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What's the difference between penne and rigatoni?

Penne vs rigatoni, what's the difference? Find out below and get great recipes with both types of pasta!

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The difference between penne and rigatoni

Penne and rigatoni seem very similar, they're both tube shaped pastas. There are a few points that make them different to one another:

Penne vs. rigatoni

1. Penne is cut on the bias, or diagonal, giving it a pointed shape. Rigatoni is cut straight, giving it a cylindrical shape.

2. Rigatoni always has ridges around the outside. Penne may be smooth or have ridges.

3. Rigatoni have a slightly larger circumference than penne.

4. Penne are always straight, whereas rigatoni may have a slight curve.

Can you substitute penne and rigatoni?

Yes, in a pinch you can substitute penne or rigatoni in any pasta dish that calls for either. The only thing to note is that if you use smooth penne it will have a different mouthfeel, and won't hold as much sauce as ridged penne or rigatoni. 

What about ziti?

Ziti is straight cut like rigatoni, but is smooth on the outside. It's more popular in America than Australia, and is often used in "Baked Ziti" pasta bakes. Much like rigatoni and penne, it's easily interchangeable with these other pasta shapes.

Different pasta shapes

Want to know more about different pasta shapes? Check out this article about 12 popular pasta shapes and get more easy pasta recipes.

Recipes with penne or rigatoni

Get the recipe: Quick Chicken and Pumpkin Pasta Bake

This rigatoni pasta bake starts with a can of pumpkin soup and some chicken mince. Pumpkin lovers will get a kick out of this yummy pasta bake.

Get the recipe: 20 Minute Penne Pasta

Get dinner on the table in 20 minutes flat with this quick mince sauce and a packet of pasta.

Get the recipe: Bolognese Pasta Bake

This Bolognese pasta bake uses rigatoni and leftover pasta sauce. Stirring extra cheese into the Bolognese makes it extra tasty and comforting.

Penne with Ricotta & Summer Tomato Pesto

Pasta Primavera

Asparagus, Smoked Salmon and Ricotta Penne

Speedy Skillet Pasta Bake

Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake

Tuna, Rocket And Olive Penne

Quick Chicken, Spinach and Pumpkin Pasta Bake

Chicken Pesto Pasta

Bolognese Pasta Bake

Creamy Chorizo, Olive, Basil and Tomato Rigatoni

Mushrooms, Sausage & Spinach Rigatoni

Sweet Potato Alfredo Penne