Macaroni is a variety of dry pasta in the shape of narrow tubes originating from Italy and made with durum wheat, usually without egg
. It is normally cut in short lengths; if cut in lengths with a curve it is usually called elbow macaroni. Some home machines can make macaroni shapes but, like most pasta, macaroni is usually made commercially by large-scale extrusion. The curved shape is caused by different speeds on opposite sides of the pasta tube as it comes out of the machine.
In North America, macaroni is most often made in elbow shape.
In addition to dishes similar to those made with other types of pasta, macaroni and cheese is a popular dish in English-speaking countries, often made with elbow macaroni. A sweet macaroni pudding, similar to a rice pudding, is also often made.
In areas with large Chinese populations open to Western cultural influence, such as Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia and Singapore, the local Chinese have adopted macaroni as an ingredient for Chinese-style Western cuisine. In Hong Kong's cha chaan teng ("Tea Restaurant") and Southeast Asia's kopi tiam ("coffee shop"), macaroni is cooked in water and then washed of starch, and served in clear broth with ham or frankfurter sausages, peas
, black mushrooms, and optionally eggs, reminiscent of noodle soup dishes. This is often a course for breakfast or light lunch fare.