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15 Fun Pasta Shapes to Know for World Pasta Day

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On October 25, carb lovers from around the world will unite to do some Lady and the Tramp-style pasta slurping on World Pasta Day. You can celebrate this delicious holiday by chowing down on the classics—spaghetti, fettuccine, elbow macaroni, and lasagna (which is both the name of the pasta shape and the moniker for the delicious layered dish)—but why not use such a special day to expand your pasta-loving range with some fun new shapes?

1. Strozzapreti

At first glance, twisted pieces of strozzapreti—which means "priests choker" or "priests strangler" in Italian, and is allegedly named for a gluttonous priest who ate them too quickly—might look like half-made bits of penne or other tube-shaped pasta that just couldn’t hold their shape. But it's meant to look non-uniform. First rolled out into wide sheets (think lasagna), the pasta is cut into big strips, which are then hand-rolled to get their unique appearance.

2. Farfalle (and Farfalline or Farfalloni)

The ever-versatile “bow tie” pasta comes in three sizes to suit every appetite and meal, from the traditionally sized farfalle to a bigger version (farfalloni) and even a little type that works wonderfully in soups (farfalline). A thicker pasta, farfalle can hold up to chunkier sauces and bigger baked dishes while still retaining its bite.

3. Pipe Rigate (and Pipette Rigate)

A perfect new pasta shape for fans of elbow macaroni, both pipe rigate and its tinier version, pipette rigate, offer the kind of curved shape that’s so appealing to bite into. With one slightly closed end, both of the rigates are aces at holding on to thicker sauces.

4. Radiatori

Shaped like little ruffled radiators (hence that adorable name), radiatori are another good bet for thick sauces and hefty casseroles. Kids also love their fun shape, which legend has it was created by an industrial designer in the 1960s (though some trace the shape's creation to the time between the two World Wars).

5. Stelle (and Stelline)

Star-shaped pasta is another surefire hit with kids, and stelle comes in two sizes: the larger stelle are fine on their own (and especially good with just a little butter and salt), while the teensy stelline are perpetual favorites in broth-based soups.

6. Cappelletti

fugzu, Flickr 

Shaped to look like little hats—in fact, they’re occasionally even called “alpine hats”—cappelletti are folded and then twisted to form their unique shape. Some versions are folded up entirely to contain meat filling, resembling small, triangle-shaped ravioli.

7. Anelli (and Anellini)

Another great pick for soups, ring-shaped anelli (and its smaller version, anellini) cook up quickly and hold their thin shape in broth.

8. Campanelle

The bell-shaped pasta is quite a looker, what with its rolled shape and ruffled edges. Big enough to stand up to meaty and chunky sauces, it’s also a popular pick for cold pasta salads that include big bits of veggies and cheese that could crush a less sturdy shape. The name means "bellflower" in Italian.

9. Cavatappi

Consider cavatappi a kind of next level elbow macaroni. Like its cousin, cavatappi is tightly twisted into a pleasing shape, but unlike elbows, it’s got more than one kink in it. Imagine a piece of elbow macaroni that’s made up of two stuck-together pieces—that’s cavatappi.

10. Orecchiette

“Orecchiette” translates to “little ears,” and it’s not hard to see where this shape gets its moniker. Shaped like tiny bowls or teensy ears, this pasta is often used for thick sauces, which stick tightly to their gently concave middle.

11. Rotelle

Another kid-pleaser, this wheel-shaped pasta is both fun to look at (they are wheels made out of pasta, what's better than that?) and a solid pick for pairing with just about anything. Its large gaps and ridged surface provide lots of places for sauce to stick, and all those nooks and crannies are wonderful for meat and veggies to wedge into.

12. Cavatelli

A close cousin of strozapretti, cavatelli is similarly cut from big sheets and then rolled into smaller pieces. Cavatelli pieces are shorter than strozapretti bits, though, and thicker dough makes them resemble tiny hot dog buns.

13. Ditalini

Jennifer, Flickr

A shorter and smaller version of more familiar tube shapes like penne and rigatoni, ditalini is another good pick for soups. The shape is perpetually popular in Sicily, where the pasta is used in all kinds of dishes, including baked casseroles and pasta salads.

14. Conchiglie

The shell-shaped pasta has already proven to be a popular alternative for macaroni and cheese, and larger shapes are perfect for stuffing, but they are also a good bet for baked dishes. Their ridged surface holds on to sauce, and their deep middle easily holds on to thicker ingredients.

15. Gemelli

You might be more familiar with the twisted shape of fusilli or rotini, but the tightly twisted gemelli offer more body and density, perfect for biting into. Although gemelli might look like two strands of pasta twisted into one piece, they’re actually made by rolling a single strand together. The hefty shape is a good pick for pasta salads and cream-based sauces.

All images courtesy of iStock unless otherwise noted. 

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5 Subtle Cues That Can Tell You About Your Date's Financial Personality
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Being financially compatible with your partner is important, especially as a relationship grows. Fortunately, there are ways you can learn about your partner’s financial personality in a relationship’s early stages without seeing their bank statement or sitting them down for “the money talk.”

