Die cut, different shaped pasta against a white background

Fun Pasta Shapes for your Summer

What is shaped pasta? How can fun pasta shapes make your summer meals even better? Read further to learn more about traditional and some newer fun pasta shapes.

    What is Shaped Pasta?

    Shaped pasta is typically semolina pasta that has been extruded through bronze die cuts that create a shape. Some shapes are more familiar, like shell shaped pasta or lasagna. Others are more unique and hard to find, like Campenelle (known for its iconic ruffled edges). While long pastas like angel hair and fettuccine are still considered “shaped” by the bronze die, when we hear “shaped pasta” we typically think of smaller, short pastas that are more eccentric looking.

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    What is the best pasta shape?

    One of the best pasta shapes are the shapes that perfectly capture your sauce, and is easily coated evenly. For us, this is our Penne Rigate. Penne Rigate is similar to traditional Penne, without the pointed ends. What makes this pasta shape special is the shape and how the shape of this pasta blends with sauces.

    Our Penne is a tube-shaped pasta with ridged sides. These ridged sides allow for creamy sauce to cling to the outside, while the inner tube of this pasta holds meat sauce really well too. Holding onto sauces well is the main criteria pasta needs to meet in order to be the “Best Pasta Shape”.

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    Alligator shaped pasta

    Alligator Shaped Pasta is one of our favorite Dagostino pasta shapes. This shape was made to commemorate the Alligators found in Louisiana and the rest of the south.

    Since the discovery of Alligators in Louisiana, they have always been an important part of the Louisiana economy. They've been used for food, boots, saddles, oil as well as other goods. They are considered a great renewable resource.

    When we made this pasta in our Louisiana facility, it was to celebrate the mighty Alligator and to honor their connection to Louisiana culture and history. Since then, we’ve seen LSU fans use it in pretty creative ways… We recommend you serve our Double Gator Pasta at the next LSU vs. University of Florida tailgate with your favorite gator sausage.

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    Fleur De Lis shaped pasta

    Our Fleur De Lis shaped pasta has quickly grown to our best selling pasta (Thanks Who Dat Nation). While we adore our New Orleans’ Saints, we originally made this pasta as a celebration of Louisiana's long-standing history with French royalty. This symbol was adopted by Louisiana during the French occupation, but like many things New Orleans’ has made it it’s own.

    Today outside of the football world, many know this symbol as the rebirth of The Gulf Coast after hurricane Katrina. For the Culinary world of New Orleans’ the Fleur De Lis can symbolize the holy trinity of cooking: celery, onions, and bell peppers. This is the best pasta shape for pasta salad. Similar to bow tie pasta, the shape of the Fleur De Lis is actually perfect for tossing with olive oil, feta and olives.

    Check out one of our favorite Fleur De Lis pasta recipes, Pasta Salad with Bacon and Brussel Sprouts.

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    Crawfish shaped pasta

    Crawfish shaped pasta... need we say more? Crawfish boils are a time-honored tradition throughout the South and are a fundamental part of Louisiana Culture. Crawfish boils in New Orleans are very similar to barbeques or potlucks. They are usually day-long affairs of music, drinks, games and eating multiple trays of food

    So many people look forward to Crawfish season so they can gather with friends and family and boil a pot. So, it's only right we have a pasta shape to commemorate them!

    Our favorite way to make our crawfish pasta is by pairing it with savory pasta sauce and freshly boiled crawfish, check out this Crawfish pasta recipe to see what we mean.

    Other fun pasta shapes


    There are many types of shaped pasta that are perfect to incorporate into your weeknight dinner routine. One that really stands out is Pastina or “Birds Eye” pasta. This type of pasta is really similar to the size and shape of couscous. It's perfect for soups, stews and it’s a great pasta for reinventing your favorite pasta dishes.

    One way we like to use pastina is by making a really fun version of mac and cheese with it. These tiny tube shaped pasta shapes perfectly capture cheese sauce and cooks down into a very rich and creamy mixture.

    Pastina “Birds Eye” is our smallest pasta—a smaller version of Ditalini pasta. Piccoli Ditali, the italian word for "small thimbles”, are tiny, bead-shaped pieces of pasta. Pastina is also great as a rice substitute!

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    Another fun pasta shape is actually a long ribbon pasta named Mafaldine. Mafaldine is a very traditional italian pasta, best paired with tomato sauce. You can think of this pasta shape as a skinny or thin lasagna. Due to their similarity, many use this pasta in a lasagna dish or even as an elevated baked ziti.

    This ribbon pasta with ruffled edges is a really fun way to change up a dinner routine, while still keeping the classic meals your family loves on the table.

    About Dagostino Pasta

    From Lemons to Premium Pasta

    Our story started with lemon farmers in Sicily. In the early 19th century lemons would go on long voyages from Sicily to New Orleans, usually taking around 100 days. These Sicilians would create settlements in New Orleans and with them came pasta.

    The Fresina Family, our founders, were some of these original lemon farmers and started creating handmade pasta in New Orleans in 1926. Since then, the D’Agostino and Hayward families have continued their tradition of creating premium handmade pasta using pure semolina flour and water then cutting the pasta through bronze dies and air-drying in wooden cellars.

    Our pasta is still made the old-fashioned way, in our pasta factory, using the “delicate” method developed centuries ago. Small quantities of pasta are extruded through bronze, carefully looped over wooden rods, straightened, and then air-dried in wooden cellars. Celebrated for its delicate texture and classic flavor, our pasta is handmade, all-natural, and preservative free, producing the best tasting pasta available on the market today.

    Our sauces are some of the most authentic sauces available outside of Italy. The sauces are handmade in small batches with a unique blend of fresh herbs and spices. Made without preservatives, each batch is carefully examined by our chefs and food scientists to ensure our sauces are the best tasting on the market.

    You will experience our time honored family treasure in every meal.

    Check out some of our pasta recipes here for weeknight dinner inspiration.