The Ultimate Noodles Quiz


By: Jacqueline Samaroo

6 Min Quiz

Image: Patrizia Savarese / DigitalVision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

It's oodles of noodles! Get ready for a mouthwatering experience which is sure to leave your taste buds begging for more!

Noodles are an integral part of the cuisine of many cultures around the world. They can be found as the pasta varieties of Italy, the dumplings of Central Europe and the stringy rice noodles of Asia. 

While they are frequently made with wheat or rice, there are other types of noodles, such as those made from barley or potato. What remains constant, however, is the fact that noodles just seem to go well with almost anything, which probably explains their enduring popularity.

Many noodles are named for their shapes, and those shapes are often as practical as they are intriguing. They include cylinders, spirals and ribbons, as well as intricate twists and curls. There are even those which take their names from body parts - a few of which should immediately spring to mind. Can you name them if you see them? Jump into the quiz and see how you do!

We all love to eat them, but not everyone takes time to really get to know them. If you are a true noodle connoisseur, are you ready to test your noodle against this really neat noodle quiz? Get started, now!

Can you identify this pasta which shares its name with a snail’s home?

Shell pasta (or conchiglie) is made in large, medium and small sizes. The small shells can be added to soups and stews to make them more filling, while the medium shells work well in casseroles as they capture some of the sauce inside them. The large shells are ideal for stuffing, baking and perhaps serving up as appetizers.


Do you recognize the stringy pasta shown here?

The strands of spaghetti are thin and at least 10 inches long. Spaghetti is a great choice for pasta which is to be tossed in or served with plenty of sauce. They are an integral part of the iconic spaghetti and meatballs dish, as well as the tasty spaghetti sandwich from Australia.


Which pasta, whose name is in a Yankee Doodle song, is shown here?

Macaroni is one of the more common types of pasta. It can be made as straight tubes or as short curves called elbows. Macaroni can be used as an ingredient in salads and soups, as well as in casseroles and other baked dishes


Can you identify this pasta which takes its name from a writing implement?

Penne pasta is typically short, stout tubes with their ends cut at an angle. They may be penne lisce, meaning they are smooth on the outside, or penne rigate which have ridges right around. Being hollow makes penne pasta a good choice for dishes served with plenty of sauce.


What is the heavenly sounding name of this pasta?

Angel hair pasta (known as “capelli d'angelo” in Italian) is made in very thin and delicate strands which cook rather quickly. It is often tossed with light sauces or it may be served in soups. Seafood also makes a good accompaniment for angel hair pasta.


What are these transparent Chinese noodles called?

Although they are popularly referred to as cellophane noodles, these transparent noodles are also called glass noodles, thread noodles or slippery noodles. They are also known as bean threads, which refers to the fact that they are often made from mung beans. Cellophane noodles can also be made from potato and yam starch.


Can you identify this pasta whose name means “little tongues”?

Linguine pasta has its roots in the northwestern regions of Italy. These long, not-quite-flat noodles are great for tossing in sauce and are frequently served with seafood dishes (traditionally clams) or pesto.


Can you identify this ribbon-like pasta which goes with “Alfredo”?

This egg noodle is most often associated with Fettuccine Alfredo – a dish in which the fettuccine is tossed in a sauce of Parmesan cheese and butter. Fettuccine, however, is a common accompaniment to various meat-based sauces, such as ragus.


Do you recognize this pasta whose name means “little worms"?

Cooked vermicelli pasta looks just as its name suggests – like little worms. This is true whether it is traditional Italian vermicelli or similarly shaped rice noodles found in parts of Asia and Africa.


Can you name this pasta with the filling inside?

Ravioli are pasta pockets made up of pasta dough folded over a tasty filling. They can be served on their own, perhaps with olive oil lightly drizzled over it. Ravioli can also be placed in soups or have a generous helping of sauce poured over them.


Do you know what this wider version of the fettuccine is called?

Pappardelle is a long, flat pasta from the Tuscany region in Italy. It is made with the edges either straight or fluted (rippled). Pappardelle is often served tossed in meaty sauces.


Can you correctly name these Japanese wheat noodles?

These fat, chewy noodles are a popular part of Southern Japanese cuisine. They are often sold fresh, which is when they have the best texture. Udon noodles are typically served in broths where they pair well with seafood and chopped scallion.


Do you recognize this tiny pasta with a name meaning “pepper berries”?

Acini di pepe are very small, rounded pasta which is sometimes called pastina (for “tiny dough”). It is traditionally added to soup served at a wedding since it is thought to improve fertility. Actually, acini di pepe can be used in a wide variety of other soups on any occasion and is also often served in cold salads.


These stout cylinders go by what name?

Ziti resemble penne pasta but tend to be wider. Whereas the ends of penne are cut at an angle, ziti is usually cut straight across. Just like penne (and many other pasta varieties), ziti may have smooth sides (ziti lisce) or ridges (ziti rigate).


Can you identify the pasta spirals shown here?

Rotini (meaning “spirals” or “twists”) is often used interchangeably with fusilli (meaning little spindles). Both types of pasta are shaped like a helix but rotini has its loops closer together. Rotini and fusilli are both good choices for adding bulk to salads or for use with sauce-filled dishes.


Can you name these flat pasta sheets which are often made into a casserole?

Lasagna is traditionally used in layered dishes which include meats, sauce, cheeses and vegetables. In modern day cooking, the lasagna pasta gives its name to the well-known lasagna casserole dish.


Which pasta that takes its name from a body part is shown here?

The elbow is a variety of macaroni pasta – still hollow but made short and curved instead of straight and long. It is very well known and is often the preferred type of macaroni to use in classic macaroni and cheese dishes.


