Capellini Vs. Spaghetti: What’s The Difference?

Sometimes you want to make a pasta recipe, but you wonder if the pasta variety you have is the best fit. Perhaps you’ve wondered about the difference between Capellini and Spaghetti? This article highlights the primary differences between the two pasta varieties. And it provides a detailed description of each.

What Is Capellini?

Capellini is a variety of strand pasta with a very thin noodle strand. It’s a long cylindrical pasta with about 12-inch-long strands and a diameter of between 0.85 and 0.92 millimeters. The name “capellini” translates into “little hairs” because of how thin the pasta strands are.

Cooking capellini is a very tricky process. Due to its ultra-thin strands, it is easy to overcook the pasta. When cooked correctly, capellini has a soft texture and delicate taste. Capellini is an excellent pasta for sauces that are light like pesto. They also pair well with seafood ingredients and easy-to-make dishes that need just a few fresh ingredients.

What Is Spaghetti?

Spaghetti is one of the most popular strand pasta varieties. It is a cylindrical and solid long pasta. And it’s one of the most prominent pasta varieties in Italian cuisine. Made from milled wheat, it is enriched with vitamins and minerals. Its name translates to thin string or twine, just like the noodle. 

It’s a versatile pasta that goes well with so many sauces ranging from fish to ragu and carbonara. The pasta holds the sauce well and provides a good serving of sauce in every bite. Spaghetti is so popular that it can easily be found in grocery stores worldwide. 

Capellini Vs. Spaghetti: What Is The Difference?

Capellini and spaghetti have plenty of similarities. They are both strand pasta types. And, in some corners, capellini is referred to as a thinner spaghetti. It may be difficult to tell them apart when placed side by side. 

  • Texture: The main difference between the two pasta varieties is the texture. Capellini has a thinner profile and is more delicate than the firmer spaghetti. Spaghetti holds more density and must be cooked al dente to maintain its firmness. 
  • Length: Spaghetti is a longer and broader noodle than capellini.
  • Culinary Uses: Spaghetti is a very versatile pasta that can be served with various sauces like butter-based sauces, classic marinara sauce, fresh pesto, tomato sauces, ragu, etc. Capellini, on the other hand, is often incorporated into seafood recipes. The delicate strands of capellini make it a great combo with seafood. It can also be served with tomato or meat sauces.


Spaghetti and capellini are very similar pasta varieties. The main difference between the two is that capellini is the thinner and more delicate variety of the two. Knowing this will give you a leg up when selecting the correct pasta for your dish.