Are they a spender or a saver? Are they cautious with money? These habits can be learned through basic observations or casual questions that don’t feel intrusive. Here are some subtle things that can tell you about your date’s financial personality.

1. HOW THEY ANSWER BASIC MONEY QUESTIONS.

Casual conversations about finance-related topics can be very revealing. Does your date know if their employer matches their 401(k) plan contributions? Do you find their answers to any financial questions a bit vague—even the straightforward ones like “What are the rewards like on your credit card?” This could mean that your partner is a little fuzzy on some of the details of their financial situation.

As your connection grows, money talks are only natural. If your date expresses uncertainty about their monthly budget, it may be an indicator that they are still working on the best way to manage their finances or don’t keep close tabs on their spending habits.

2. WHAT THEY’RE WATCHING AND READING.

If you notice your partner is always watching business news channels, thumbing through newspapers, or checking share prices on their phone, they are clearly keeping abreast of what’s going on in the financial world. Ideally, this would lead to a well-informed financial personality that gives way to smart investments and overall monetary responsibility.

If you see that your date has an interest in national and global finances, ask them questions about what they’ve learned. The answers will tell you what type of financial mindset to expect from you partner moving forward. You might also learn something new about the world of finance and business!

3. WHERE THEY GET THEIR FOOD.

You may be able to learn a lot about someone’s financial personality just by asking what they usually do for dinner. If your date dines out a lot, it could be an indication that they are willing to spend money on experiences. On the other hand, if they’re eating most of their meals at home or prepping meals for the entire week to cut their food budget, they might be more of a saver.

4. WHETHER THEY’RE VOICING MONEY CONCERNS.

Money is a source of stress for most people, so it’s important to observe if financial anxiety plays a prominent role in your date’s day-to-day life. There are a number of common financial worries we all share—rising insurance rates, unexpected car repairs, rent increases—but there are also more specific and individualized concerns. Listen to how your date talks about money and pick up on whether their stress is grounded in worries we all have or if they have a more specific reason for concern.

In both instances, it’s important to be supportive and helpful where you can. If your partner is feeling nervous about money, they’ll likely be much more cautious about what they’re spending, which can be a good thing. But it can also stop them from making necessary purchases or looking into investments that might actually benefit them in the future. As a partner, you can help out by minimizing their expenses for things like nights out and gifts in favor of less expensive outings or homemade gifts to leave more of their budget available for necessities.

5. HOW THEY HANDLE THE BILL.

Does your date actually look at how much they’re spending before handing their credit card to the waiter or bartender at the end of the night? It’s a subtle sign, but someone who looks over a bill is likely much more observant about what they spend than someone who just blindly hands cards or cash over once they get the tab.

Knowing what you spend every month—even on smaller purchases like drinks or dinner—is key when you’re staying on a budget. It’s that awareness that allows people to adjust their monthly budget and calculate what their new balance will be once the waiter hands over the check. Someone who knows exactly what they’re spending on the small purchases is probably keeping a close eye on the bigger picture as well.

REMEMBER THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR TALKING.

While these subtle cues can be helpful signposts when you’re trying to get an idea of your date’s financial personality, none are perfect indicators that will be accurate every time. Our financial personalities are rarely cut and dry—most of us probably display some behaviors that would paint us as savers while also showing habits that exclaim “spender!” By relying too heavily on any one indicator, we might not get an accurate impression of our date.

Instead, as you get to know a new partner, the best way to learn about their financial personality is by having a straightforward and honest talk with them. You’ll learn more by listening and asking questions than you ever could by observing small behaviors.

Whatever your financial personality is, it pays to keep an eye on your credit score. Discover offers a Free Credit Scorecard, and checking it won't impact your score. It's totally free, even if you aren't a Discover customer. Check yours in seconds. Terms apply. Visit Discover to learn more.

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Animals
Where Do Birds Get Their Songs?
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Birds display some of the most impressive vocal abilities in the animal kingdom. They can be heard across great distances, mimic human speech, and even sing using distinct dialects and syntax. The most complex songs take some practice to learn, but as TED-Ed explains, the urge to sing is woven into songbirds' DNA.

Like humans, baby birds learn to communicate from their parents. Adult zebra finches will even speak in the equivalent of "baby talk" when teaching chicks their songs. After hearing the same expressions repeated so many times and trying them out firsthand, the offspring are able to use the same songs as adults.

But nurture isn't the only factor driving this behavior. Even when they grow up without any parents teaching them how to vocalize, birds will start singing on their own. These innate songs are less refined than the ones that are taught, but when they're passed down through multiple generations and shaped over time, they start to sound similar to the learned songs sung by other members of their species.

This suggests that the drive to sing as well as the specific structures of the songs themselves have been ingrained in the animals' genetic code by evolution. You can watch the full story from TED-Ed below, then head over here for a sample of the diverse songs produced by birds.

[h/t TED-Ed]

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