Chicken Bow Tie Pasta
Farfalle (bow tie) pasta is used to make a variety of dishes from entrees to soups to salads. Here is a fabulous recipe for bow tie pasta using chicken and sun-dried tomatoes in a white wine sauce.
Types of PastaPasta abounds in variety, with well over 100 different types of pasta known to Italian food connoisseurs.
Some rules apply to the dozens of different types of pasta. First of all, many different names simply signify variations in shape or texture. Spaghettini, for instance, is a thinner form of pasta than Spaghetti with the same general cut, while Spaghettoni has a thicker texture.
Moreover, pasta usually comes from regionalized locales throughout Italy, but certain types have diverse origins — which can occasionally engender nomenclature problems, with each locale retaining a different name for the pasta in question. (More often than not this is, however, the exception to the rule.) A final fact of note is that each pasta usually has a specific sauce considered to be a most appropriate accompaniment.
Pasta shapesPasta is divided into different categories based on its shape and form. The most common categories which will be discussed are as follows: pasta-like shapes, strand noodles, tubular pasta, ribbon pasta, micro pasta, stuffed pasta, and irregular pasta. It should be noted here that although people have different descriptive labels for each of the categories, the general categorizations are in fact universal.
The pasta-like shapes category is perhaps the most diverse of all. Conchiglie and Conchiglioni (both seashell-shaped pasta), Farfalle (bow-tie pasta), and Fioriettini (flower-shaped pasta) represent some of the more common array of pasta included in this perhaps odd-ball category. Gemelli (an S-shaped spiral pasta), Rotelle (wagon-wheel shaped), and Spirali (tube-shaped spiral pasta) constitute other well-known forms of pasta that can be found in the pasta-like shapes category.
As for the strand-noodles category, the name pretty much signifies the kinds of pasta to be expected: those that come in strands of noodles, also known as round-rod pasta. One of the most popular kind of pasta is included in this category: Spaghetti, with its larger and smaller variations, Spaghettoni, Spaghettini. Also included are Vermicelli (a thinner type of round-rod strand pasta) and Capellini (thinner than Vermicelli), and of course another well-loved favorite named Capelli d'angelo, more commonly known as Angel Hair Pasta — which is the thinnest of all strand-noodles.
Tubular pasta includes more of the most common varieties. Penne, Manicoti, Macaroni, Rigatoni, and Zita pasta are all included in this category. So are other fairly well-known kinds like Bucatini (hollow Spaghetti) and Cannelloni (large stuffable tube-shaped).
Ribbon pasta is a distinctive kind of pasta for its easily recognizable shape and features, namely, long and varyingly wide strands of pasta. Included in this category are kinds like Fettuccine, the name literally meaning "little ribbons;" Lasagne, meaning "cooking pot;" Linguine, which essentially is flattened Spaghetti; and Papardelle, which is thick flat ribbon.
Micro pasta is composed of the tiniest varieties of pasta, usually coming in tiny sphere-like shapes. Orzo, which is a rice-like pasta, Alphabet pasta, Couscous, and Pastina are types of pasta that fall under this category.
Stuffed pasta is a fairly straightforward variety of pasta, and it is another category that contains many American favorites, like Tortellini, Tortelloni, Ravioli, Cannelloni, and Panzarotti.
Finally, the irregularly-shaped pasta is the smallest category, containing usually only Spatzle and Gnocchi, a popular stuffed pasta made with flour and potatoes.
Pasta saucesPasta sauces, like pasta, are likewise divided into categories for easy classification. Popular categories include: cheese and cream sauces, meat sauces, seafood sauces, tomato sauces, and pesto and herb sauces.
Cheese and cream sauces include the ever-popular Alfredo sauce, Roasted Garlic Peppercorn sauce, and Tomato Cream sauce. Meat sauces include different combinations of beef-centered concoctions, which are perhaps too many to list here, including as they do thousands of variations through the centuries. In the seafood sauce category comes Lobster Mornay sauce, Smoked Salmon, Spicy Clam and an equally rich variety of different concoctions based on the fruit of the sea.
Tomato sauces, like the prior two, incorporate a wide variety of often ad-hoc concoctions. However, some of the more consistent kinds are Marinara, Marinara with White Wine, and others based on Marinara. Pesto and herb sauces often include Basil Cream, Pesto del Sol, Pesto with Argula, Sun-dried Tomato Pesto or just plain Pesto.