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Maccheroni: Everything About the Pasta Shape

Maccheroni, or maccherone, is an umbrella term for most pasta shapes that appear tubular, short, and curvilinear. It is more commonly known nowadays as “macaroni.”

The history of maccheroni is extremely widespread that different places have different meanings for it. Generally speaking, maccheroni refers to dry pasta, often tubular, that is made with durum-wheat flour and water. 

In this article, we’ll talk about maccheroni pasta and even provide delicious recipes you can try yourself. Let’s get into it!

Maccheroni: Origin and Meaning

Here’s a table with essential facts about maccheroni: 

Pasta Shape:Maccheroni
Pasta Type:Tube-shaped Pasta, Ribbon-shaped Pasta
Similar Shapes:Rigatoni, Elbow Macaroni, Ziti

Where Did Maccheroni Originate?

Despite its hazy history, experts are certain that maccheroni came from Italy. In the northern part of the country, a region dominated by rice and polenta, maccheroni refers to a specific type of pasta that is often tube-shaped. Move south, however, and the etymology shifts completely. The word maccheroni is often used in the south as a generic term for any dry pasta, be it rigatoni or spaghetti.  

Various Italian dictionaries even claim that maccheroni means pasta in general, and does not pertain to a single specific shape. Although the etymology of the word is uncertain, one thing is clear: maccheroni is a staple in all parts of Italy. 

What Does Maccheroni Mean?

In the most general sense, the name “maccheroni” means pasta. Although the specifics of this term change depending on the location, the main definition that remains unchanged is that maccheroni refers to any type of pasta.  

What Is the Difference Between Maccheroni and Macaroni?

In Italy, “maccheroni” refers to any fresh or dry pasta made with durum-wheat flour and water. Outside of Italy, however, the term “macaroni” is more widely known. 

Macaroni is often synonymous with elbow macaroni, but it can also mean other types of tube-shaped pasta. 

Dishes Suitable for Maccheroni Pasta

Here are some traditional dishes you can make with maccheroni pasta:

Macaroni and Cheese

Arguably one of the most popular dishes that feature macaroni pasta, Mac and Cheese is a classic American comfort food that marries any tube-shaped pasta with a thick, gooey cheese sauce.  

Maccheroni al Ferretto Pasta with Beef Ragu

Because the word “maccheroni” is such an umbrella term, there really is no limit to what ingredients you can experiment with. This particular dish calls for any pasta shape with nooks and crannies that you can then fill up with a hearty, meaty ragu.  

These simple but delicious dishes are just a few ways to enjoy maccheroni pasta.  

Final Thoughts 

Depending on where you come from or where you are, the term “maccheroni” may have different meanings. In the simplest sense of the word, it just means pasta. This means it’s up to you to define it and make sure it stands out on your next culinary adventure. 

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