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8 Best Types of Pasta for Bolognese

If you’re looking for the perfect pasta to pair with your Bolognese sauce, look no further.

I’m here to help you choose the best types of pasta for this classic Italian dish.

From spaghetti and penne to fusilli and farfalle, there are so many options when it comes to selecting a type of pasta for your Bolognese sauce.

Whether you’re looking for something traditional or something a little more creative, I have some great recommendations that will make your dinner unforgettable.

Here are 8 of the best types of pasta for Bolognese – read on to find out which one is right for you!

Read Also: What Wine Goes With Spaghetti Bolognese? (10 Best Wines)

What is Bolognese?

Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese (also known as ragù alla bolognese) is a classic Italian meat-based sauce that originated in Bologna, Italy.

It’s made with ground beef or pork, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes and white wine.

The vegetables are cooked down until they form a thick paste and the meat is added to the mix.

The mixture is then simmered for several hours until it develops an intense flavor and thick texture.

The traditional way of serving Bolognese sauce is over tagliatelle pasta but it can also be served over other types of pasta such as spaghetti or penne.

It can also be used as a filling for lasagna or cannelloni dishes.

In addition to being served with pasta, Bolognese sauce can also be used as a topping for pizza or bruschetta.

Bolognese sauce has become popular around the world due to its rich flavor and versatility in cooking applications.

It’s often referred to simply as “ragu” outside of Italy and variations on the recipe have been created in different countries including France (ragout fin), Germany (bratensoße) and Spain (estofado).

8 Best Types of Pasta for Bolognese

Bolognese is a classic Italian dish that requires the perfect type of pasta.

Here are eight types of pasta that will work well with your Bolognese sauce:

1. Spaghetti


Spaghetti is a type of pasta that originated in Italy.

It is made from durum wheat and water, and it comes in many shapes and sizes.

Spaghetti is usually boiled for a few minutes before being served with sauce or other ingredients.

Spaghetti pairs perfectly with Bolognese sauce because the long strands of spaghetti are able to hold onto the thick, rich sauce better than shorter pastas like penne or rigatoni.

The combination of the two creates an incredibly flavorful dish that’s sure to please any crowd!

Pro Tip: To make your spaghetti even more delicious, try adding some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top! This will add a salty, nutty flavor that complements the Bolognese sauce perfectly.

2. Rigatoni


Rigatoni is a type of pasta that is tube-shaped with ridges down the sides.

It’s larger than penne and ziti, but smaller than most other tubular pastas like macaroni or cannelloni.

The ridges on the outside of the pasta help it to hold onto sauces better, making it an ideal choice for dishes like Bolognese.

Rigatoni has a slightly chewy texture and can be used in both hot and cold dishes.

It pairs well with thick, chunky sauces such as Bolognese because its shape helps to hold onto all of the delicious flavors.

Pro Tip: When cooking rigatoni, make sure you don’t overcook it! Rigatoni should be cooked until al dente (firm to the bite) for optimal flavor and texture.

3. Fettuccine


Fettuccine is a type of pasta that originated in Rome, Italy.

It is made from egg and flour and has a flat, ribbon-like shape.

Fettuccine is usually served with a creamy sauce like Alfredo or Bolognese.

Fettuccine’s wide ribbons are perfect for catching the thick sauces of Bolognese.

The texture of the noodles also helps to thicken the sauce as it cooks, making it even more flavorful and delicious!

Pro Tip: To make sure your fettuccine doesn’t stick together when cooking, add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the boiling water before adding the pasta. This will help keep them separate so they don’t clump up!

4. Fusilli


Fusilli is a type of pasta that is shaped like a corkscrew or spiral. It’s made from durum wheat flour, water and sometimes eggs.

Fusilli is often used in salads, soups and casseroles because it holds its shape well when cooked.

Fusilli pairs perfectly with Bolognese sauce because the ridges on the pasta help to hold onto the sauce better than other types of pasta.

