Spaghettini VS Capellini
There are so many different types of pasta that it isn’t easy to know which is which, so in this post, I will explain the difference between spaghettini vs capellini and how to tell them apart.
Capellini and spaghettini are thin varieties of spaghetti, however, capellini is thinner than spaghettini. The diameter of capellini is between 0.85mm and 0.95mm. Spaghettini is between 1.5mm and 1.7mm in diameter.
Although the width is the main difference between these noodle-style pasta varieties, there are specific reasons why you may use one over the other.
Let’s take a closer look at spaghettini and capellini to better understand what they are and how they should be used.
What Is Spaghettini
Spaghettini is a variety of spaghetti, and if you pay little attention, you may think both words are the same.
The word spaghetti is Italian and describes a long, thin, cylindrical variety of pasta. If you want to take it a step further, spaghetti is the plural of spaghetto or spago, which translates to “thin string” or “twine.”
Spaghetti is one of the most commonly used varieties of pasta, but spaghettini and capellini are thinner and better suited to specific dishes. There is also a thicker version of spaghetti that is called spaghettoni.
What Does Spaghettini Look Like
Spaghettini is similar in color to spaghetti but may have a lighter tone if made with lighter refined flour. Wholemeal spaghettini will have a darker brown color.
The length of spaghettini noodles can vary, but they are typically around 25cm long, which makes them slightly shorter than spaghetti noodles.
How Is Spaghettini Made
Spaghettini is made using the same process as spaghetti. The traditional ingredient is semolina flour which is high in fiber, gluten, and protein. Once cooked, spaghettini has the benefit of a long shelf life.
When making spaghettini, the dough is extruded through a die that is smaller in diameter than used for spaghetti or spaghettoni. The thinner diameter of the spaghettini makes it better suited for lighter sauces.
What Is Capellini
Capellini, also known as angel hair pasta, is a long, thin variety of spaghetti with a diameter of 0.85mm to 0.95mm. The word capellini comes from the Italian word for “hair,” which is one of the thinnest varieties of pasta available.
Capellini is not true angel hair pasta as there is an even thinner variety of pasta, more specifically called angel hair. The difference in thickness between capellini and true angel hair pasta is so slight that they appear almost identical and can be used in precisely the same way.
Capellini is often used in soup as it can cook quickly and does not need to be pre-soaked. Capellini can also be used with various sauces, but it is best suited to lighter sauces due to its thin diameter.
What Does Capellini Look Like
Capellini is similar in appearance to all of the long, thin pasta varieties, but as it is the thinnest, it looks much more delicate. When cooked, capellini is often formed into a nest and placed in the center of a soup bowl.
The length of capellini noodles can vary, but they are typically around 25cm long, which makes them slightly shorter than spaghetti noodles.
How Is Capellini Made
Capellini is made using the same process and ingredients as spaghettini, however, the dough is extruded through an even smaller die, creating an even thinner noodle.
Capellini has the benefit of being one of the quickest-cooking pasta varieties, as it only needs to be cooked for 1-2 minutes. Capellini is also one of the lightest pasta varieties as it contains fewer calories and carbohydrates per serving than other pasta varieties.
When To Use Spaghettini Pasta
While spaghettini can be used for any pasta dish, it is best suited to dishes with lighter sauces, such as pesto or garlic and oil dishes. The slightly thicker diameter of spaghettini allows it to hold more sauce than capellini while being thin enough to allow delicate flavors through.
Spaghettini can still be used in heartier dishes such as bolognese. Still, the thicker sauces will slide off much easier than they would when using spaghetti or spaghettoni.
When To Use Capellini
Capellini should be used for dishes where a much lighter pasta is desired, such as soups or salads. The delicate flavor of capellini is best paired with light sauces or used without sauce altogether.
The most common dishes that use capellini are broth-based soups and seafood salads. The capellini can be used more like a dressing or as the main ingredient.
Be aware that as capellini is so thin, it can be easily overcooked, turning mushy and sticky.
Final Thoughts On Spaghettini VS Capellini
Hopefully, this quick guide has helped you to tell the difference between spaghettini and capellini. Both are long, thin varieties of spaghetti, but spaghettini is slightly thicker than capellini.
Specific recipes are better suited to either capellini or spaghettini, but they can be used interchangeably in many cases. If you can’t find capellini, then spaghettini is a good substitute and vice versa.
When in doubt, go for the pasta that best complements your sauce. Capellini is a good choice if you’re making a lighter sauce. For slightly thicker sauces, spaghettini is a better option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are angel hair and capellini the same?
Capellini pasta is also commonly known as angel hair. Although they are essentially the same, true angel hair pasta is slightly thinner than capellini. Angel hair pasta is the thinnest of all the long, cylindrical pasta varieties.
What can I substitute for capellini pasta?
If you need thin pasta but don’t have capellini, you can substitute it with spaghettini or vermicelli. The only difference is that the pasta will be slightly thicker than capellini.
Is Capellini healthier than Spaghettini?
Capellini and spaghettini are made from the same ingredients, so they will contain the same nutritional values gram for gram. A serving of capellini is typically much smaller than a serving of spaghettini and will have fewer calories.