The Streets of New York Pasta Primer

Spaghetti, Ziti, Ravioli, Gnocchi, Lasagna, and on it goes! Pasta covers a wide range of different meals. So, what's the difference? Sit right back our pasta apprentice! This time on the Streets of New York Blog we're giving the rundown on various types of pasta! Without further ado!

Pasta Time!

First off, what does pasta refer to? Is it the sauce? The noodles? The dish entirely? Pasta refers specifically to the noodles. Pasta is food made from wheat flour mixed with water or eggs and then formed into shapes, then baked or boiled to be made edible.

There are over 300 forms of pasta, with over four times that many names which vary by region and even town to town. As it turns out, 300 is a bit too many to catalog in one blog so for our purposes we're going to focus on the kinds of pasta we make here at Streets of New York!


The classic. You know what spaghetti is. Made of flour and water, spaghetti is the long, thin pasta that's perhaps the most common pasta out there. There are several variations of spaghetti out there.

Penne / Whole Wheat Penne

Penne is tube shaped pasta, cut diagonally at the ends to medium length. They can be smooth or grooved. The name penne comes from pen as the shape resembles the tip of a quill pen (the pens of the time).

Angel Hair

Angel hair pasta, also called capellini, is very thin spaghetti. Often it's served coiled up into little groups. There's a variant called capelli d'angelo that is even thinner.


Egg pasta just means that the mix to make the other types of pasta (your spaghetti, pennes, etc.) is made with egg instead of water. Using eggs makes for a pasta with a bit more chew and makes it easier to work with (the egg provides additional proteins that keep the pasta together).


Ah, fettuccine, the classic thick noodle! Fettuccine is pasta cut into ribbons, about 6-7mm wide. Their name comes from the Italian word "to slice," as that's how you'd prepare the pasta into fettuccine. 


Now we know what you're thinking. "Is lasagna pasta?" Absolutely! Remember pasta refers to the shapes and sheets made from the same ingredients, regardless of how they're used. Lasagna uses pasta made into large rectangular sheets that can have fluted edges (but not mandatory). Technically the pasta is lasagna and the dish made of layers of lasagna, meat, cheese, and sauce is lasagne. You learn something new every day!


Ravioli is an interesting one because it's actually two pieces of pasta, usually square, placed together, and stuffed with cheese, meat or other ingredients, then sealed. 


Ziti is similar to penne. They are long, narrow tubes of pasta, larger than mezzani. They are usually broken before being used. Ziti has longer (ziti candelati) and larger (zitoni) variants as well. Some ziti have ridges along the pasta surface, these are called ziti rigati. 

Now, obviously the pasta is just the start! Get a good sauce, some cheese, maybe add some meat if you're feeling it and you end up with an amazing, filling, fresh meal. Like these…

Pasta Dishes

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Classic spaghetti, marinara sauce, pecorino cheese, and three massive meatballs make for a classic plate.

Lorrie's Lasagna

Now this take on the lasagna is special to us. Named for our founder, Lorrie's lasagna comes stacked with ricotta, Italian sausage, ground beef, marinara sauce, mozzarella, pecorino. It's lasagna like our mom makes!

Special Baked Ziti

Our pasta is stuffed and baked with Italian sausage, ricotta, mushrooms, marinara sauce made from our special Roma tomatoes, and pecorino cheese.

Create Your Own Pasta

Why don't you make Your Special Pasta? At Streets of New York you can craft your own perfect pasta entree – simply choose a pasta, a sauce, add chicken, meatballs, sausage, or shrimp and you're on your way! You can even pick from our extensive list of pizza toppings!

All those pictures have your tummy rumbling? We don't blame you, pasta has a special place in our hearts (and stomachs). Need a plate quickly? Lucky you, Streets of New York delivers! Pick from one of our specials or make your pasta, your way.

Order Your Pasta Today!