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Cavatappi vs Cellentani (What’s the difference?)

Pasta comes in several shapes and sizes that are all fantastic for various dishes. Some popular pasta shapes are Cavatappi and Cellentani.

You may not have heard of Cavatappi or Cellentani pasta or be able to picture it off the top of your head, but if you’ve ever browsed the pasta aisle at your local grocery store, you’ve more than likely seen these kinds of pasta somewhere on the shelf.

In fact, if you’ve ever had a delicious pasta salad, there’s a good chance Cavatappi or cellentani noodles were used.

But what are Cavatappi and Cellentani? And what is the difference between the Cavatappi and Cellentani?

Cavatappi vs Cellentani

The most significant difference between Cavatappi and Cellentani pasta shapes is that Cellentani has more ridges than Cavatappi. However, they’re both tubular, corkscrew, or coiled spring pasta shapes that are perfect for many of the same favorite pasta dishes.

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What is Cavatappi?

What is Cavatappi?
What is Cavatappi?

Cavatappi gets its name from the Italian word for a corkscrew. Cavatappi a tubular pasta that is, you guessed it, corkscrew-shaped, but it’s relatively smooth in appearance and texture.

Cavatappi is a pasta shape native to the South of Italy, specifically the region of Campania.

Even though Cavatappi has roots in Southern Italy, it’s a popular pasta shape used around the world.

Many choose Cavatappi not only because it’s a fun shape, but the space within the corkscrew leaves plenty of room for holding sauces and other pasta ingredients.

What is Cellentani?

While Cavatappi translates to corkscrew, Cellentani translates to whirls in English. Whirls are another excellent way of describing the shape of this kind of pasta.

Cellentani is similar to Cavatappi in form, but it has more ridges than its counterpart. You may not even be able to tell the difference between the two unless you’re looking closely.

Many pasta brands will use Cellentani and Cavatappi interchangeably, even though there is a subtle difference.

For example, Barilla chooses explicitly to use the name Cellentani for this pasta shape. The reason for selecting Cellentani is to honor an Italian pop star that was famous in the 1960s.

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What Cavatappi and Cellentani are Perfect For

These two kinds of pasta are incredibly similar, and they’re often used in the same recipes. Both Cavatappi and Cellentani are ideal for any type of pasta sauce, whether a thick or lighter sauce.

Even though you can use these pasta shapes for thick and thin sauces, the thicker the sauce, the more the Cavatappi and cellentani will grip the sauce.

Since many people add finely chopped vegetables, dressing, and other toppings to pasta salad, a corkscrew shape is perfect for this chilled dish.

The ridges, tubular shape, and curves allow the pasta to hold onto more minor ingredients with ease.

No one likes mushy pasta. However, both Cavatappi and Cellentani retain their shape longer than other shapes of pasta.

Their ability to hold their texture and shape for longer makes this the perfect pasta for pot lucks and catering events.

Almost everyone loves a steaming hot plate of macaroni and cheese. Cavatappi and Cellentani are the ideal pasta to use for this meal or side dish.

The creamy cheese will stick to the pasta, and the texture of the pasta will hold up even when you bake it in the oven.

Whichever pasta recipes you choose to make, the large hole in the Cavatappi or Cellentani will ensure that every bite you take has a little bit of every flavor you put into the dish.

Likewise, whatever sauce you prepared will seep into the pasta and hold on tight, making sure you never have a dry bite.

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Regardless if you’ve purchased Cavatappi or Cellentani pasta for your dish, you’ll still have a corkscrew pasta that makes for an excellent base for your favorite pasta dish.

Cavatappi vs Cellentani (What's the difference?)
Cavatappi vs Cellentani (What’s the difference?)

The flavor profile will be the same whether you make your macaroni and cheese with Cavatappi or Cellentani.

What it truly comes down to is how much texture you like. Cavatappi still has ridges but not as many as Cellentani. So if you prefer a smoother corkscrew shape,

Cavatappi is for you. But if you prefer a little more texture, Cellentani will be better due to the ridges on the pasta.