What Are Linguine Noodles?

You might be surprised to learn that there isn’t just one significant distinction between fettuccine and linguine.

Although the shape of the pasta may not seem important to some, foodies understand the importance of pairing the right pasta with the proper sauce, and for Italians, it comes naturally. The sometimes undetectable variations in pastas can be perplexing, but the components, density, and shape of a specific noodle can significantly alter the flavor and potency of any pasta dish.

This is especially true when comparing fettuccine and linguine. Well, you want your pasta dish to look appetizing and be as authentic and typically Italian as possible, am I right? So what’s the difference between the two noodles and does it really matter which you use in a dish?

Linguine vs. Spaghetti

Spaghetti and linguine are frequently contrasted since they are both extruded strand pastas. Since their long strands are easily coated with sauces like these, both of these long strand pastas are frequently used interchangeably with thinner sauces that are based on olive oil, cream, or tomatoes. Think marinara, carbonara or alfredo. However, thicker, heavier sauces like Bolognese are typically paired with either tubular pasta like rigatoni or tortiglioni or wider ribbons like fettuccine or tagliatelle. Given their similarity, spaghetti would be the most suitable and popular alternative to linguine.

Despite being an Italian pasta, linguine can be used in other cultures. For example, in Chinese cooking, linguine is occasionally substituted for lo mein, chow mein, or sesame noodles in stir-fried noodle dishes.

Linguine is a long, flat, narrow strand of pasta. It is very similar to fettuccine but is more narrow. The word linguine mean little tongues. This type of pasta originates in the Liguria region of Italy, which is well-known for its delicious cuisine and proximity to the ocean. Linguine is typically served with pesto, but it also goes well with fish sauces, oil-based sauces, and stir-fries.

The Main Difference Between Fettuccine and Linguine

There are several differences between fettuccine and linguine, which may surprise you. There are actually 3 key differences:

  • Shape: Linguine noodles are more narrow than fettuccine noodles, typically about 1/8” inch wide (3mm). Linguine also has a very slight oval cross section; Fettuccine is usually 6mm wide and is flat.
  • Ingredients: Linguine is made simply with just semolina flour and water; Fettuccine is made with semolina flour, sometimes durum wheat, and eggs.
  • Homemade: Making linguine with a slight oval is difficult, if not impossible, to make at home; Fettuccine is as easy as it gets to make at home.
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