Tonnarelli Vs Spaghetti? A Guide

Tonnarelli and spaghetti are two types of long, thin pasta. They have some similarities but also key differences.


The main visible difference is that tonnarelli pasta is thicker than spaghetti. Tonnarelli is typically 2 to 3 millimeters wide. Spaghetti is thinner.

Tonnarelli also has a square cross section instead of being round like spaghetti. The square shape and thickness help sauces stick to tonnarelli better than smooth, thin spaghetti.

Video: Seafood Tonnarelli


When cooked, tonnarelli has a rougher, heartier texture than spaghetti. The extra thickness gives tonnarelli more of a bite.

Spaghetti has a smooth, delicate texture. It can turn mushy if overcooked.

Cooking Time

Because it is thicker, tonnarelli takes a few minutes longer to cook than spaghetti.

Tonnarelli is done in about 6 to 8 minutes. Spaghetti takes 5 to 7 minutes.

Sauce Pairings

The robust texture of tonnarelli stands up well to thick and chunky sauces with ingredients like meat, cheese, and vegetables.

Delicate spaghetti matches better with thin, smooth sauces like olive oil or simple tomato sauce.

Classic Dishes

Tonnarelli is famously used in the traditional Roman pasta cacio e pepe. This dish has just pecorino cheese and black pepper.

Spaghetti is known for pasta dishes like spaghetti aglio e olio from Naples with olive oil and garlic or spaghetti alle vongole from Rome with fresh clams.

Vide: Tonnarelli Alla Gricia Recipe

How Tonnarelli and Spaghetti Are Made

Both tonnarelli and spaghetti start with mixing water and semolina or durum wheat flour to make pasta dough. Eggs may also be added.

After kneading, the dough rests before being shaped. Spaghetti dough is pressed through an extruder to create long thin strands.

Tonnarelli dough is rolled flat then cut into long strips with a chitarra tool or special ridged rolling pin to get the square shape.

The pasta strands or strips are left to dry completely before cooking. Fresh egg pasta like tonnarelli can also be cooked right away instead of drying.


While tonnarelli and spaghetti are both long Italian pastas, they differ in thickness, texture, cooking time, and best sauce pairings. Tonnarelli stands up to chunky sauces because of its hearty bite. Thin spaghetti matches lighter, smooth sauces.

No matter your choice, both fresh and dried Italian pastas make for delicious meals and satisfying comfort food.

Video: with pasta grannies

What are some popular sauces to pair with tonnarelli

  1. Thick, chunky tomato sauces: The rough texture of tonnarelli stands up well to chunky tomato sauces, especially spicy ones. Chef Chris Curtiss recommends a “spicy tomato-based sauce” with tonnarelli.
  2. Carbonara or gricia sauce: These egg and pork based sauces pair nicely with tonnarelli according to multiple sources. The rich flavors complement the hearty pasta.
  3. Cacio e pepe: This classic Roman dish with just Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper is famously served over tonnarelli. The cheese and pepper stick to the thick, square noodles.
  4. Pesto or simple olive oil sauces: While rich meat sauces work well, tonnarelli also matches lighter basil pesto or olive oil and garlic sauces. The texture stands out with simple flavors.
  5. Seafood sauces: The unique dark color and slight salinity of squid ink tonnarelli makes an ideal base for sauces with shrimp, salmon, or other shellfish.

In summary, the versatile and robust tonnarelli pasta pairs nicely with a wide variety of sauces from thick tomato-based to simple olive oil to rich carbonara. Its signature hearty bite shines when matched well.

What makes Olave Premium Blend olive oil unique?

Olave Premium Blend olive oil stands out for its uniqueness due to several factors. Firstly, it originates from the renowned Mataquito Valley in Chile, a region with rich soil that imparts exceptional flavors to the olives. The resulting oil carries a distinctively sweet and fruity aroma, accompanied by a gentle spiciness that sets it apart from other mild all-purpose oils.

Another contributing factor to its uniqueness is the extraction process. Olave employs a centrifuge method, which they believe helps retain the essence of their distinct olives. This careful extraction process ensures that every bottle of Olave Premium Blend olive oil maintains its exceptional flavor profile, making it a truly world-class product from South America.

