Coming from the south of Italy, mafalda is a type of pasta with a specific texture and an elegant note to every meal. But what to do when your local store runs out of mafalda? What type of pasta could you use instead?
Pappardelle, tagliatelle, spaghetti, bucatini, linguine, busiate, campanelle, cavatappi, vesuvio, fusilli, rotini, farfalle, and lasagna noodles can all be a good substitutes for mafalda pasta.
Named after Princess Mafalda of Savoy, the ribbon-like pasta with curly edges has been popular all across the globe because of its unique characteristics. In the following lines, I will explain this royal pasta’s taste and recommend 13 unique and mouthwatering alternatives.
What Does Mafalda Pasta Look and Taste Like?
Mafalda, also known as mafaldine or reginette, is long or short ribbons with curly edges made of eggs, wheat flour, and water. After cooking, pasta ribbons become slightly chewy and tender. Mild in taste with subtle nutty notes, mafalda pasta pairs well with both light sauces and those with distinct and rich flavors, such as anchovies or prosciutto.
What to Use Instead of Mafalda Pasta?
Each type of pasta is unique, and the way they combine with different sauces can change the entire meal. While thin pasta such as vermicelli matches well with light sauces, fettuccine is better for thicker, creamier sauces. Still, which type of pasta can be a perfect substitute for mafalda?
Pappardelle is long, broad, and flat ribbons that match well with various sauces – from arrabbiata to meat sauce. They are thicker, longer, and wider than mafalda. This means they will hold sauces better.
The texture of these two types of pasta is also slightly different. Still, pappardelle may be a good substitute for mafalda if you serve them with heavier sauces. Consider serving them with slow-cooked beef ragu or bolognese sauce.
Tagliatelle is a flat, long pasta that is similar in shape to mafalda. Even though it is thicker than mafalda, both kinds of pasta have a smooth texture that works well with tomato-based, pesto-based, white, and creamy sauces.
This type of pasta is available in almost every store and usually comes in the form of nests. For one meal, you should boil 5 nests per person. Consider serving it with toppings such as mushrooms, meatballs, asparagus, or seafood.
An iconic symbol of Italian cuisine, spaghetti is a type of long, thin pasta. The dough is made from durum wheat semolina, eggs, and water. Although its shape is not similar to mafalda, its smooth texture makes it a great substitute.
Versatility is one of the main reasons why spaghetti is one of the most popular kinds of pasta. You can serve it with a variety of toppings and sauces. It matches well with meatballs and tomato-based sauces. You can combine it with bolognese, arrabbiata, carbonara, pesto sauce, seafood, and vegetables.
Spaghetti makes a great side dish and salad addition as well. You can cook it until soft and combine it with fresh vegetables, cheese, and olive oil.
Bucatini pasta is a type of Italian pasta similar to spaghetti, yet thicker and with a hollow center. That hollow center of the bucatini allows the sauce to seep inside the pasta, making it evenly coated.
You can prepare it as a substitute for mafalda combined with heavier sauces. Bucatini all’Amatriciana is one of the classic meals with this kind of pasta. Yet, if you wish to experiment a bit, try combining it with seafood, mushrooms, various types of cheese, and vegetables.
Linguine is another version of long, thin pasta similar to spaghetti. You can use it as a substitute for any meal that calls for mafalda pasta. However, there are some differences in shape and texture.
Linguine pasta is a good match for a variety of sauces. Consider serving it with white, pesto, bolognese sauce, smoked salmon, anchovy, or fresh vegetables.
Busiate is a type of pasta typical of Sicilian cuisine. Though it is not as widely available in stores as spaghetti or tagliatelle, you can find it on Amazon or in specialized shops. However, the best option is to make it at home.
Traditionally, busiate pasta is made by twisting and rolling small pieces of dough around a thin rod to create a spiral or corkscrew shape. Because of its shape, it is one of the better substitutes for short mafalda (mafalda corta). It makes a good pair with chunky sauces, such as garden combination, mushroom, or meat-based sauces.
Campanelle, also known as gigli, is a Sardinian flower-like pasta with ruffled edges. As a result of its unique shape, this pasta can hold sauce well, a characteristic it shares with mafalda. You can serve it with any sauce or topping, such as creamy garlic sauce, vegetables, and beef or pork meat ragu.
Camponelle is a perfect choice for a romantic or elegant dinner. Yet, it is not available in stores as much as other kinds of pasta.
So, if you wish to try this pasta, the best option is to make it yourself. Why not try it out? All you need is eggs, wheat flour, and water.
Cavatappi pasta originates from Southern Italy. It has a tubular shape with a spiraled surface resembling a corkscrew. Because of this, cavatappi is a great substitute for mafalda in numerous dishes.
Its shape and texture are good for holding creamy, rich, and smooth sauces. You can also use it in cold pasta salads or baked dishes with cheese and casseroles. Both dried and fresh cavatappi is available in brick-and-mortar and online stores.
Named after Mount Vesuvius, the famous volcano located in southern Italy, this pasta is a perfect choice for a mafalda substitute. It is a short, corkscrew-shaped yet elegant pasta with a shape similar to cavatappi, but with more curves and twists.
These curves and twists make it great for various meals, especially salads or dishes with smooth, creamy sauces. Vesuvio pasta is great for baked dishes and casseroles as well. You can also add it to fish pie or serve it as a side dish with pork or chicken stew.
Fusilli is another type of pasta commonly used in Italian cuisine. It has a spiraled, corkscrew-like shape, which makes it another good substitute for short mafalda. They have a similar chewy texture, especially if you cook it al dente, meaning it should be firm to bite.
Dried fusilli pasta is available in most stores. It is a versatile pasta that you can pair with different sauces and toppings, including tomato, cream, and pesto-based sauces, as well as chicken or pork meat, cheese, fish, and vegetables.
Rotini is a type of spiral-shaped pasta similar to fusilli but with tighter, shorter spirals. Consider using it instead of mafalda in baked dishes, cold salads, and meals with various types of sauces.
It is best to boil rotini in salted water until al dente. Some popular dishes with this type of pasta include rotini with marinara sauce, pesto, garlic sauce, sausage, and peppers. Overall, rotini is a versatile and savory pasta that adds a unique twist to any dish.
Farfalle is also known as a bowtie or butterfly pasta due to its distinctive shape. That shape made it one of the most popular types of pasta and a suitable replacement for short mafalda.
If you plan to make an elegant pasta meal, farfalle is one of the best solutions. It is a versatile and fairly available solution. You can buy it in most stores or try to make it at home. To make farfalle, you will need eggs, durum wheat semolina, and water.
The shape of the farfalle makes it a suitable addition to a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, and casseroles. Some of those meals include farfalle with tomato and basil, creamy mushroom or chicken sauce, cheesy broccoli sauce, and bacon with tomato sauce.
Even though large and flat-shaped lasagna noodles might seem like an inadequate replacement for long mafalda, you can use both of these types of pasta in baked meals. You can use them with the same ingredients to make regular or vegetarian lasagna or create interesting twists in meals like fish pie.
Aside from that, try boiling lasagna and preparing a dish with a smooth or chunky sauce. Cook it until it softens, and carefully cut it to make it easier to bite. Coat it in white cream, cheese garlic, bolognese, Alfredo, or carbonara sauce.