7+ Mafalda Pasta Substitute Options

Using Mafalda pasta ensures that every bite is laden with your chosen sauce, as the pasta’s ridges hold sauces well. However, it may be challenging to find on your regular grocery run. Therefore, we’ll explore some options that can substitute for mafalda pasta and the best ways to use them.

What Is Mafalda?

Mafalda pasta is one of Italy’s pasta gifts to the world, traditionally paired with a Bolognese sauce. These curly ribbon-like strands of pasta originated in Naples, Campania but are also popular in Sicily and Puglia. History notes that some pasta makers named this pasta after Princess Mafalda of Savoy following her birth in 1902.

Other names for mafalda pasta include reginette (‘little queens’ in Italian), mafalde, and mafaldine. It’s usually made from durum wheat semolina and water and comes in short and long strips. Thick, creamy sauces are perfect for this versatile pasta. It’s also great paired with pesto, beef shin ragu, and tomato-based sauces.

7 Perfect Substitutes for Mafalda Pasta

Certain recipes like La barba di San Giuseppe, Mafalde Funghi, and Tuscan Cavolo Neropesto would not be complete without Mafalda pasta. To maintain the deliciousness of these delicacies, here are 7 perfect mafalda pasta replacements:

1. Pappardelle

strands of raw uncooked pappardelle pasta hanging from a person's arm

Pappardelle is a traditional pasta shaped like broad ribbons. They’re long and flat with a width of about 13mm, and their edges can be straight or ribbed. Pappardelle is made from an egg-based batter. Therefore, this pasta’s dough is smoother and richer.

You can use this mafalda pasta substitute when making thick, rustic sauces and stews like beef stroganoff. Mop up your pot roast or other well-cooked meat stews with Pappardelle. It’s best served in a large bowl or on a plate.

2. Lasagna

Lasagna is probably not a stranger in your home. That makes it a readily available alternative for mafalda pasta. Lasagna is a flat, broad sheet of pasta that you can use without pre-boiling because it absorbs moisture from the sauces it’s baked with.

fresh raw uncooked lasagna pasta sheets in a collander

Simply cook the lasagna sheets and top them with your preferred sauce for a decadent substitute for mafalda pasta. You can always cut the cooked lasagna into ribbons for a similar shape if you prefer.

3. Linguine

linguine pasta in a dish

The delightful linguine is flat and broader than spaghetti but not as broad as fettuccine or tagliatelle. But it makes for a fantastic substitute for mafalda pasta. Especially when cooking a dish that calls for longer pasta strands or ribbons.

Linguine words perfectly with thinner, lighter sauces such as herbed clam sauce. And if you prefer a healthier mafalda pasta substitute, you can always opt for whole-wheat linguine.

4. Fettuccine

raw uncooked fettuccine

Fettuccine is a long hand-cut noodle widely considered one of the original pasta forms. This pasta looks like little ribbons and is popular in Tuscan and Roman delicacies. Fettuccine is broader, fatter, and flatter than linguine.

The luscious fettuccine dough produces pasta with a tender texture and mouthwatering flavor. It’s an ideal substitute for mafalda pasta when making a creamy Alfredo sauce. And will be the perfect accompaniment when you add extra parmesan and heavy cream.

5. Casarecce

Casarecce is a delightful Sicilian pasta that comes in shorter lengths and is slightly twisted. As you may have noticed, any pasta with ridges and hollows holds and carries sauces well. Whether the sauce is light or thick, casarecce pasta and its grooves are a great accompaniment.

It pairs excellently with pesto or thick sauces made with cream. Soak up your delicious tomato-based sauce with every bite of casarecce pasta to get an incredible delight.

6. Penne

Penne hails from the Campania region of Italy and is named for its resemblance to the quill. Its “rigate” or ridged form would be a better mafalda pasta substitute because it’s sturdier and more sauce will cling to it.

Use penne rigate for any chunky sauce oil-based, tomato, or cream sauces. Penne pasta works brilliantly in a variety of dishes. And it’s great for recipes that require you to bake the pasta.

7. Rigatoni

Rigatoni comes from the Italian word “rigato”, meaning ridge. They’re short, wide pasta tubes that are smooth inside but bumpy or ridged outside. 

Because of the ridges down its length, rigatoni is a perfect substitute for mafalda pasta. It’s also great for baked dishes such as timballo, popular in Sicily. This variety of pasta handles cheese well in baked pasta recipes. Hearty dishes such as Pasta Alla Norma or those containing large portions of meat and vegetables are great with rigatoni. 


There are many types of pasta available, but these are the best options when looking to substitute mafalda pasta. Each has a similar taste to mafalda pasta and pairs well with different sauces. Any mafalda pasta substitute above should produce a superb Italian meal.

Must-read related articles

  • Substitutes For Pasta Water – If you’re cooking authentic Italian Mafalda the sauces recipe might call for pasta water. If you don’t have any check out these alternatives.
  • Substitutes For Orecchiette – Another popular alternative to mafalda is orecchiette pasta. If you want to learn more about this pasta and some of its own alternatives then have a look.