How does Bertolli Rich Taste olive oil differ in flavor?

Bertolli Rich Taste olive oil distinguishes itself with its prominent buttery flavor, setting it apart from other olive oils. Unlike zesty olive oils that can sometimes overpower the taste of a dish, Rich Taste complements a wide range of ingredients, enhancing their flavors without drawing excessive attention to itself.

This olive oil effortlessly elevates the taste of various dishes, making them even more enjoyable, while maintaining a harmonious balance with the overall flavor profile.

What is the certification of Pompeian Robust olive oil?

Pompeian Robust olive oil holds the esteemed certification from the NAOOA (North American Olive Oil Association), guaranteeing that it is indeed 100% authentic olive oil. This certification entails rigorous independent testing procedures to ensure the authenticity and purity of the oil, providing consumers with the assurance that they are choosing a genuine and high-quality product.

Where does Kouzini Ultra Premium Greek Raw Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil source its olives from?

Kouzini Ultra Premium Greek Raw Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil sources its olives exclusively from the Lakonia region of Greece. The olives used to produce this unfiltered oil are carefully selected from this specific region, ensuring the highest quality and authentic Greek flavor in every drop.

What are the flavors of Monini Nocellara Extra-Virgin Olive Oil?

Monini Nocellara Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is characterized by its distinct flavors of bitterness and pepperiness. Made from freshly squeezed olives, this oil showcases strong and robust taste notes that add a unique and vibrant dimension to your dishes.

What is the price range of Colavita Premium Selection olive oil?

The price range of Colavita Premium Selection olive oil falls around $20 per bottle. It offers the perfect balance between affordability and the high-quality attributes typically associated with premium olive oils, such as depth and complexity.

What is special about Tenuta Di Capezzana Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Tenuta Di Capezzana Extra Virgin Olive Oil stands out for its remarkable qualities. Esteemed food importer, Manicaretti, praises this oil for its vibrant, electric-green hue and its exceptional flavor profile. With herbaceous and nutty notes, it offers a unique and delightful taste experience.

The versatility of this olive oil is noteworthy as well, as it can be used as a substitute for butter and cream in mashed potatoes, adding a fresh twist to this classic dish.

With its exceptional characteristics and culinary potential, Tenuta Di Capezzana Extra Virgin Olive Oil is truly a standout choice for any discerning palate.

What are the qualities of O-Live & Co. Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

O-Live & Co. Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil is distinctively known for its mild and easygoing qualities. Unlike many other brands that boast about their unique flavors, O-Live & Co. focuses on delivering a smooth and balanced taste. While it still possesses the expected fruitiness of extra virgin olive oil, it sets itself apart by ensuring there is no bitterness or harsh bite that can restrict its usage in certain dishes.

Despite its mildness, O-Live & Co. Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil is far from forgettable. It has been recognized for its exceptional quality and awarded the gold medal at the prestigious LA International EVOO competition.

O-Live & Co. Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil originates from South America, specifically from 100% Chilean olives. The combination of its mild yet flavorful profile, along with its origin, makes this olive oil an excellent choice for a wide range of culinary applications.

What is the pedigree of Nunez de Prado olive oil?

Nunez de Prado olive oil boasts an impressive legacy, spanning over seven generations of the same family. The mill is currently managed by two dedicated brothers who carry the torch as the seventh generation in their family’s olive oil business.

The historic journey of Nunez de Prado began back in the year 1795, reflecting a rich heritage and longstanding tradition in the art of producing superior-quality olive oil. This remarkable pedigree has contributed to the brand’s reputation as a highly esteemed and trusted name in the olive oil industry.

Where does Bragg source its olive oil from?

Bragg exclusively sources its olive oil from Greek Koroneiki olives without any filtration process. While this unconventional method may reduce the shelf life, it helps in preserving unique flavor components that are absent in filtered olive oils.

What are some reputable olive oil brands in the U.S. market?

