With its ends cut at an angle, penne has a particularly large surface area and plenty of room in its tubes for sauce. The shape is also what gives it the name penne, which comes from the Italian word for “quill.” There are generally two variations of penne: smooth (lisce) and ridged (rigate) 😊 Thanks to its ridges, the rigate version is a bit sturdier and tends to soak up more sauce than smooth penne 🤓 Hailing from the southern portion of Italy in the Campania region, penne is perhaps best known for penne alla vodka as it’s the perfect pasta for a smooth and creamy vodka sauce 🙌
A whopping 0.12 inch shorter and 0.25 mm thicker than penne, ziti is a smooth-exteriored pasta that hails from Naples, Italy. Notably, its ends are cut straight rather than at a diagonal, making it possible to distinguish it from penne without pulling out a ruler. The word “ziti” comes from the world for “bridegroom” or “the betrothed,” and it’s traditionally served as the first course of a wedding lunch. It’s closely related to ziti candele (or just candele), another type of pasta that’s twice the width and three times the length and needs to be broken up into pieces before cooking so it can fit into a pot. (last emended 88 days ago by Melannie Coats from Astana, Kazakhstan)
Warmchef.com goes on to mention how with ziti pasta, you will see a lot of similarities to penne with both being hollow and the original history, but there is one major difference in regards to its origins. Ziti originates from the word zita, and in Italian, a young woman preparing to get married was called a zita. It is almost certain zita dishes used to be made for wedding celebrations, and it is entirely possible traditional Italian families would choose to prepare ziti dishes over penne for wedding receptions or bridal showers just to show respect for tradition. Other than that difference, the origin is exactly the same. (we really appreciate Jaclyn MacKey from Ipoh, Malaysia for their insight).
Differencebetween.net also mentions that penne is one of the many varieties of pasta with pieces in cylindrical shapes. Penne has two main types in Italy, namely penne lisce and penne rigate, with the rigate having ridges on each noodle. Other penne variants include the pennon, which is typically wider. There is a type of penne lisce that has a smooth texture without ridges, called mostaccioli, and there is also ziti, which are hollow long wands, with a smooth texture and square-cut edges. When they are cut into shorter tubes, they are called ‘cut ziti’, although some particular dishes made from penne-shaped pasta may be called ‘cut ziti’. Ziti in a wider form is known as zitoni, but it’s worth noting that telling the difference between penne variants can be hard, especially in countries like the United States, because products are named differently depending on the region; thus there is a tendency to interchangeably name ridged and smooth penne subtypes. (edited by Juan Gonzales from Jalandhar, India on May 25, 2021)