The texture of fusilli also adds an interesting twist to your dish – it’s not as soft as spaghetti but still has a nice bite to it!

5. Penne


Penne is a type of pasta that is shaped like a tube, with the ends cut diagonally.

It is one of the most popular types of pasta in Italy and around the world.

Penne can be served with a variety of sauces, from light tomato-based sauces to creamy Alfredo sauce.

Penne pairs especially well with Bolognese sauce because its shape helps it hold onto more sauce than other pastas.

The ridges on penne also help to trap small pieces of meat or vegetables in the sauce, making each bite even more flavorful!

Pro Tip: To make sure your penne doesn’t get too mushy when cooked, add it to boiling water and stir occasionally until al dente (tender but still slightly firm). Then drain and serve immediately!

6. Farfalle


Farfalle, also known as bow-tie pasta or butterfly pasta, is a type of Italian pasta.

It is made from durum wheat flour and water and comes in many sizes.

Farfalle are usually served with sauces such as pesto, tomato sauce, or Bolognese.

Farfalle has a unique shape that makes it great for scooping up chunky sauces like Bolognese.

The ridges on the surface of the pasta help to hold onto the sauce better than other types of pasta.

Plus, its fun shape adds an extra bit of flair to any dish!

Pro Tip: To get perfectly cooked farfalle every time, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add your farfalle.

Boil for 8-10 minutes until al dente (tender but still firm). Drain and serve with your favorite sauce!

7. Cavatappi


Cavatappi is a type of pasta that is shaped like a corkscrew.

It has ridges on the outside and a hollow center, making it perfect for holding sauces.

Cavatappi is also known as cellentani or amori, depending on where you are in the world.

This type of pasta works especially well with Bolognese sauce because its shape helps to hold onto all the delicious flavors and ingredients in the sauce.

The ridges also help to create an extra layer of texture when combined with other ingredients such as ground beef, tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs.

Pro Tip: To make your Bolognese even more flavorful, try adding some red wine to the sauce while it’s simmering!

This will give it an extra depth of flavor that pairs perfectly with cavatappi noodles.

8. Orecchiette


Orecchiette is a type of pasta originating from the region of Apulia in Southern Italy.

The name comes from the Italian word for ‘ear’, as the shape resembles a small ear.

It is traditionally made with durum wheat semolina, water and salt.

Orecchiette has a unique texture that makes it perfect for holding sauces like Bolognese.

Its ridges help to capture all of the delicious flavors, making every bite even more flavorful!

Plus, its shape gives it an interesting look on your plate that will make your dish stand out.


In conclusion, there are a variety of different types of pasta that are perfect for Bolognese.

Each type of pasta has its own unique texture and flavor that pairs perfectly with the rich and flavorful sauce.

The best types of pasta for Bolognese are spaghetti, rigatoni, fettuccine, fusilli, penne, farfalle, cavatappi, and orecchiette. All of these types of pasta are delicious and can be used interchangeably depending on what you have on hand or what you’re in the mood for.

So, the next time you’re looking for the perfect pasta for your Bolognese, reach for one of these 8 types of pasta and enjoy a delicious and flavorful meal.

Bolognese Sauce

8 Best Types of Pasta for Bolognese

As an Italian food lover, I'm always looking for different ways to enjoy a classic like Bolognese. In this article, I'm sharing my top 8 types of pasta to use when making Bolognese. I'll tell you all about each one, including the texture, flavor, and cooking time, and give you some tips on how to choose the right type for your dish. Whether you're a pasta pro or just starting out, you'll find something here that'll take your Bolognese to the next level!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 360 kcal


  • Spaghetti
  • Rigatoni
  • Fettuccine
  • Fusilli
  • Penne
  • Farfalle
  • Cavatappi
  • Orecchiette


  • Pick your favorite pasta from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected pasta with the proper ratio of ingredients.
jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.