Tiny Wheels Italian Soup Pasta Shapes
Italians are quite fond of soup, and combine that with their fondness for pasta. Many tiny soup shapes are available, the larger for substantial soups and the smallest for broths.


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Numbers:   The numbers given here are CloveGarden numbers and have no relation to Italian die numbers, which vary with manufacturer.

Ancini di Pepe   -   [005]
Ancini di Pepe 005

This is a small soup pasta made from cylinders cut to a very short length so the length is about the same as the diameter. These were 0.90 inch diameter by 0.90 inch long.

Alfabeto   -   [066; Alphabets]
Alfabeto 066

This is a small soup pasta particularly popular for children's soups. For the photo specimens, "M" size was 0.17 inch wide, 0.22 inch high and 0.08 inch thick.

Anelli
Small ring shaped pastas used in salads and soups. Larger than anelletti.

Anelletti   -   [267; tiny rings]
Anelletti 267

These tiny rings are intended for use in soups. The photo specimens were 0.48 inch diameter, 0.105 inch thick and had a wall thickness of 0.85 inch. These were made in Italy but packaged "private label" for Trader Joe's.

Anellini   -   [013; very tiny rings]
Anellini 013

These very tiny rings are intended for use in soups. The photo specimens were 0.23 inch diameter and 0.075 inch thick.

Anellonii   -   [298; Rings]
Anellonii 298

These are generally used in soups. The photo specimens were 0.50 inch diameter, 0.115 inch thick and had a wall thickness of 0.95 inch

Astri   -   Small soup stars - see Stelline.

Avena   -   see Orzo.

Caracolito - Spanish for tiny soup shells, see Perline.

Coralli / Corallini   -   [170]
Very tiny short soup pasta tubes. Corallini is about 0.14 inch diameter by 0.18 inch long. Coralli is a little larger.

Ditalini   -   [171; Tiny Thimbles]
Ditalini 171

Under magnification these proved to be ditalini rigate. The photo specimens are very tiny, 0.19 inch long, 0.18 inch diameter. Good particularly for soups.

Elbows, Tiny   -   [270]
Tiny Elbows 270

These exceptionally small elbows are fine for soups and salads. The photo specimens were 0.46 inch across and 0.12 inch diameter.

Farfallini   -   [084; Soup Bows]
Farfallini 084

This seems rather confused. People call these "Farfallini", but that would imply the same shape as Farfalle, but they are quite different. Perhaps they are a tiny variety of Farfalle Rotonde (farfalle with round ends - very rare - but I found a Turkish company that does call these by that name). Most likely these should actually have been labeled Tripolini. Lots of manufacturers admit to making Tripolini in this shape but few list a Farfallini at all. These are for soup, about 0.70 inch long.

Filini   -   [165]
Filini 165

Tiny soup threads. The photo specimens were about 0.30 inch diameter and 0.50 inch long.

Fregola Sarda   -   [120; Fregula]
Fregola Sarda 120

"Sardinian Couscous" (0.09 to 0.15" diameter) is though by some to be the ancestor of all Italian dried pastas. Sardinia maintained trade with North Africa for much of its history, so this form may have been brought from there, or taken from there to Africa. Unlike other Italian pastas it is made from a coarser grind of semolina and is lightly oven toasted.

Funghetti   -   [231; Tiny Mushrooms]
Funghetti 231

This is one of my favorite forms of soup pasta. Shaped like tiny mushrooms with stems, the photo specimens were 0.41 inch across the cap and 0.28 inch tall.

Gnocchetti   -   [067; Gnocchi Picoli]
A smaller version of the Gnocchi pasta. 0.75 inch long, 0.50 inch wide.

Grattoni   -   [174]
Tiny diamond shaped soup pasta. Some brands are made as egg noodles.

Margheritine   -   [073]
A smaller version of Margherite (daisies) for use in soups.

Occhi di Pernice   -   [185]
Tiny rings.

Orecchiette Piccole     [306]
Orecchiette Piccole 306 These are much like regular Orecchiette, but significantly smaller (the piccole part). The photo specimens were 0.62 inch diameter and 0.26 inch deep.

