For some pasta lovers, the best part of a pasta meal is the sauce, and in those cases, a short, tube pasta is ideal. One of the most ubiquitous pasta shapes, penne pasta is the ideal choice to soak up all that saucy goodness. Today, Italian penne pasta can be found in two main varieties. One, penne rigate, is made with ridges, while the other, penne lisce, is smooth. Though some pasta enthusiasts swear by the ridged variety for it’s sauce-catching properties, the pointed edges and smooth interior of both make them great for a variety of plates and dishes.
Penne's Unique Creation
Penne pasta first came into the collective consciousness of noodle lovers in 1865, when a pasta maker from San Martino d’Albano patented a new kind of pasta-making machine. The design that Giovanni Battista Capurro came up with allowed him to cut tubular-shaped pasta on an angle— they were actually made to resemble the tip of a fountain pen, hence penne.
What can I make with penne pasta?
The great thing about penne is you can use it with any kind of sauce! This popular tube pasta absorbs light dressings for pasta salads, as well as hearty tomato sauces and creams. Bake penne pasta al forno with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, or offer a cold noodle salad at a picnic. Either way, penne saves the day!