How many different types of Pasta do you keep in stock? (Or Noodle, by any other name...) For what dishes?

I went to the store before our recent “storm” to pick up a few things, and pasta was on my list.

Except that I left with FIVE kinds — instead of the intended a single bag to have in stock in the pantry “just in case” :joy:

So I’m curious, how many different varieties of pasta do other food-loving folks keep in stock at the same time? Of any culture / provenance?

What do you use the different types for, if you differentiate ?

And what about the inverse – what do you never or rarely stock?

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My current stock:

– Capellini / angel hair – my favorite, all-purpose
– Bucatini – mostly tomato sauces, when I’m in the mood for a chewy noodle
– Linguine – in between the first two, and also sometimes as an Asian noodle substitute
– Papardelle – meat, mushroom, or creamy sauces (fresh pasta sub)
– Tagliatelle – ditto
– Macaroni – mac & cheese, kheema macaroni
– Rigatoni – anywhere else a short pasta would work
– Farfalle – similar uses to rigatoni, but also for pesto and meat sauces
– Lasagne – aside from lasagna, for manicotti / canneloni
– Mafalda corta – similar applications to papardelle

Asian and Other:
– Sweet Potato Starch Noodles – Japchae
– Mung Bean Threads – Ants on a Tree
– Rice Sticks / Vermicelli – various, plus soups
– Rice Sticks / Wide – as a replacement for fresh Ho Fun
– Indian Hakka Noodles – the eponymous dish
– Indian Wheat Vermicelli (broken and whole) – Upma
– Ramen
– Udon
– Soba
– Couscous

I rarely or never stock:
– Orzo and other tiny shapes (too slippery / don’t like the mouthfeel, would rather use rice)
– Israeli Couscous (don’t get the point, and have not had great success cooking it)
– Twisty shapes (ends up either too al dente or overcooked, plus don’t love the mouthfeel)
– Dried Tortellini (ditto cooking variance)
– Shelf-stable Gnocchi (flavor is rarely good, plus they’re mostly doughy, but I love fresh gnocchi)


I’m not particular WRT pasta shapes. We generally have at least some spaghetti and/or angel hair, and we also buy the six packs at Costco of their organic pasta shapes, so whatever comes in those. I also have a few different varieties of rice noodles for pad Thai, chow fun, and soups, as well as three or four different kinds of instant ramen, including a package of ramen bricks sans soup base to make yakisoba. I don’t have udon, though, because I make my own udon. And when Costco has ravioli or tortellini on sale, I usually pick up some of those, too.

I know that there are conventional pairings of shapes and sauces, but I have no idea what they are, so I use whatever shapes I have with whatever sauces are available.


5- 7 types.

I keep orzo, angel hair, some sort of macaroni or other short tubular pasta, spaetzle and rice noodles on hand.

Lately, I also buy gemelli fairly frequently, and pastina.

The orzo is mostly for Greek-style pasta dishes where the orzo cooks in the sauce braising the meat or poultry, and for avgolemono soup.


There are some new refrigerated gnocchi that get pan-fried rather than boiled, which we like.


Egg Noodles
Mini Lasagna Noodles
Israeli couscous
Ravioli (usually frozen)
Tortellini (Rana fresh; I toss in the freezer to use whenever)

Bucatini (rarely)


Spaghetti, twists, couscous, and Chinese egg noodles. I also have a couple of packs of rice threads, if that counts.


Yeah, I’m not much one for pairing “rules”, but I do have my personal preferences. Usually to do with how chunky vs smooth sauce, or additions, or similar considerations.

For eg, for pasta with chicken and broccoli, it’s nice to have a short pasta type so as to be able to stab a piece of each for a single bite. For pesto, I like capellini even though I know short twisty shapes supposedly “catch” it better. Paccheri and bucatini I associate with a pure tomato sauce. And so on. But that’s me, other people have their own associations :grinning:

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If I can cut it from a sheet, I’ll just make it and cut it. While I do have an extruder, I rarely use it as I much prefer the texture, flavor, and versatility of rolled out pasta.

I stock dried linguini and angel hair, but little else.

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A noodle by any other name…

I forgot the freezer stock :flushed:

Do you do anything to prevent ravioli or tortellini from sticking together? Or is it not an issue when they go straight from the freezer into boiling water?

Rana tortellini seem to separate easily, so I do nothing.

