A good way to remember this name is to think of a fan. Of course, most of us tend to forget the actual names of pasta pretty fast, so you might simply call this one bow tie pasta or butterfly pasta. Shaped pasta like this can be used in any type of sauce. However, it works best with sauce that has a texture, such as ones containing pieces of meat or vegetables. Those small pieces can get trapped in the pasta, making it much more interesting to eat.
The size of rigatoni varies considerably, but it tends to be larger than ziti and penne, with a ribbed exterior. They are also slightly curved and tend to flatten somewhat once they have been cooked. The tubes tend to be too large for simple sauces that don’t have much texture, but they work great for thick or textured sauces, which can often get caught within the tubes.
This spring-shaped pasta is pretty popular, and its twists and turns are a perfect way to catch seasonings, sauces and small pieces of meat or vegetables. The twists are considerably larger than fusilli, which is the more common twisted pasta, but the two types do tend to be used in similar dishes. I particularly like this pasta with a creamy macaroni and cheese dish, especially one with small pieces of meat as they get easily lost in the twists of the pasta.
Like fettuccine, tagliatelle is a ribbon pasta, although it is a little bit narrower than fettuccine. The pasta tends to be sold fresh, which gives it a rough texture that works perfectly for thick sauces, especially meat-based ones. The pasta is sometimes sold in nest-like shapes and can be cooked as-is. However, they will often fall out of the shape as they cook and need to be re-spooled.
Farfalle looks almost identical to the farfalline I showed earlier. Both types of pasta have that distinctive bow-tie shape that catches sauce well. The difference is in the size of the pasta, and farfalle is the larger of the two. The pasta can also be found in different varieties, including spinach and tomato, as well as the plain version. Most of the time the different varieties are sold in a single packet and this can make a visually appealing dish if a relatively clear sauce is used.