Food Guide

Mostaccioli vs Ziti Pasta: Same or Different?

Mostaccioli vs Ziti
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Mostaccioli vs Ziti. What differences do they have?

Some think that they are both the same.

Both Mostaccioli and Ziti are Italian pasta variants.

And many will say that pasta is pasta regardless of what shape the process is.

That is true in a way, but we are talking about the difference in pasta.

So, do Mostaccioli and Ziti have any significant differences between them?

Surely yes, they have many visible differences.

But they also share a lot of similarities and that raises confusion among people.

The distinctive difference between Mostaccioli and Ziti pasta is its shape or overall appearance.

Both of them have a tubular shape as they belong to the extruded pasta group.

When it comes to the taste of both these pastas, there really is no difference.

Another difference is between cooking method.

Baking is the only option for Ziti pasta.

On the other hand, Mostaccioli pasta can be both cooked and baked.

So, we can assure you that they are different and we will help you to spot the difference in this article.

What is Mostaccioli?

Barilla Pasta, Mostaccioli, 16 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Mostaccioli is an Italian pasta variant.

It belongs to the extruded pasta group.

Extruded pasta groups are prepared by pushing the dough into a tubular-shaped pasta machine.

All pasta from the extruded pasta group has a tubular shape, which is their distinctive property.

The Mostaccioli is one of the most famous pasta of this group.

This pasta is also known as Penne Lisce. They are a specialty in Southern Italy.

The tubular shape body of this pasta with sharp angle cuts resembles a mustache.

That is where this pasta got its name Mostaccioli.

One other distinctive feature of the Mostaccioli pasta is that they have a linear texture in their exterior.

It is a line-like texture aligning with the length of the pasta.

This texture gives the pasta a rigid structure after it is cooked and served.

 It is also the reason why Mostaccioli is best served with cheese and thick sauces.

What is Ziti?

Barilla Pasta, Ziti, 16 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Ziti is another tubular pasta variant. It originated from Campania Italy.

As it is a tubular-shaped pasta, you can guess that it belongs to the extruded pasta group.

Ziti has no other names. It is just known as Ziti.

Does the name mean anything like Mostaccioli?

No, it does not.

Ziti is processed in the tubular pasta machine and every pasta is cut at a straight 90o angle with its length.

This makes the Ziti pasta appear as a rectangle from its side view.

The exterior of Ziti pasta has no texture. They are smooth.

This smooth texture does not give the pasta any kind of structural integrity when they are cooked.

Thus, they can be categorized in the soft pasta group.

As it becomes soft when cooked, thick sauce and cheese are not best for it.

It goes well with thin, artery sauces.

But you can use thick sauce if you are baking it in an oven.

Comparison Between Mostaccioli and Ziti Pasta

A lot of people say that there is no difference between Mostaccioli and Ziti pasta.

Well, we are going to prove them wrong here.

A quick summary of all the differences is that Mostaccioli is rigid and best for cooking with thick sauces whereas Ziti is soft and fragile, and best cooked in an oven.

Now let us look at the difference from a detailed perspective.

The shape of the pasta

The first distinctive difference between Mostaccioli and Ziti pasta is its shape/ appearance.

Both of them have a tubular shape as they belong to the extruded pasta group.

They also share similar lengths. But Mostaccioli is comparatively bigger and has a large diameter.

The edges of the Mostaccioli pasta are cut at a sharp angle.

This gives them the appearance of a mustache.

This is where it got the name Mostaccioli.

On the other hand, Ziti has a straight 90o angle cut with its length.

This makes it appear as a rectangle from a side view.

Sometimes the Ziti pasta is manufactured in strands.

Then you will need to break each strand into small pieces.

In that case, they may not have the rectangular shape and will also differ in size.

The texture of the pasta

The next major difference is the texture of the two kinds of pasta.

While the texture may seem like a part of its appearance, it does have some functionality that affects its choice of recipes.

In general cases, the Mostaccioli pasta has a line texture aligned with its length.

So, when the pasta is cooked/ baked, this line texture gives it an integrated structure.

This allows the Mostaccioli pasta to be cooked in recipes that require a lot of stirring and heavy/ thick ingredients.

On the other hand, the Ziti pasta is usually smooth and has no line texture.

This smooth texture makes it very soft after cooking.

Soft pasta is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does have some limitations.

That is why it is best to bake Ziti pasta.

Now there are texture versions of Ziti pasta available in the market.

That textured Ziti pasta stays rigid after cooking.

So, you can do all your pasta experiments with them.

You can also find non-textured/ smooth Mostaccioli pasta.

We are not sure whether you will find any great use of those, but we thought you should know.

Sauces that can be used with the pasta

When it comes to the taste of both these pastas, there really is no difference.

Both these pastas are made with the same dough and processed in the same type of extruded pasta machine.

What makes them different in taste is the ingredients that you will use with them for cooking.

When it comes to pasta sauces, there are generally two categories.

One is the thick sauces. They are intense and heavy.

You will need strong, rigid pasta to handle the pressure created by these thick sauces.

That sounds like the perfect sauce for Mostaccioli pasta.

