Whole wheat penne rigate, uncooked (left) and cooked (right)
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Variations||Penne lisce, penne rigate, pennoni, mostaccioli, ziti, zitoni|
Penne (English pronunciation: /ˈpɛneɪ/) is a type of pasta with cylinder-shaped pieces. Penne is the plural form of the Italian penna, deriving from Latin penna (meaning "feather" or "quill"), and is a cognate of the English word pen.
Description and variations
In Italy, penne are produced in two main variants: "penne lisce" (smooth) and "penne rigate" (furrowed), the latter having ridges on each penna. There is also pennoni ("big quills"), which is a wider version of penne. The same or similar shape, usually slightly larger, is called mostaccioli (meaning "little mustache" in Italian; it can also be either smooth or ridged in texture). Additionally, ziti are long hollow rods which are also smooth in texture and have square-cut edges; "cut ziti" are ziti cut into shorter tubes. There is also zitoni, which is a wider version of ziti.
Penne is traditionally cooked al dente and served with pasta sauces such as pesto, marinara, or arrabbiata. Penne is a popular ingredient in pasta salads. Penne is a versatile pasta for many applications because of its practical design; the hollow center and ridges allow it to hold sauce, while the angular ends act as scoops.