Elbow pasta is a small pasta that is curled in the shape resembling a human elbow (hence the name). Because of this shape, elbow noodles tend to be included in various recipes which other, longer noodles are not; the most famous of which is mac and cheese.
Is elbow pasta the same thing as macaroni pasta?
Well, kind of. Elbows are often called elbow macaroni, but macaroni doesn’t always look like elbows do. Macaroni pasta can be a bit longer with a less severe curve, but elbow pasta is always short, stout, and tightly curled. Depending on the dish, however, they may be used interchangeably.
Other than mac and cheese, what can I make with elbow noodles?
Elbow noodles often make their way into casseroles, soups, and pasta salads. Pasta fagioli soup is an Italian favorite which typically includes beans, tomatoes, and other vegetables with elbow pasta. Because you can get a lot of pasta in just one spoonful of elbows, these small noodles are perfect for a casserole recipe or a pasta salad. Thick, creamy sauces are best for elbows.