But what would happen if you cook it with Ziti pasta?

It will break down the pasta if you do that, but we will not stop you from trying.

We would recommend you to bake Ziti pasta with heavy sauces.

The other category of sauce is the thin sauce. They have a waterier base.

You can easily cook Ziti and Mostaccioli in this type of sauce.

Recipes that you can cook with the pasta

In the previous section, we discussed the difference in sauces that can be used with Mostaccioli and Ziti pasta.

Now as there are differences in the use of sauce, there will be some differences in the recipe you prepare with these two kinds of pasta.

If you google recipes for Ziti pasta, you will see a whole collection of baked pasta recipes with Ziti pasta.

You will hardly find any recipe for Ziti pasta that allows you to cook and stir the Ziti pasta.

That is because the Ziti pasta is not strong enough to handle thick sauces and stirring them while hot may cause them to break and ruin the pasta.

On the other hand, Mostaccioli pasta has both baked and cooked recipes.

You can find a variety of recipes with the Mostaccioli pasta.

That is because the Mostaccioli pasta has a rigid, yet flexible structure after being cooked.

So, the summary is that Mostaccioli pasta has more creative recipes than Ziti pasta.

Cooking/ preparing methods of the pasta

The last major difference between the Mostaccioli and the Ziti pasta is the way you will cook the pasta.

As you have seen that googling Ziti recipes will only show you baked recipes, baking is the only option for Ziti pasta.

But you can cook them only if you stir them mildly.

We would not take that risk with Ziti pasta.

So please stick with the oven if you are preparing Ziti pasta.

On the other hand, Mostaccioli pasta can be both cooked and baked.

So, there are no limitations with the Mostaccioli pasta.

You can get as creative as you want with the Mostaccioli pasta.

So, these were the major differences between the Mostaccioli and the Ziti pasta.

Comparison Table of Mostaccioli Pasta Vs Ziti Pasta

We have summarized all the major factors of difference between the Mostaccioli and the Ziti pasta in the previous section. It was a big discussion.

You may have lost yourself there for a bit.

So, for your convenience, here is a summary of all the differences that we have discussed in the previous section.

We hope that it can be equally helpful as the full description.


Related Questions

Is mostaccioli a ziti?

No, Mostaccioli is not a Ziti pasta.

Mostaccioli pasta is a type of penne pasta that resembles ziti pasta.

Whereas ziti pasta is a type of penne pasta that looks like mostaccioli.

Can I use Penne instead of Ziti?

Penne and Ziti pasta are cylindrical and hollow pasta.

They are made using the extrusion procedure in which the dough is forced through a die into the desired shape.

These both pasta goes well with simple as well as meaty sauces due to their large surface areas. They are very delicious to eat like other types of pasta.

So, yes, you can use penne pasta instead of ziti.

You can also replace ziti with penne without altering much about your dish.

There’s a difference that can change how you enjoy your cuisine.

A difference is very small you may not have thought of it before.

What can you substitute for Mostaccioli pasta?

You can use Penne or Ziti pasta as a substitute for Mostaccioli pasta.

What can You use instead of ziti?

You can use penne pasta which is very easy to find for Ziti substitute.

You can also replace Ziti with mostaccioli.

Even rigatoni pasta may be used but the tubes are much wider.

Can you use rigatoni instead of ziti?

Yes, you can use Rigatoni instead of Ziti.

You should use the Ziti with ridges rather than smooth versions of Ziti to substitute Rigatoni.

Rigatoni is a type of pasta, while Ziti is pasta itself.

The ingredients of both pastas are the same, and only the shape and texture differ.

Ziti pasta is smooth in texture, whereas Rigatoni is ridged in texture.

The basic mix of both kind of pasta is the same.

So, Ziti and Rigatoni can easily substitute one another.

Both the pasta goes well with chunkier sauces holding the sauces in the hollow center and ridges.

Does baked Ziti taste like Lasagna?

Baked Ziti and Lasagna both are two dishes made from pasta.

Both the dishes are made with the same ingredients.

So, yes, there is a similarity in the taste of baked Ziti and Lasagna.

You would not feel a lot of difference in taste.

Because of their cheesy texture and rich taste with almost all the flavors indulged such as spicy, slightly sweet, savory, creamy, and cheesy.

Since both the dishes, lasagna, and baked ziti are made with the same ingredients, you wouldn’t feel much difference in their taste.

However, the overall texture and appearance of both dishes are different.

It is because both are served and organized differently.

Final Thoughts

Now we have reached the end of our Mostaccioli vs Ziti pasta discussion.

So, did we prove ourselves right by discussing all the differences between the two pasta variants?

We hope that you have understood everything that we have said.

Pasta is pasta no matter what variant it is, but it affects the way you will use that pasta in various recipes.

If you still think that you can substitute Mostaccioli pasta with Ziti pasta, then you are wrong.

They are both different kinds of pasta.

Do not mix them up with each other.

Remember, Mostaccioli with thick and thin sauce and Ziti with an only thin sauce.

That shall hammer the difference between the two kinds of pasta in your mind.




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