The name linguine means “little tongues” (which is either whimsical or kind of gross, depending on your perspective).

Spaghetti (or thinner, even more delicate angel hair pasta) traditionally accompanies meat and tomato dishes. Linguine are often served with slightly more substantial seafood or pesto, or with a moderately chunky sauce like AllSpice customer Alecia’s Prosciutto Pepper Linguine.

Close noodle relation fettuccine is flatter and wider than linguine. Fettuccine is hearty enough to accommodate heavier sauces made with cream, like the quintessential Fettuccine Alfredo, or thick sauces, like bolognese, or carbonara, which includes cream, egg and bacon (and is divine).

Bottom line? There are no “rules” about which types of pasta you must use with different kinds of sauces. Rule-of-thumb is that, the thicker the pasta, the heavier the sauce or topping it can accommodate.

Check out the range of Pasta recipes we’ve collected, and decide for yourself which kinds of pasta pair best with each of the sauces.

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4 Responses to Use Your Noodle! Spaghetti vs Linguine vs Fettuccine

  1. Giacomo says:

    from an Italian… fettuccine are not suited for carbonara, better spaghetti. more something like ragu (bolognese sauce, as you call it). but you can still use them. the worst error though is to put cream in it! arghhhh! carbonara is just parmisan, raw egg (it should just start to coagulate with the residual hear of the pan where you boiled the pasta after you drained it and five the creamy consistency to the dish) cooked pancetta (smoked bacon) and black pepper… that’s it. why do you always have to over complicate Italian cuisine 🙂

    • Paula says:

      My question was Is the angel hair replacing the old very thin Spaghetini rods i am not saying Spaghetti. Paula also Italian.

  2. Rick says:

    Thanks Giacomo. You’ve explained why my home-made carbonara never tasted right. Never like I loved to eat it in a good Italian restaurant. Lose the cream–I get it.

  3. Lester says:

    For me it’s linguine

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