x

Can I Use Rotini for Ziti?

by Susan Lundman

Most small pasta shapes are interchangeable.

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

There are hundreds of different pasta shapes and sometimes, the same pasta goes by different names, as is the case with rotini, which also is known as fusilli. Even though ziti is a tubular pasta and rotini is a spiral, rotini can substitute for ziti with no problems.

What's in a Shape

Although pasta connoisseurs argue that rotini and ziti have shapes too different to be interchangeable, for most uses, you won't be dissatisfied with either pasta. Changing a pasta sauce because you don't have the "correct" pasta shape is unnecessary despite minor differences between rotini and ziti. For baked pasta dishes, pasta salad or pasta with a tomato or cream sauce, go ahead and use the same amount of rotini in place of the ziti called for in your recipe.

Rotini for Chunky Sauces

Tubular pastas such as ziti can gather bits of sauce and other ingredients in the openings of the tubes. With its angled ends, ziti does a passable job of catching sauce. But it also is a small and thin tube, so sauce with chunky ingredients doesn't really travel inside the tube. Spiral shaped pastas such as rotini do a better jot of gathering bits of sauce between the twists of the spirals.

Rotini for Soups

Ziti comes in lengths from 2 to 12 inches, while rotini typically is 1 to 2 inches long. Rotini's shorter length is better for use in soups, where it fits more easily on a spoon. You could use ziti for soup if you had pieces on the short side or didn't mind breaking them to spoon size. But breaking pasta not only is messy, but you won't have similarly sized pieces.

No Change for Cooking

Both ziti and rotini are small pastas and so have similar cooked and uncooked measurements and cooking times. Two ounces of uncooked pasta is the equivalent of 1/2 cup of dry pasta and yields 1 cup of cooked pasta. Consider a single serving of ziti or rotini to be about 1/2 cup of dry pasta. Both pastas cook in about seven to eight minutes and are best when cooked al dente, or slightly firm when you bite into a piece.

Our Everyday Video

Brought to you by LEAFtv
Brought to you by LEAFtv

References

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

About the Author

Susan Lundman began writing about her love of cooking, ingredient choices, menu planning and healthy eating after working for 20 years on children's issues at a nonprofit organization. She has written about food online professionally for ten years on numerous websites, and has provided family and friends with homemade recipes and stories about culinary adventures. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.