Fusilli voted Britain’s favourite pasta shape – but not everyone agrees

Fusilli voted Britain’s favourite pasta shape – but not everyone agrees

Brits certainly have a lot of love for pasta, with YouGov reporting that 68% of people eat it every week. And when there are roughly 350 different pas

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Brits certainly have a lot of love for pasta, with YouGov reporting that 68% of people eat it every week. And when there are roughly 350 different pasta shapes to choose from, it’s only natural that everyone will have their own preferences. However, there was plenty of disagreement after a YouGov survey revealed what the nation’s favourite is. Fusilli  — the corkscrew-like spiral-shaped pasta — came out on top, with 19% of Brits naming it as their number one choice. After this was announced, many people went on to express their outrage over the results online.

What’s wrong with fusilli?

Many disgruntled people were complaining as they considered fusilli to be quite bland, including one Twitter user who took its victory as proof of “what a boring country we are”. Whereas others believed it was most commonly served to children, and therefore merely described it as “a kids pasta”.


That said, nothing is wrong with fusilli, in fact it can be the best choice depending on the sauce you serve with it. As noted by Inspiration Feed’s sauce and pasta pairing guide, fusilli works perfectly with light or oily sauces that cling to the twists, as well as meaty concoctions that can be captured in the small crevices.

How did other pastas fare?

As well as astonishment over fusilli’s victory, there was also surprise that some pasta shapes didn’t get a mention at all, most notably linguine, orzo and pappardelle. These are the pastas that did make the cut:

Spaghetti (15%)

At the heart of beloved classics including spaghetti bolognese, spaghetti carbonara, and spaghetti and meatballs, it’s no surprise that the ubiquitous long pasta ranked so highly.

Penne (11%)

Another pasta very familiar to Brits is penne. This cylindrical tube-shaped pasta is adept at catching and holding sauce within the tube and is commonly served with tomato-based kinds like marinara and arrabbiata.

Tagliatelle (10%)

Though it didn’t rank as highly as spaghetti, tagliatelle still holds a place in the UK’s heart. Saying that, the people who picked spaghetti should maybe reconsider, as tagliatelle is superior in some respects. As the experts at Pasta Evangelists point out: “The increased surface area of tagliatelle, along with its rough and porous texture, make it an ideal shape to contend with chunkier or more robust sauces.” This is why Italians will serve bolognese sauce with tagliatelle instead of spaghetti.

Tortellini (7%)

As delicious as tortellini is, its place in the rankings also proved divisive due to the fact it is a filled pasta. The sentiment was best summarised on Joe.co.uk: “Stuffed pasta cannot be compared to its unstuffed culinary brethren. Its quality is completely dependent on its stuffing. Spinach and ricotta? Mamma mia. Wild mushrooms? Not for me, Clive. How can a pasta with such varied forms be entered into this poll? Null and void.”

Conchiglie (7%)

The shell-shaped pasta is particularly hardworking. Not only is sauce captured inside the shell, it also adheres to the grooves on the outside. Conchiglie is available of different colours depending on what natural pigments are used (typically tomato extract, squid ink or spinach extract).

Farfalle (4%)

Though Brits typically describe farfalle as ‘bows’, the word actually means ‘butterfly’ in Italian and the pasta is supposed to resemble butterfly wings. This shape works with most sauces, but especially cream and tomato varieties.

Macaroni (4%)

Best known as the main ingredient in the hearty mac ‘n’ cheese, macaroni is a short pasta tubular pasta. Brits are probably most familiar with ‘elbow macaroni’, which is the curved variety. However, in Italy, maccheroni refers to straight, tubular, square-ended, short pasta.

Lasagne (3%)

Lasagne refers to the popular layered Italian dish as well as the wide, flat pasta it’s made from. Although, there is a difference between the singular lasagna (one sheet) and the plural lasagne (multiple sheets). This is thought to be one of the oldest types of pasta, originating in the Middle Ages.

Gnocchi (3%)

While gnocchi is generally grouped in with pastas as similar ingredients are used, many people consider it a dumpling as potato is the main ingredient. Like pasta, these little lumps are also cooked in boiling water and served with a sauce.

Rigatoni (2%)

Rigatoni is another tubular pasta, larger than penne and sometimes slightly curved but not as much as elbow macaroni. As well as size, another key difference between rigatoni and penne is that the former has square-cut ends instead of diagonal ones. Although only 2% of Brits named it as their favourite, rigatoni is immensely popular in southern Italy, particularly Sicily.