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Linguine vs. Spaghetti: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 21, 2023
Linguine are flat, narrow pasta strands, while spaghetti are long, thin, round pasta strands, both popular in Italian cuisine.

Key Differences

Linguine, meaning "little tongues" in Italian, are flat and slightly wider than spaghetti, offering a different mouthfeel. Spaghetti, meaning "little twines," are round and thin, providing a classic pasta experience.
Linguine pairs well with lighter, oil-based sauces due to its flat surface, while spaghetti is versatile, complementing both light and hearty sauces.
Both linguine and spaghetti originate from Italy, with linguine traditionally from the Liguria region and spaghetti often associated with Naples.
Due to their different shapes, linguine and spaghetti have slightly varied cooking times, with linguine typically requiring a minute or two longer.
Linguine is often served with seafood or pesto, while spaghetti is famous for classic dishes like spaghetti Bolognese or carbonara.

Comparison Chart


Flat and narrow strands
Long, thin, and round strands

Best Sauce Pairing

Lighter, oil-based sauces
Versatile, suits both light and hearty sauces

Regional Origin

Traditionally from Liguria, Italy
Often associated with Naples, Italy

Cooking Time

Slightly longer due to shape
Slightly shorter, depending on thickness

Typical Dishes

Often served with seafood or pesto
Used in dishes like Bolognese, carbonara

Linguine and Spaghetti Definitions


A type of pasta in the form of narrow, flat strands.
He prepared a delicious linguine with clam sauce.


A long, thin, cylindrical pasta of Italian origin.
He twirled the spaghetti around his fork, enjoying every bite.


Italian-origin pasta, wider than spaghetti but not as wide as fettuccine.
For her pasta night, she chose linguine to complement the homemade pesto.


A staple in Italian cuisine, often served with tomato sauce.
For a classic meal, they had spaghetti with marinara sauce.


Commonly used in seafood pasta dishes.
She savored the linguine tossed with shrimp and fresh herbs.


Traditionally made from durum wheat semolina.
The spaghetti, made from durum wheat, had a delightful al dente texture.


Ideal for lighter, more delicate sauces.
The linguine perfectly absorbed the flavors of the garlic and olive oil sauce.


Suitable for a wide range of sauces, from light to hearty.
She topped the spaghetti with a rich, meaty Bolognese sauce.


A versatile pasta that offers a unique texture and flavor experience.
The linguine was a perfect choice for a light summer pasta dish.


Popular worldwide for its versatility and ease of cooking.
Spaghetti is his go-to choice for a quick and satisfying dinner.


Pasta in long, flat, thin strands.


Pasta in long, often thick strands.


Of pasta, cut from a sheet, not as wide as tagliatelle.


(Electricity) A slender tube of insulating material that covers bare wire.


Pasta in long slender flat strips


A type of pasta made in the shape of long thin strings.


(by extension) A dish that has spaghetti as a main part of it, such as spaghetti bolognese.


(informal) Any type of pasta.


(informal) Electrical insulating tubing.


(informal) Anything tangled or confusing.


(countable) A spaghetti western.


Spaghetti code.


To become, or appear to become longer and thinner.
The cables spaghettied onto the shoulder of the technician.


To stretch to become longer and thinner.
He spaghettied the referee when he landed on him.


A variety or macaroni made in tubes of small diameter.


Pasta in the form of long strings


What is spaghetti?

A long, thin, cylindrical pasta strand.

What is linguine?

A flat, narrow pasta strand, wider than spaghetti.

Where does linguine originate?

Traditionally from the Liguria region in Italy.

How long should I cook linguine?

Slightly longer than spaghetti, adjust according to package instructions.

What's the best sauce for linguine?

Lighter, oil-based sauces pair well with linguine.

What's a famous dish made with linguine?

Linguine with clam sauce is a popular choice.

What's the cooking time for spaghetti?

Varies, but generally less than linguine; check package for guidance.

What sauces go well with spaghetti?

Spaghetti is versatile, complementing both light and hearty sauces.

Is spaghetti suitable for seafood dishes?

While not traditional, it can be used in seafood dishes.

Can I use spaghetti in pesto dishes?

Absolutely, spaghetti works well with pesto.

Can I use linguine for spaghetti recipes?

Yes, but the texture and sauce absorption will differ.

Are linguine and spaghetti interchangeable?

While you can substitute, they offer different textures and sauce interactions.

Is spaghetti a healthy option?

Like all pasta, it depends on portion size and sauce used.

What's the origin of spaghetti?

Often associated with Naples, Italy.

Is linguine good with meat sauces?

It's less common, as linguine is better with lighter sauces.

What's a classic spaghetti dish?

Spaghetti Bolognese is a classic and beloved dish.

Is linguine pasta healthy?

It's similar to other pastas, moderation and sauce choice are key.

Can I make linguine gluten-free?

Yes, gluten-free linguine options are available.

Do linguine and spaghetti have the same ingredients?

Generally, both are made from durum wheat semolina.

Is there gluten-free spaghetti?

Yes, there are various gluten-free spaghetti options.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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