homemade pasta

Photo via Timothy Vollmer/Flickr (CC-BY)

Debate all you want, here is the definitive ranking of ‘non-canonical pasta shapes’

Tired of mac n cheese? This is the pasta list for you.


David Britton

Internet Culture

Published Oct 25, 2017   Updated May 22, 2021, 1:15 pm CDT

What exactly qualifies as a “Non-Primary-Canon pasta shape” is open to interpretation. Certainly macaroni and spaghetti are both pretty commonplace, but what about a nice twisty fusilli or a fun and flirty farfalle (otherwise known as bowtie pasta)?

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bowtie pasta
I see they way you’re lookin’ at me Farfalle Photo via jeffreyw/flickr (CC-BY)
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It really all depends on who you ask and what part of the world you’re from.

Nonetheless, a man named David Rudnick has created a ranking of what he’s calling “Non-Primary-Canon pasta shapes” and it’s probably the best thing currently on Twitter.

After posting the list, he proceeds to rank the various noodles, breaking each one down so you can pick the perfect unusual pasta to impress people at your next dinner party.

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From last place Croxetti:

To cream of the wheat, Mafaldine.

In between various pastas are given high and low marks, with the all important “sauce retention” attribute being heavily weighted.

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Obviously people took issue with some of Rudnick’s choices.

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Some especially didn’t care for his choice of winner.


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If nothing else, amateur chefs might find the rankings useful, although, it doesn’t look like he really took baking into account. If that does happen to be your thing, you can’t go wrong with a nice firm ziti.

baked ziti
photo via Scott Veg/Flickr (CC-BY)
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Although ziti is probably canon pasta, to be fair.

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*First Published: Oct 25, 2017, 4:12 pm CDT