Dried Cavatappi
Alternative names Cellentani, serpentini, trivelle, stortelli, spirali, double elbows, amori
Type Pasta
Place of origin Italy
Cookbook: Cavatappi  Media: Cavatappi

Cavatappi [kavaˈtappi] is macaroni formed in a helical tube shape. Cavatappi is the Italian word for corkscrew. It is known by other names, including cellentani, amori, spirali, or tortiglione.[1] It 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. 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 to include 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 originated in Southern Italy.[2]


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

While the word "spiral" is often used colloquially to describe helical objects (such as a spiral staircase), in mathematics, a spiral is considered to be a curve on the plane of progressive radius, and the name "helix" is preferred for a curve inscribed on a cylinder, such as that of DNA's double helix. The notion of a screw as a helical surface dates back to the time of Archimedes.

Common recipes

Cavatappi is used with Italian-style foods such as cavatappi Amatriciana,[3] pesto Americana, and cavatappi pomodoro.[4] It is mostly found in tomato-based pasta sauces and is associated closely with different types of cheeses such as mozzarella, Parmesan, and provolone. It is a common choice for macaroni and cheese.[5]

See also

  • Food portal


  1. "The Nibble: Pasta Types". Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  2. "The Nibble: Pasta Types". Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  3. "Carrabbas Cavatappi Amatriciana (Side Dish Pasta) Recipe -". Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  4. "Cavatappi Pomodoro". Just A Pinch Recipes. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  5. Roman, Alison. "How to Make Mac and Cheese". New York Times Cooking. Retrieved 10 April 2018.

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