Penne vs. Ziti – What’s The Difference?

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Pasta is one of the most eaten food in the world right now. It doesn’t matter if you are Italian; Pasta is something that we all enjoy in all its shapes and forms. The first thing that pops up in the mind when we hear pasta is the long strands of spaghetti in a bowl, probably with meatballs and tomato sauce.

The pasta was created in Arabia, and then over time, it was brought to Italy, where it was perfected and introduced to the world. All the pasta is made with almost the same ingredients; the type of paste you choose will change the taste and texture.

All kinds of pasta have different cooking timing depending on their shape. Penne and Ziti both have similar shapes and lengths; the main difference between both is the cut and the texture, both different textures. The ingredients with which Penne and Ziti made are not very different. The sauces with which pasta is made are different, some sauces are thick and creamy, and some are thin and soupy, some sauces are tomato sauces, creamy sauces etc.

In this article, we will talk about the differences between these two types of pasta, so keep on reading to find out more.


Have you heard about the Campania region? Yes, we are talking about Naples, a wonderful city in Italy. Ziti originated from this city, and soon it was popular in all parts of the country and eventually got global recognition. The name Ziti is derived from an Italian word that means Bridegroom.

The reason behind this name is pretty interesting. Ziti was made at weddings and was served to the guests as the first course, so the name got stuck, and today, we know Ziti is known by many and is served in restaurants across the globe for its unique shape.

Ziti is almost similar to Penne in its shape, but the difference comes in the cutting of edges, which are cut at a 90 degrees’ angle, while Penne is cut at a wider angle. This makes it easy to separate these two kinds of pasta from each other. But Ziti is not made like this, but they are made as long hollow tubes; usually, 10 inches long, which are then cut into small individual pieces that are 0.6 inches long.

However, this can be longer or shorter depending on the manufacturer and producer. But generally, each Ziti pasta is longer than Penne which makes it appear more tubular and increases the area for absorbing more sauce. Now that you understand how it’s made, let’s talk about how to make it.

How to make Ziti?

The most common way of cooking Ziti is baking it with casserole-type dishes. Furthermore, Ziti is also made al-dente and then added to other dishes like casseroles or mixed with different sauces and cheese. This means that the pasta is kept undercooked, so it doesn’t become over-cooked once added to other dishes.

When the Ziti is added to casserole dishes and baked, the heat cooks the pasta completely and ensures all the ingredients are mixed and infused with the pasta. As we have already mentioned, the length and specific cut of the pasta at its edges ensure maximum absorption of sauce while baking, and when this is topped with chees, it makes a delicious and succulent dish for people of all ages.


Like Ziti, Penne also comes from the Campania region in southwestern Italy. The reason behind Penne’s name is its shape. Penne is derived from the Italian word for quill, which resembles its shape. The end of Penne is cut at an angle, which gives it an appearance resembling a quill.

The diagonal cuts ensure more space is provided for the sauces to enter the pasta, ensuring that each pasta piece absorbs the maximum amount of sauce. So, if you want to make your pasta super saucy, the Penne is the way to go. Furthermore, you can also buy Penne with Ridges (which is known as rigate); these ridges increase the surface area of the pasta and improve sauce absorption.

Usually, Penne with a smooth surface is preferred by many chefs because of its mouthfeel; this type of Penne is known as Lisce. But it is common to see Penne with ridges at most superstores as it is more common than Penne with ridges. Penne is usually made longer at 1.5 inches in length and 0.5 inches in diameter.

This site is optimized to ensure that you get the right amount of pasta in each bite, and with the special cuts at its edges, Penne ensures that each bit is juicy and full of flavor.

How to Make Penne?

Penne is a versatile pasta that is used with all kinds of sauces. You can throw them in a pan with smooth saucy with only liquid constituents, or you can make them with chunky sauces that have pieces of beef or chicken in them. The sauce can be either oil or cream-based. Whether you decide to cook your penne pasta, it will taste good if you get all the ingredients and cooking time right.

Unlike Ziti, Penne is more frequently made with sauces in a pan rather than baking it; This ensures that it absorbs more sauce and is juicy like it’s intended to be. The pasta is served hot with cheese and parsley as garnishes and wine on the side to compliment the whole dish.

So What’s the difference Between Penne and Ziti?

  • The number one difference between Penne and Ziti is how their edges are cut. Penne’s edges are cut at an angle, while Ziti’s edges are cut at 90 degrees’. This way of cutting makes Ziti more tubular than Penne.
  • The texture of pasta is another factor that differentiates Ziti and Penne. Penne can have a smooth or ridged texture, while Ziti always has a smooth texture.
  • Finally, how each of these kinds of pasta is cooked is different, with Penne being usually cooked with sauces and Ziti being baked with casseroles