Orzo   -   [019; Barley, Avena, Semi di Cicoria, Semi d'orzo, Risetto, Chicchi di Riso, Semini, Puntine, Punte d'ago, Armelline, Occhi di Giudeo, Armellette, Puntalette, Cicorietta, Risetto, Cicorie]
Orzo 019

To the North American eye, these don't look at all like barley, but actually, unhulled barley is that shape. What you see sold as "barley" here has been husked and heavily milled (pearled). This pasta is often used to replace rice, as in a rice salad, and is interchangeable with Rosmarino. The photo specimens were 0.42 inch long, 0.12 inch wide and 0.06 inch thick.

Pastina   -   [204]
Pastina 204 Tiny soup stars, just .105" across, very popular in children's soups. Also used as a generic term for tiny soup pasta (Pastine)

Pastine   -   [186]
A generic name for any tiny soup pastas.

Pearl Pasta   -   [187]
Tiny spheres a little larger than Acini di Pepe.

Peperina   -   [156; Peppercorns]
Peperina 156

Tiny cylinders which cook to about the size of peppercorns. Used mainly in thin soups. The photo specimens were 0.080 inch diameter and random lengths, most shorter than 0.18 inch.

Perline   -   [266; Caracolito (Spanish)]
Perline 266

These are actually the very smallest version of shells (Conchiglie) and are intended for use in soups. The photo specimens were 0.27 inch long and 0.22 inch wide.

Rici   -   [304; Rice]
Rici 304

These are much like Orzo but significantly smaller. Their main use would be as a substitute for rice in soups. The photo specimens were 0.25 inch long, 0.105 inch wide and 0.060 inch thick.

Rosmarino   -   [268]
Rosmarino 268

Named for its resemblance to the leaves of the rosemary plant (yes there are some varieties with leaves that short), this pasta is interchangeable Orzo. It is often used to replace rice, as in replacing the rice in a salad with pasta. The photo specimens were 0.38 inch long, 0.125 inch wide and 0.060 inch thick.

Ruedas   -   [276; Tiny Wagon Wheels]
Ruedas 276

I'm using the Spanish name here because I don't yet know what they call this tiny size in Italy. These were made in Mexico, but I find it inconceivable they don't have them in Italy. These are good for soup, 0.38 inch diameter, 0.11 inch thick. Yes, the Mexican manufacturer used durum semolina.

Semi di Cicoria - Chicory Seeds
A very tiny rice shaped pasta (.245" x .090") used in thin soups.

Semi di Melone   -   [299: Melon Seeds; Semilla de Melón (Spanish)]
Semi di Melone 299

Named for its resemblance to the seeds of a melon, this pasta is used for salads and soups similarly to Orzo. The photo specimens were 0.23 inch long, 0.13 inch wide and 0.060 inch thick.

Semilla de Melón   -   [020: Melon Seeds]
Semilla di Melon 020

I've used the Spanish name here because these were made in Mexico. they are much larger than the 299 Semi di Melone, but I list them here because it is unlikely the Italians don't have this size - the dies probably came from Italy. This is not to say that Mexicans can't make their own dies, but why should they? This pasta is used for salads and soups similarly to Orzo. The photo specimens were 0.27 inch long, 0.16 inch wide and 0.050 inch thick.

Stelle   -   [178; Stars]
Stars, larger than Stelline.

Stelline   -   [117; Tiny Stars, Stelle, Stellettine, Astri, Fiori di Sambuco]
Stelline 117

This very tiny star shaped pasta is intended for use in soups. The photo specimens were 0.23 inch across the points and 0.070 inch thick.

Stortini,   -   [180 ("f" Form); 302 (elbow form)]
Here we have another major conflict. Some sites, and major Italian pasta maker De Cecco (founded 1886) say these have the form of an italic lower case f. Other sites and manufacturers say it is a soup sized elbow, similar to our #270, or even a little larger.

Tempestina   -   [188]
Tempestina 188

This is about as small as pasta gets, similar in size to Moroccan cusecuse. It is used as a soup pasta. The photo specimens were tiny cylinders, 0.075 inch diameter and 0.075 inch long.

Tripolini   -   [181; Soup Bows]
Tripolini 181

Tiny soup bows. These are sometimes called "Farfallini" but that seems improper. Most manufacturers list this as "Tripolini" and don't confess to making a Farfallini at all. These are for soup, about 0.70 inch long.

Tubetti   -   [182]
Very short smooth tubes, similar to #269 below except without ridges. These are used for salads and thicker soups.

Tubettini   -   [126]
Tubettini 126

Very tiny tubes, about as small as they can get and still have a hole down the center. These are used for soups. The photo specimens were 0.130 inch diameter and 0.225 inch long.

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