Mostaccioli VS Penne Pasta: What Is The Difference?

The world of pasta is so wonderful.

The variety is so rich and creative!

Although they come from similar ingredients, the shapes are different from one to another.

What’s the difference between mostaccioli and penne pasta?

Penne is actually a type of pasta that comes in ridged variety and smooth variety (with the ridged one being the common definition) while mostaccioli is the type of penne pasta with a smooth texture.

It’s fascinating how the pasta is available in a very wide choice of variety.

This article will explain about penne and mostaccioli.

What is Penne?

Penne is a variety of pasta with a tubular shape and angled cut in the edges.

Most probably this pasta got its name from its shape. The shape looks like the point of a quill or pen, and the word penne means pen.

Penne is made of semolina and/or durum wheat flour.

Penne is actually a type of pasta that comes in ridged variety and smooth variety.

However, in the everyday definition, penne pasta is usually meant the ridged penne.

A smooth variety of penne is usually sold under a different name.

What is Mostaccioli?

Well, actually, mostaccioli is a variety of penne that it’s smooth in texture.

Mostaccioli means little mustache.

It is made of durum wheat flour and/or semolina.

If you don’t like ridged pasta and the recipe calls for penne (which usually meant the ridged penne), you can use mostaccioli instead.

Mostaccioli Vs Penne

Mostaccioli is actually a variety of penne.

The difference between mostaccioli and the common penne is the outer texture.

Penne and mostaccioli look like tubes, with angled-cut edges.

However, penne has a ridged shell while mostaccioli isn’t. Mostaccioli is smooth in texture.

In the US, you might find mostaccioli with a slightly bigger size compared to regular penne.

What is penne best for?

Penne is best for heavy sauce and baking.

So, if you’re into thick meaty tomato sauce or casserole, don’t forget to consider penne.

Penne is also great for salad, especially when the dressing is thick and creamy.

However, if you want to make a dish with light sauce or just a drizzle of olive oil, penne isn’t the best option for it.

What is mostaccioli for?

Since the purpose of different pasta is strongly related to its shape and size, the usage of ridged penne and mostaccioli isn’t so much different.

Just like penne pasta, you can use mostaccioli in heavy sauce (think tomato sauce with minced meat).

Using mostaccioli in a salad with creamy dressing is also a good idea.

And if you want to make baked pasta, you can surely use the mostaccioli variety.

Can you substitute penne for mostaccioli?

Yes, of course!

If you don’t mind a lot about texture, you can substitute common penne (the ridged one) for mostaccioli and vice versa.

Both of them have a similar shape, size, and taste. And most importantly.. they are made of the same basic ingredients!

There might be a little difference in appearance, but if you combine each of them in a thick, creamy sauce, the difference isn’t too noticeable!

Final Thought

Mostaccioli is actually the variety of penne pasta.

Both of them are great for thick sauces such as meaty tomato sauce or creamy alfredo sauce. Both of them are great to make baked dishes.

Although the everyday penne and mostaccioli differ in the outer texture, they can be used interchangeably since the overall shape, taste, and ingredients are the same.

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