Dried cavatappi
Alternative namesCellentani, spirali, tortiglione, serpentini,[1] amori,[2] torselli,[3] scoobi doo,[4] double elbows[1]
Place of originItaly

Cavatappi (Italian: [kavaˈtappi]; lit.'corkscrews') is macaroni formed in a helical tube shape. Certain areas of the US and Canada may also refer to it as "double elbows"[1] or "scoobi doo" pasta,[4] purportedly because of their resemblance to Scoubidou.

It should not be confused with fusilli, which, despite also being commonly referred to as "corkscrew pasta", is a different shape all together. The distinguishing characteristics being fusilli's flat twist, rather than cavatappi's hollow tube shape. Cavatappi is usually scored with lines or ridges (rigati in Italian) on the surface. Cavatappi is a type of macaroni, or thick, hollow pasta that is made without using eggs.[citation needed] It may be yellow in color, like most pastas, or have vegetables or a food coloring added to make it green or red. It can be used in a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, and casseroles.


Cavatappi is an Italian word created by compounding cava and tappi, which literally means 'stopper (or top or cap) extractor' (a corkscrew). It is known by many other names.


Cavatappi is a generic name adopted by other brands that imitated Barilla's cellentani. This particular shape was born in the 1970s at Barilla in Parma,[5] when a set of pasta dies had been mistakenly made with a spiral (instead of straight) set of lines. These produced pasta in a spiral or spring (molla in Italian) shape. Barilla decided to name it after one of the most famous showpeople of the time, Adriano Celentano, who was nicknamed Il Molleggiato. As this name was trademarked by Barilla, other pasta producers had to use other names, such as cavatappi (lit.'corkscrews').


The cavatappi shape is perhaps best described as a ridged tube extruded into a helix shape through a small number of rotations. The number of turns is commonly in the range of one to three[citation needed] (with less than one full turn, the shape degenerates into a twisted version of elbow macaroni).

Common recipes

Cavatappi is used with Italian-style foods, such as cavatappi all'amatriciana[6] and cavatappi al pomodoro.[7] It is mostly found in tomato-based pasta sauces and is associated closely with different types of cheeses such as mozzarella, Parmesan, and provolone.[citation needed] It is a common choice for macaroni and cheese.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "The Nibble: Pasta Types". Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Amori". Retrieved 19 April 2024.
  3. ^ "Torselli". Retrieved 18 April 2024.
  4. ^ a b "the best pasta". Retrieved 18 April 2024.
  5. ^ This story was related to chef Davide Oldani on his TV show Alle origini della bontà (November 24, 2018) by Italo Bardiani, at the time one of the technicians at Barilla research lab. –
  6. ^ "Carrabbas Cavatappi Amatriciana (Side Dish Pasta) Recipe -". Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Cavatappi Pomodoro". Just A Pinch Recipes. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  8. ^ Roman, Alison. "How to Make Mac and Cheese". New York Times Cooking. Retrieved 10 April 2018.