There are several reputable olive oil brands in the U.S. market that offer high-quality options for various culinary needs. These brands have gained recognition and trust among consumers. Here are some notable olive oil brands:

  1. California Olive Ranch: Known for their 100% California olives, California Olive Ranch produces a versatile extra virgin olive oil with a moderately intense flavor. This brand ensures the authenticity and quality of their oil, providing a reliable option for everyday cooking.
  2. Kirkland Signature Organic: Costco’s in-house brand, Kirkland Signature, offers an excellent organic extra virgin olive oil. With favorable taste and a cost-effective price point, Kirkland Signature is a reliable choice for those who consume olive oil regularly.
  3. Filippo Berio: Filippo Berio is a well-established brand that offers a wallet-friendly option without compromising on quality. This brand provides an extra virgin olive oil with a balanced flavor profile, making it suitable for both cooking and finishing dishes.
  4. La Tourangelle: La Tourangelle is a brand with a French name but produces olive oil sourced from Spain’s Andalusia region. Their organic extra virgin olive oil has a distinctive spicy and peppery taste, ideal for use as a finishing oil or drizzling over bread. The metal bottle helps preserve the oil’s freshness for an extended period.
  5. Texas Olive Ranch: Texas Olive Ranch stands out with its domestically produced olive oil. Their Texas Arbequina extra virgin olive oil is made from Spanish olive varieties. It has a unique flavor profile with pronounced notes of ripe fruit and cracked black pepper, perfect for adding a last-minute touch to grilled foods or pasta dishes.
  6. Whole Foods Market: Whole Foods offers a wide range of store-brand olive oils, including their Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Morocco. This particular option highlights the country’s deep cultural ties to olives and features a single-origin production. Whole Foods also provides other region-specific olive oils, offering consumers the opportunity to explore flavors influenced by different production regions.
  7. Lucini: Lucini offers olive oil pressed from olives grown in Argentina. Their Everyday Extra Virgin oil is a mild and versatile choice for cooking purposes. For a more intense flavor, Lucini’s Premium Select olive oil, made from hand-picked Italian olives, is an excellent option.

These reputable brands provide consumers with reliable choices for various cooking applications. Whether you’re looking for a versatile all-purpose olive oil or a unique finishing oil, these brands offer quality options in the U.S. market.

What are some common concerns with imported olive oil in the U.S. market?

There are several common concerns with imported olive oil in the U.S. market. One major concern is the prevalence of rancid or defective olive oil being sold as extra virgin.

Many experts have voiced their worry that the U.S. has become a dumping ground for such low-quality olive oil. This includes light olive oil being falsely labeled as extra virgin, as well as spoiled oil that would not meet the standards of consumers in other countries.

Another concern is the difficulty in differentiating between genuine high-quality olive oil and inferior options. With a significant amount of questionable or adulterated oil circulating in the market, it becomes increasingly challenging for consumers to determine which brands can be trusted.

Addditionally, it has been observed that many U.S. consumers actually prefer cheaper olive oil, despite its lower quality compared to cold-pressed options. This preference for inexpensive alternatives further perpetuates the circulation of subpar olive oil in the market, making it even harder for consumers to find trustworthy brands.

In summary, the U.S. market for imported olive oil faces concerns such as the prevalence of rancid or defective oil, the difficulty in distinguishing between authentic high-quality oil and lower-quality alternatives, and the strong preference for cheaper options that contributes to the circulation of subpar products.

What are some recommended olive oil brands for cooking?

When it comes to cooking, there are several highly recommended olive oil brands that can enhance the flavor of your dishes. Here are some options:

