Fusilli pasta is a popular Italian pasta shape which has been widely exported to all over world. It is among the most common of the more unusually shaped pastas, since fusilli is highly versatile in the kitchen. It can be eaten plain as a pasta dish, but it can also be baked into casseroles, used in pasta salads, and added to soups.
Fusilli is a diminutive of fuso, the Italian word for “spindle.” Some people also call it pastarotini, in reference to the rotating, twisted shape. The shape of fusilli pasta makes it well suited to hold an assortment of sauces. The small crevices of the helix shape can hold on thin, very light sauces, while the springy shape holds up under heavy meat sauces as well. The best fusilli pasta is made with hard durum wheat. This wheat will be dense and chewy when cooked and it will also help the pasta hold its shape if it is cooked longer. Fusilli pasta made from durum wheat can be used in dishes which need to be reheated, as the pasta will not fall apart as readily as pasta made from soft wheat.