Trader Joe’s ravs seem to stick (because of the amount of air in their airtight packages in which I freeze them? Maybe if I opened the package and then froze them flat in a ziploc, that might work better?).

For those, I try and remember to take them out about 15-20 minutes before I’m going to boil them and open the package. Sometimes I can get them to unstick; but sometimes they’ve been in the freezer too long and the ice crystals have built up. Then I just do what I can - sometimes I’ll grab a spider and scoop up a couple of the stuck-togethers midway through cooking and try and gently pry them apart with a dull knife or a fork. Sometimes I just Elsa it - let it go, let it go, and try and separate them once they’re drained. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t.


Yeah, those stick even when fresh :woman_facepalming:t2:. Especially the larger ones (porcini for eg).

When I’m freezing them it’s always for travel, and it’s them only time I bother prying them apart first — but they still often tear, so now I just leave the stuck ones even when I’m transferring them to a ziplock.

The other fresh italian ravioli etc around me either are just slightly dried out on the outside (intentionally) or have a light dusting of flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking.

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mini penne
egg noodles
rice noodles
lo mein
In the freezer
I usually have linguine or fettuccine, but for some reason I can’t explain, I haven’t bought any for a long time. I have a vague memory of looking for either and there was none to be had. Maybe during covid.


Currently in the cupboard: spaghetti, bow ties, penne, fregula, israeli couscous, rice noodles of varying widths, glass noodles, macaroni, tiny noodles for soup, rigatoni, soba, udon, quick cook ramen style pucks, small shells and some Annie’s noodles in a box for the juniors because they still eat that kind of thing. We like our carbs. :slight_smile:


Spaghetti and penne cover most of the dishes in this house. So long as there’s something long and something short, we’re usually OK.


I’m a pasta hoarder, so most shapes aren’t safe from me - save for the teeny tiny ones I find pointless. Might as well not have pasta. I think the smallest we go is orzo. I also tend to use the pasta shape originally meant for a specific dish (see below).

Always in the house:

fettuccine (bolognese, duh, other ragu, shrooms, lemon cream sauce, etc)
linguine (clam sauce, scampi, mussels, etc.)
cavatappi (my PIC’s favorite <3) they’re versatile, but I most often use them for mac salad
spaghetti (cacio e pepe, marinara, carbonara, etc.)
bucatini (for very messy marinara dinner :joy:)
farfalle (peas & ham, shrimp & spinach, et al)

Not always in the house, but possibly my two favorite pasta shapes of them all:

pappardelle (for meat ragus & shroom dishes)
paccheri (same)

Occasionally, fresh or frozen ravioli from specific purveyors (Talluto’s in Philly comes to mind, or similar Italian markets).

Extra fluffy egg noodz for stroganoff and chicken noodle soup when one of us or both are sick.

I rarely have rice noodz or other Asian noodz* in the house, unless I buy some for hot pot.

Angel hair’s too thin for me to even register that I am eating pasta, and I haven’t found any dishes I would care for them. Perhaps a cold Asian salad? I also dislike penne immensely, but have no probz with rigatoni for some reason. :woman_shrugging:

Shelf-stable ravioli, tortellini and gnocchi skeeve me out, but I don’t care for gnocchi in general.

*Save for har gow, other dumplings and soup dumplings, which are always in the freezer for a quick, lazy meal.

We only have orzo in the house for yuvetsi and pilaf :slight_smile: although @MunchkinRedux’s chicken pasta dish with orzo looked enticing :yum:

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Generally we have linguine and penne rigate at all times for us , but MUST also have macaroni and spaghetti for the grandkids. [I do a thing with them where I place the end of a single spaghetti strand in my mouth then crank my hand around near my ear as I suck In the spaghetti. The older one is learning to do it too.]

Occasionally I’ll keep some orzo and udon around (tho the fresh packaged thick udon is way better). And right now we have some wide egg noodles because my wife made chicken soup last week.

Trader Joe’s ravioli is in our regular rotation as an easy ‘special’ but simple dinner. Right now the tomato/buratta is our favorite, but picked up some cauliflower/cheese to try the other day.


When I can’t get “fancy” ravs, TJ’s truffle porcini triangoli are nice, the lemon ricotta ones aren’t bad, and the sweet corn ones are lovely - although I believe the latter are a seasonal item.

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