Pasta vs Macaroni

By | December 18, 2019

Pasta and macaroni, many of us must be very familiar with these two Italian originated staple food. Who doesn’t love the rich flavor of ragu combined with pasta and the creamy savory of macaroni and cheese. These dish is very popular worldwide and consumed by people from different generations from children to elders. However there might be some people out there still not sure on how to differentiate them or still think that they might be the same item. Here in this article we will give you a brief explanation on both pasta and macaroni and how to different and how to differentiate them.


Pasta is an Italian cuisine and also staple food, made from unleavened dough of wheat flour and water mixture. The authentic pasta is made from durum semolina but many type of flour can also be used in the making of pasta. In the fresh form pasta is made with eggs instead of water. Water is used because it can prolong pasta shelf-life when it is being transported and sold in different region. There is a special type of pasta made for people who avoid gluten or people who want to just try different taste, which made from rice flour.

Pasta have many different type, shape and names. Today there is currently 310 shapes and 1300 names been documented. Pasta can be found in a long shapes, short shapes, tubes, flat shapes and sheets, miniature shapes, filled or stuffed and specialty or decorative shapes. Pasta in Italian cuisine is a very versatile food, it can be served with many different kind of sauce or condiment. Pasta before the invention of tomato sauce was originally eaten plain and without sauce and was eaten using bare hands. The invention of tomato sauce make pasta have additional liquid and required it to be eaten using fork. (Read more about pasta in here)

The process to make pasta is by making a pasta dough like semolina flour, egg, salt and water. The flour was first mounded in a flat surface and then a well was made in the center of it. Inside the well the egg was pour and mixed together with the flour. The dough then flatten using a roller a pasta machine to shape the dough in various shapes. Fresh pasta can be store in an airtight storage up to one year. While cooked pasta have to be stored in a refrigerator and can be kept for maximum five days.

The nutritional value of plain cooked pasta contains 63% water, 31% carbs, 6% protein, and 1% fat. In 100 grams of non-enriched cooked pasta can provides about 160 calories and a moderate level of manganese.


Macaroni is one among many type of pasta which was traditionally made in various shapes and sizes. Macaroni was made from durum wheat flour. The most common type of macaroni is the one with short length. Today macaroni is made in a factory using a large-scale extrusion, the curved shapes is made using different speed extrusion on opposite ends of pasta tube as it come from the machine. Macaroni names came from Italian word maccheroni the plural word of maccherone. The word derives from ancient Greek “Macaria”, which is a kind of barley broth made to serve to the dead.

People in North America used the word macaroni to especially refer to the elbow shaped macaroni, since it was the most common shape used in macaroni and cheese. While in Italy maccheroni is used to refer the straight, tubular, and having a square end short length pasta. Maccheroni can also use to refer long pasta dishes such asmaccheroniallachitarra and frittatadi maccheroni which is commonly prepared in a similar way to long pasta like spaghetti.

Macaroni is very popular in North America and Great Britain, they made widely known variants of macaroni known as macaroni and cheese, combining pasta macaroni with cheddar cheese. In Great Britain the same dish was called macaroni cheese. In the Victorian era a variety of macaroni made with sugar and milk also very popular. While in South East Asia the macaroni is served in a very different way, first the macaroni is cooked and then drain and rinse to remove its starch. Then the macaroni is served in a clear broth with ham or frankfurter sausages, peas, black mushrooms, and sometimes egg. The way this dish is served is somehow very similar to how noodle is served.

- Is refer to Italian staple food made with durum- Is one type among those many type of pasta
- Have many varieties, at least 301 shapes- Known to have elbow shaped and longer shape
- Known to have many common sauce especially tomato based sauce- Macaroni is most famous made into macaroni and cheese


As it is already said above, pasta and macaroni are two different terms referring for different items. Pasta is the general term to refer the Italian staple food while macaroni is one of those type of pasta. Pasta currently have 310 shapes and macaroni is one of them. These term can’t be easily mistaken since their definition is clear enough. Pasta is made from unleavened dough of wheat flour and water, after the dough is flattened it can be made into various shapes and sizes for example the elbow macaroni.

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