  1. Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This brand offers high-quality extra virgin olive oil that is perfect for cooking. It has a rich, robust flavor and a high smoke point, making it suitable for a variety of cooking techniques, including sautéing and roasting.
  2. Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Colavita is a well-known brand that produces excellent extra virgin olive oil. It is made from carefully selected olives and has a smooth, fruity taste that complements a wide range of recipes. Its versatility and quality make it a popular choice for cooking.
  3. California Olive Ranch Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This brand is known for its premium quality olive oils. Their Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a great option for cooking as it has a well-balanced flavor and a higher smoke point. It is made from olives grown in California and is carefully crafted to deliver a delicious taste to your dishes.
  4. Partanna Extra Virgin Olive Oil: If you are looking for an authentic Italian olive oil, Partanna is a great choice. Made from olives grown in Sicily, this extra virgin olive oil has a rich and fruity flavor that adds depth to your cooking. It is ideal for various cooking methods, including grilling, frying, and sautéing.
  5. O-Live & Co. Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This premium brand offers a high-quality extra virgin olive oil that is perfect for cooking. It is made from hand-picked olives and has a distinct flavor profile with hints of green grass and a peppery finish. Its versatility and robust flavor make it an excellent choice for all your cooking needs.

Remember, when selecting an olive oil for cooking, it is important to choose one labeled as “extra virgin” as it undergoes minimal processing and retains its natural flavors and health benefits. Also, consider the smoke point of the oil, which determines the temperature at which it starts to break down and smoke, as this can affect the taste and quality of your dishes.

What are some traditional dishes that use ziti?

Traditionally, ziti is a type of pasta commonly used in various traditional dishes.

One popular dish is ziti served in a rich meat ragù sauce, where the hollowed center of the ziti captures the flavors and enhances the overall taste. This ragù is often slow-cooked for extended periods, sometimes up to four hours, to allow the flavors to meld together perfectly.

Another classic preparation of ziti is found in timballo, a baked vegetarian dish. In timballo, ziti is layered with cheese and vegetables such as eggplant, resulting in a hearty and delicious meal.

What is the significance of ziti and zitoni in Italian weddings?

Ziti and its elongated counterpart, zitoni, carry great cultural significance in Italian weddings. These pasta varieties have earned their place at these joyous celebrations due to the symbolism associated with them.

Interestingly, the name “ziti” is derived from the Italian word “zitelle,” which refers to single women. It is precisely this association that makes ziti a common dish served at weddings, often as the first course.

By offering ziti to the guests, it symbolizes the transition of a single woman, or zitella, into the esteemed role of a wife. Consequently, ziti and zitoni serve as powerful emblems of the transformation and new life journey undertaken upon entering the institution of marriage in Italian culture.

What is ziti and how does it differ from penne and rigatoni?

Ziti is a type of pasta that hails from the region of Campania in southern Italy. It is commonly served during celebrations, holidays, and on Sundays. While similar to penne and rigatoni, ziti differs in several key aspects.

  • Firstly, its size falls in between penne and rigatoni, with ziti being shorter than penne but larger than rigatoni.
  • Secondly, unlike penne which has ridges on its surface, ziti boasts a smooth exterior. These differences in size and texture give ziti its own unique characteristics and make it a distinct type of pasta.

What is the traditional dish that tagliatelle is commonly paired with?

Traditionally, tagliatelle is commonly paired with a rich and hearty meat ragù, particularly in northern Italy, specifically in Bologna. The texture of tagliatelle, which is slightly tougher compared to other types of pasta, adds to its appeal when served with thick sauces.

While spaghetti bolognese is often regarded as an iconic pasta dish, it is worth noting that in Italy, tagliatelle is the pasta of choice for this specific meat ragù. When prepared with a flavorful meat ragù, this dish is known as tagliatelle al ragù, and it is a delicious and popular option in the region.

What are some popular sauces that pair well with spaghetti?

Spaghetti is favored by many due to its versatile shape and balanced texture, which makes it a perfect choice for various types of sauces. When it comes to pairing spaghetti with sauces, the possibilities are endless. One popular sauce that complements spaghetti is the classic olive oil-based sauce.

Another beloved sauce that pairs well with spaghetti is the San Marzano tomato sauce, which became popular in 1844.

The natural sweetness of San Marzano tomatoes harmonizes perfectly with spaghetti, resulting in a harmonious taste experience. Additionally, spaghetti can be combined with tomato sauces enhanced with meatballs or vegetables, creating a heartier and more robust flavor profile.

Overall, the ability of spaghetti to adapt to various sauces makes it a versatile pasta choice for any culinary exploration.

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