The Battle of the Thin Noodles: Capellini vs Spaghettini – Who Takes the Crown?

Welcome to the ultimate culinary battleground where thin pasta strands compete for the title of superiority. In this thrilling clash of flavors and textures, we present the showdown of Capellini vs Spaghettini. These delicate noodles, each with their own distinct characteristics, are ready to vie for your taste buds’ attention.

Get ready to embark on a delicious journey as we explore the nuances of Capellini vs Spaghettini and unravel the culinary secrets behind these beloved pasta types. Brace yourself for a mouthwatering rivalry that promises to leave you craving for more.

What Are The Key Differences Between Capellini Vs Spaghettini

  • Origins: Capellini and spaghettini, both Italian staples for centuries, have slightly different origins. Capellini, also called angel hair pasta, hails from Southern Italy and is known for its delicate texture at just 0.85 to 0.92 mm thick. Spaghettini, often mistaken for spaghetti, is slightly thicker at 1.8 to 2 mm. It can be found throughout Italy, making its origins more widespread.
  • Ingredients: Capellini, also known as angel hair pasta, is incredibly thin, making it delicate and light. It is often made with durum wheat and eggs, giving it a tender texture and a rich flavor. On the other hand, spaghettini is slightly thicker than capellini but still thinner than regular spaghetti. It is usually made from semolina flour and water, resulting in a firmer texture and a more neutral taste.
  • Nutritional Information: Capellini, or Angel Hair pasta pairs well with light oil-based sauces and offers slightly more protein and iron. Spaghettini, holds up in hearty sauces. Both are energy-dense due to carbs. Note that serving size, preparation, and additional ingredients can affect the nutritional value. Adding vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats enhances both Capellini and Spaghettini dishes.
  • Calories: In terms of calories, there is not a significant difference between the two. Both capellini and spaghettini have similar calorie content per serving. However, it is worth noting that since capellini is thinner, it cooks more quickly and has a higher surface area, which means it may absorb sauces more easily. This can make capellini a slightly more calorie-dense option if you tend to have a heavy hand with the sauce.
  • Texture: Capellini, or angel hair pasta, is thin and delicate, ideal for light sauces. Spaghettini is slightly thicker, offering a chewier texture and pairing well with heartier sauces.
  • Flavor Profile: Capellini is light and delicate, perfect for simple sauces, while spaghettini has a firmer texture and robust flavor that pairs well with heartier sauces.
  • Cooking Time: Capellini, also known as thin spaghetti, cooks much faster than Spaghettini due to its thinness. It only takes a few minutes to achieve that perfect al dente texture in boiling water. On the other hand, Spaghettini, which is slightly thicker than Capellini, requires a bit more time to cook.
  Capellini (Angel Hair Pasta) Spaghettini
Origins Southern Italy Throughout Italy
Thickness 0.85 to 0.92 mm 1.8 to 2 mm
Ingredients Durum wheat and eggs Semolina flour and water
Texture Delicate and light Chewier
Flavor Profile Light and delicate Robust
Nutritional Information More protein and iron Holds up in hearty sauces
Calories Similar calorie content Similar calorie content
Cooking Time Cooks faster Requires more time
Sauce Absorption Absorbs sauces more easily

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Similarities Between Capellini And Spaghettini

similarities between capellini and spaghettini

As a seasoned chef with extensive experience and expertise, I must say that capellini and spaghetti, although distinct in their own right, also bear some similarities worth exploring.

One notable similarity is that capellini and spaghetti belong to the family of long, thin pasta varieties. They share a common characteristic of being made from durum wheat semolina flour and water, which gives them their signature texture and flavor. Moreover, capellini and spaghetti are versatile and can be paired with a wide range of sauces and ingredients to create mouthwatering dishes. Whether a classic marinara or a creamy carbonara, these pasta varieties never fail to impress with their ability to complement any sauce perfectly.

While capellini and spaghetti may differ, they also enjoy a delightful camaraderie that makes them both incredibly delightful in their unique ways.

What is Capellini

what is capellini pasta

Capellini is a thin variety of Italian pasta that originated during the Italian Renaissance in northern Italy. It is similar in shape to spaghetti but much thinner, with a diameter ranging from 0.85 to 0.92 mm. In fact, it is often referred to as “angel hair” pasta due to its delicate and fine strands.

Capellini is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be served in soups, broths, or light olive oil-based pasta sauces. It also pairs well with seafood, particularly when served with squid ink sauce. Capellini is a popular choice for those who prefer a lighter and more delicate pasta experience.

