Difference Between Ziti and Penne

Food is a necessity but nowadays it has become a luxury too. The taste buds demand variety more than the regular food, there are different cuisines around the world and every cuisine, every food item has its peculiar taste and texture.

One of the most admired food items is pasta. Pasta is the legacy of Italy, it is believed that pasta was introduced by Marco Polo to Italy.

Although, there are some controversies according to which pasta originally belonged to China and was later on introduced to Italy.

The recipe of pasta propagated to different countries and regions and it got the love of taste buds of people around the world.

There are a variety of shapes in pasta. The difference they create is the recipe for it. Different shapes of pasta include penne, ziti, rigatoni, spaghetti, etc..

Ziti vs Penne

The main difference between ziti and penne is the shape and texture. Both of them are types of pasta but there are differences between both.

Ziti vs Penne

Comparison Table Between Ziti and Penne

Parameter of Comparison ZitiPenne
Size2 inches long 2.12 inches long
Texture Smooth surfaceLengthwise ridges on the surface 
Texture when cookedFragileFirm
Types of sauces Thin saucesThick sauces
VersatilityLess versatileMore versatile

What is Ziti?

Ziti is a type of pasta which has a tube shape. Origin of ziti can be traced to Naples, the word ziti comes from Zita, which means bride.

It is a custom to serve the classic ziti pasta as the first course of the meal in a wedding as the bride’s pasta.

The distinction of ziti first lies in the shape, ziti is in a tube shape and is cut at square angles. Ziti might resemble penne but it is slightly shorter than penne, it is approximately 2 inches long and 0.4 inches thick.

Ziti has a smooth exterior texture, and when cooked it turns soft and buttery.

The dough of pasta is a regular dough, although now there are some variations done, otherwise, the classic recipe has basic ingredients like flour, water, salt, etc..

The flavour of pasta lies in the sauce it is cooked in, like ziti, being a thin pasta is expected to be served in thin sauces, which means sauce that has a watery consistency. For example marinara sauce. 

Another recipe that goes well with ziti is baked ziti, it is the most loved form of ziti wherein the ziti pasta is baked with layers of cheese and a variety of vegetables and meat.

The tenderness of ziti compliments the smoothness of cheese and thus it is the most loved recipe.

Ziti is limited to some recipes, which makes its substitute penne a more admirable choice. However, those limited recipes of ziti are more admirable, like the irresistible baked ziti pasta.

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What is Penne?

Penne pasta is a type of pasta which comes from the Italian word ‘quill’. It is in a cylinder shape and is cut at a sharp angle. one of the distinctive features of penne pasta is that it has ridges on it.

Penne pasta is approximately 2.12 inches long, 0.4 inches wide and has 1 mm thick walls. It has lengthwise ridges on the surface, although there are varieties of penne available without ridges. When cooked penne retains its rigidity.

Unlike ziti penne has a different texture, penne is thick and rigid. The dough of penne pasta is a regular dough, with regular ingredients like flour, water, salt, etc.,

pasta is generally made with pasta machines, and this is how perfect ridges are attained. Ridges on pasta enable it to soak more of sauce and moisture.

Penne pasta is cooked in a variety of sauces, the versatility of penne is what makes it more admirable over other types of pasta.

As there is a large variety of sauces which compliments different types of pasta and among all types of pasta, penne is one of the most versatile pasta.

Penne pasta has ridges thus it goes well with cheese, the ridges stick cheese in them and unlike ziti, penne is not fragile and thus a better option over baked ziti.

Penne is more flexible than ziti. The rigidness and flexibility of penne help in coating the heartier sauces like pesto, carbonara, ragu, etc..

Penne is served ‘al dente’, which means penne is cooked firm to bite, its tubular form allows the sauce to fill inside the pasta and the angular ends hold the sauces.

Other than sauces penne pasta is simply tossed along with vegetables and some shredded cheese over it.

Penne is chosen over ziti due to its firm nature and adaptability of sauces. Penne proves to be an excellent choice when it comes to serving a meal of complex flavours and texture.

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Main Differences Between Ziti and Penne

  1. Ziti is 2 inches long and 0.4 inches wide on the other hand penne is 0.12 inches long and 0.4 inches wide.
  2. Ziti has a smooth surface whereas penne has lengthwise ridges over it.
  3. Ziti is fragile when cooked on the contrary penne is relatively rigid when cooked.
  4. Ziti is less versatile in cooking, on the other hand, penne is more versatile due to its structure.
  5. Ziti goes well with thin sauces like marinara, but penne goes well with heavier sauces like pesto, carbonara, etc..                                        
Difference Between Ziti and Penne


Ziti and penne are both types of pasta. Both of them have their qualities, depending upon their texture, size, etc. They taste best when cooked in the recommended sauces.



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Last update on 2022-09-25 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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