Penne 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
In Italy, penne are produced in two main variants: "penne lisce" (smooth) and "penne rigate" (furrowed), the latter having ridges on each penna. There is also pennoni ("big quills"), which is a wider version of penne.
In United States the same or similar shape, usually slightly larger, is called mostaccioli (meaning "little mustache" in some Italian dialects; it can also be either smooth or ridged in texture)
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.