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Whole wheat penne, cooked and uncooked.jpg
Whole wheat penne rigate, uncooked (left) and cooked (right)
Type Pasta
Place of origin Italy
Variations Penne lisce, penne rigate, pennoni, mostaccioli
Cookbook: Penne  Media: Penne
Penne with eggplant and basil in tomato sauce

Penne (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpenːe]) is a type of pasta with cylinder-shaped pieces. Penne is the plural form of the Italian penna, deriving from Latin penna (meaning "feather" or "quill"), and is a cognate of the English word pen.

Description and variations[edit]

In Italy, penne are produced in two main variants: "penne lisce" (smooth) and "penne rigate" (furrowed), the latter having ridges on each penna. Pennoni ("big quills") is a wider version of penne.[1]

In the United States, the same or similar shape of pasta, usually slightly larger, is called mostaccioli (meaning "little mustache" in some Italian dialects; it can also be either smooth or ridged in texture).[2]

In the Trenton, New Jersey area, penne pasta is commonly referred to as "pencil points", due to its shape.[3]


Penne is traditionally cooked al dente and served with pasta sauces such as pesto, marinara, or arrabbiata. Penne is a popular ingredient in pasta salads. Penne is a versatile pasta for many applications because of its practical design; the hollow center and ridges allow it to hold sauce, while the angular ends act as scoops.[original research?]

See also[edit]