7 Fun Pasta Shapes to Make Dinner More Exciting ...

Fun pasta shapes are an easy way to make your same, old noodle dish more exciting. If you tend to gravitate toward fettuccine or spaghetti every time you make a pasta dinner, it’s time to try some of the other shapes out there. Take a stroll down the noodle and sauce aisle at your grocery store and you’re sure to see loads of fun pasta shapes to try. This is especially fun if you have kids!

1. Animals

From penguins to lions to giraffes, you can find lots of fun pasta shapes of the animal variety at specialty shops. If you’re having a themed party or trying to entice your little ones into trying noodles, animal ones are the way to go. A safari birthday party is one of the best events for serving up this shape. If your kid loves dogs or cats, try pasta shaped like them to make mealtime more fun for everyone.

2. Bow Tie

True to its name, bow tie pasta looks like tiny bows. The texture of the edges really holds on to sauce so this is a great choice if you love your noodles absolutely slathered in tomato or cream sauce. It’s a fun shape for presentation too. Think about how much more enjoyable a plate of bow tie pasta is to look at than is plain, old boring spaghetti. It’s also fun for a formal affair, as it’ll match the feel of the occasion.

3. Holiday Themed

Everyone loves a holiday celebration and pasta manufacturers are buying into that by creating pasta in a lot of themed shapes. Try trees or bells at Christmas, hearts on Valentine’s Day, shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day, eggs or bunnies for Easter and stars on the Fourth of July. Some even come in fun colors that go with the holiday. What a fun way to serve up a themed meal for your kids too!

4. Shells

Ok, it’s perfect if you’re throwing a beach-inspired party or having a picnic at the actual beach, but shells are great for sopping up the pasta sauce too. Think about each little shell holding a treasure trove of delicious Alfredo or marinara that explodes in your mouth each time you take a bite. Shells are also great for cold pasta salad and tend to hold up a bit better when chilled. Combine them with pepperoni, olives, bell pepper, tomatoes and Italian dressing for a super fab side dish that will be fun to look at and fun to eat.

5. Gramigna

You might not have heard of this great pasta shape. It’s basically just thin shaved curls of pasta that are light and delicious. This is the perfect shape to choose if you like less pasta and more sauce or chunky ingredients. It works great with a basic primavera sauce and combines well with vegetables in a chunky tomato sauce. This one might be hard to find, but most specialty shops will carry it or know where you can find it.

6. Maltagliati

If you make your own pasta, this shape refers to the scraps you have left over. Who knew they had a fancy name you can break out next time you serve it? That’s right, you can make many pasta dishes from your scraps! Think about all the money you’ll save. Toss your maltagliati with any kind of sauce you want to – it works with any of them!

7. Tempestina

This pasta shape is just tiny little chunks of pasta. It would be great as a substitute for rice in pilaf or risotto, but is also perfect for adding to soup and stew. Use a small amount of sauce when you serve this pasta. Because the shape is so small, too much liquid can overwhelm it and drown out its flavor.

What’s your favorite pasta shape? Please feel free to add it to my list. Will you try one of the ones on this list?