What is Spaghettini

about spaghetti pasta

Spaghettini is a type of pasta that is similar in shape and length to spaghetti but has a smaller diameter, resulting in a shorter cooking time. It is often used in more intricate and elegant recipes due to its delicate and thin strands, giving it a more elegant and expensive appearance. Spaghettini pairs well with various Italian sauces or can be simply enjoyed with garlic oil and hot pepper.

Made in Pianella, Italy by Rustichella d’Abruzzo, this pasta is crafted using bronze dies and air-dried for 56 hours. Its ingredients include durum wheat semolina and water, ensuring a distinctive character and pleasurable bite.

Spaghettini is not only a culinary delight but also has a low glycemic index, making it a healthier choice as it is digested more slowly and less likely to cause blood sugar spikes.

Can I Substitute Capellini For Spaghetti?

can i substitute capellini for spaghetti

I can confidently say that you can absolutely substitute capellini for spaghetti or vice versa. These two pasta varieties are quite similar, with just a slight difference in thickness.

Capellini is a delicate and elegant pasta that pairs well with light tomato sauces, olive oil-based sauces, and sauces with herbs such as basil and parsley. On the other hand, spaghetti is a more versatile pasta that goes well with tomato-based sauces, meat sauces, and seafood sauces.

So, if you can’t find capellini, spaghettini is a good substitute, and if you’re craving spaghetti but only have capellini, go for it! The main goal is to choose the pasta that best complements your dish and satisfies your craving.

Which Types Of Sauces Pair Best With Capellini And Spaghettini?

Here, I want to share my insights on which types of sauces pair best with capellini and spaghettini. Whether you are a pasta lover or simply looking to impress your guests with a gourmet meal, this blog post is for you.

  1. Aglio e Olio: This classic Italian sauce is a simple yet flavorful combination of olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and parsley. Its light and aromatic nature make it an excellent choice for capellini and spaghettini. The silky strands of pasta effortlessly absorb the garlic-infused oil, resulting in a delightful and satisfying dish.
  2. Pomodoro: Made with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil, Pomodoro sauce is a timeless option for capellini and spaghettini. Its vibrant flavors and light consistency highlight the delicate nature of the pasta. The tanginess of the tomatoes and the aromatic basil create a harmonious balance that will surely please your taste buds.
  3. Carbonara: Originating from Rome, carbonara sauce is a rich and creamy blend of eggs, Parmesan cheese, pancetta or bacon, and black pepper. While this sauce is traditionally paired with thicker pasta varieties, it also complements capellini and spaghettini exceptionally well. The silky strands of pasta beautifully coat in the velvety sauce, creating a luxurious and indulgent dish.
  4. Lemon Butter: Try pairing capellini and spaghettini with a lemon butter sauce for a refreshing and citrusy twist. This sauce combines butter, lemon juice, zest, and a touch of garlic to create a bright, tangy flavor profile. The lightness of the pasta allows the zesty sauce to shine, resulting in a delightful burst of flavors with every bite.
  5. Pesto: A classic sauce made from basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil, pesto is a versatile option that pairs wonderfully with capellini and spaghettini. Its vibrant green color and herbaceous flavors add a refreshing and aromatic touch to the delicate pasta. Toss the pasta in pesto sauce, and you have yourself a simple yet satisfying meal.

In conclusion, capellini and spaghettini are versatile pasta varieties that lend themselves well to a wide range of sauces. From the simplicity of aglio e olio to the richness of carbonara, there is no shortage of options to elevate your pasta game. Experiment with these sauce pairings and let your taste buds be the judge.

FAQ: Capellini Vs. Spaghetti

Which Type Of Pasta Is Best For Thicker Sauces?

Both capellini and spaghetti are suitable for thicker sauces. The choice depends on personal preference and the texture desired in the dish.

Are Capellini And Spaghetti Made From The Same Ingredients?

Yes, both capellini and spaghetti are made from durum wheat semolina flour and water.

Which Pasta Is Closer In Thickness To Angel Hair Pasta?

Capellini is in between spaghetti and angel hair pasta in terms of thickness.

Is Spaghetti Or Capellini More Widely Recognized In Italian Cuisine?

Spaghetti is one of the most widely recognized types of pasta in Italian cuisine and has become a symbol of Italian culinary tradition.


In conclusion, the debate between Capellini and Spaghettini boils down to personal preference and the desired pairing with different types of sauces. Capellini’s delicate nature allows the flavors to shine through, making it an excellent choice for more subtle and simple sauces. On the other hand, Spaghettini’s firm texture and robust flavor can hold its own against heartier and bolder sauces.

Ultimately, whether you prefer the light and delicate touch of Capellini or the sturdy foundation of Spaghettini, both options offer unique qualities that add a delightful twist to any pasta dish.


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