What other name does this bow tie or butterfly pasta go by?

Although they are frequently called bow tie pasta, the Italian word “farfalle” actually means “butterfly.” Farfalle goes well in cold pasta salads and can also be served tossed in creamy or cheesy sauces.


Do you recognize these German noodles whose name means “little sparrows”?

Spätzle noodles are a part of the local cuisine in several regions throughout Europe, although its name varies by location. It is usually served as part of a sweet or savory dish, accompanied by plenty of sauce.


What name is given to these soft and tasty dumplings?

Small, soft gnocchi dumplings can be enjoyed on their own with just some butter and a sprinkling of cheese. They are also often served with pesto or covered in rich thick sauce.


Which name is given to these navel-shaped pasta?

Tortellini are stuffed, bite-sized pasta which are described as both ring-shaped and navel-shaped (which is why they sometimes go by the name ombelico). If tortellini are made in a large size, then they become tortelloni and can hold plenty more delicious stuffing inside.


Can you name this barley pasta which looks like large rice grains?

Orzo is a small but versatile type of pasta. It is often added to salads, soups and rice, as well as cooked on its own to mimic risotto and other rice dishes. There are also naturally and artificially colored versions of orzo.


Do you know the name of this thick German noodle?

Schupfnudeln are short, fat, rolled noodles similar to the Italian pasta known as gnocchi. They can be found as a part of the cuisine in areas of southern Germany and Austria. One popular way to serve Schupfnudeln is pan-fried with sauerkraut and bacon bits.


Do you know what this variety of stamped pasta is called?

Corzetti are thin, circular pasta which are stamped with a decorative design. The design works like the ridges and ruffles found on other types of pasta, providing spaces for sauce to accumulate on the pasta. Wooden stamps can be bought for making corzetti at home.


Can you name these thick, short Austrian noodles?

Although “mohnnudeln” means “poppy seed noodles,” it is not the noodles themselves which contain poppy seeds – it is the dish they are traditionally served in. The noodles are actually made from potato dough.


Can you identify the Chinese “meat noodle” in this photo?

Despite its name translating to “meat noodle,” bakmi is not made of meat. It is a seasoned, yellow wheat noodle which is often served topped with a both minced and barbecued pork. It can also be served stir-fried with meat, vegetables and egg.


What name does this wagon wheel lookalike pasta go by?

Rotelle pasta gets its name from its wagon wheel shape. It is often confused with the fiori pasta, which is somewhat similar in appearance. Close inspection will show, however, that fiori is actually flower-shape (as its Italian name suggests).


Do you recognize these very thin Chinese wheat noodles?

Misua are very long and very thin wheat noodles which originated in southeast China. They are highly regarded in traditional Chinese cuisine and are often associated with both birthdays and longevity. Misua dishes frequently include some sort of seafood.


What is the name of the ruffled pasta shown here?

Radiatori is a short, stout and very ruffled pasta which is frequently used in casseroles and can help to add bulk to soups. Its deep ruffles mean that radiatori can stand up to use with heavy sauces.


Which “twinning” pasta is shown in this image?

Gemelli pasta gets its name from the Italian word for “twin.” It is made to look like two intertwined pieces of noodles but in fact, it is just one hollow tube formed into a spiral shape.


What name does the corkscrew pasta shown here go by?

Cavatappi in Italian translates to corkscrew in English, which is what this slender, spiraling pasta resembles. It is described as a macaroni and is a common choice for use in making macaroni and cheese.


What name is given to these small ear-shaped pasta?

Orecchiette are small, dome-shaped pasta which get used in many different dishes but work particularly well with heavy sauces which also include vegetables and chunks of meat. Some versions of orecchiette are slightly larger and may have ridges on the inside.


What is this hollow, spaghetti-like pasta called?

Since it is a long, thin pasta, bucatini is very much like spaghetti but with one main difference – it is hollow. Bucatini pasta makes a good addition to rich, creamy sauces and casseroles.


Can you name the tiny pasta rings shown here?

These thin pasta rings which are traditionally added to salads and soups are much more common than most people realize. They are the tasty rings in Campbell’s SpaghettiOs.


Can you name this pasta which is traditionally served with Bolognese sauce?

Tagliatelle is a long, thin egg pasta which is very much like fettuccini but somewhat narrower. A bolognese sauce which includes ground meat is normally served over cooked tagliatelle in a dish called “tagliatelle al ragu.”


Can you identify this pasta which is named for its ridges?

Rigatoni means “large ridges,” which describe the grooves on the outside of these short tubes. They look very much like a larger version of both penne (with ends cut straight) and ziti rigate (ziti with ridges). Rigatoni make a delicious addition to salads which also include chunky pieces of meat and vegetables.


Which small and curly pasta is shown in this picture?

Riccioli in Italian means “curls” while ricciolini means “little curls.” Riccioli pasta has a series of curls forming a spiral but the smaller ricciolini is a single twist. This variety of pasta is said to have originated in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy.


These thin “little hairs” of pasta are referred to by what name?

Capellini is similar to spaghetti in that it is made in the shape of very narrow and very long solid cylinders. Even though the strands are quite thin, capellini pasta is the bigger version of angel hair pasta which is called “capelli d'angelo” in Italian.


Which bell-shaped pasta is shown in this image?

Campanelle (little bells) have ruffles around their edges, helping them to hold copious amounts of thick sauce when used in cheesy, creamy or meaty dishes. For this reason, campanelle pasta is often cooked in casseroles.


These rolled cylinders go by what name?

Cannelloni pasta is most often served stuffed, baked and with copious amounts of sauce poured over the top. While they can be bought as pre-formed cylinders, cannelloni are traditionally made as flat sheets and which are then rolled around the filling.


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