7 Best Mafalda Pasta Substitute

Mafalda is one of the most used pasta I have in my cupboard. I often forget to pick up more! So, what are the best Mafalda pasta substitute when you find you’re out? We explore the options below!

Top 7 Mafalda Pasta Substitute

There are several good substitutes for this noodle, but the top ones include Lasagna, Fettucine, Pappardelle, Linguine, Casarecce, Penne, and Rigatoni.

Each of these was picked because they were a good thickness with a good texture to hold the type of sauce desired. 

1. Lasagna


Since Mafalda is simply a lasagna sheet on a smaller scale, Lasagna is a really good substitute.

The texture, for obvious reasons, will be a little different for at least some areas since you aren’t completely getting the ribboning with every part of your pasta. This does not detract from the experience, though!

It is best to break it up into pieces to substitute lasagna adequately. This can be done easily by hand. I would suggest that you drop it into a measuring cup as you break it up.

Luckily, your portion sizes will not differ as you can easily break up the lasagna into pieces similar to Mafalda pasta.

Skillet lasagna, which is also oftentimes cooked with bowtie noodles, would be a great recipe to try your substitute with for obvious reasons. 

2. Fettuccine


If your recipe calls for longer strands of pasta, Fettucine would make a perfect fit. Fettucine is a broad, thick noodle. While it doesn’t have the ribboning of Mafalda, it is still a solid substitute due to its broad area and thick noodle.

Since the noodle has some of the same consistencies as long Mafalda, portion substitutes have no difference! It is an even trade!

A thick, creamy tomato sauce is one of the best sauces to use with this substitute. The tomato sauce is heavy enough to coat your noodle and thick enough to complement its consistency.

3. Pappardelle


Unlike many of the other noodles referenced on this list, Pappardelle is a broad noodle made with egg noodles.

This noodle is a great substitute because it has a broad rough surface with the ability to absorb sauces. This ability makes it great for heavier or stronger sauces. 

When it comes to the differences in taste, there is a difference, but it doesn’t take away from the dish. Egg noodles generally have a softer, lighter feel to them, especially before they are topped with a sauce.

This can be seen as a plus to your dish. 

4. Linguine


Since this noodle is flat and slightly broader than spaghetti, so it makes for a lighter one. This is a great substitute for Mafalda when it is a recipe that includes lighter sauces.

Since you are substituting a thinner noodle, you should add roughly 2 oz to whatever amount of Mafalda is required. 

Since this noodle is so light, a great recipe to substitute this for would be Mafalda Pasta with Caramelized Cabbage.

Typically, the broadness of the noodle captures the taste, but in this sauce, the thin sauce would adequately balance the thinness of the noodle. Making it feel lighter and not too weighed down.

5. Casarecce


This is pasta that comes in shorter lengths. This pasta is slightly twisted that has ridges that, like the waves of Mafalda, will hold your sauce well. This twisted design is what makes it a great substitute!

Since this pastas design is similar to Mafalda, you will not have to make any changes to the amount you use. That is, as long as the recipe is asking for the short version of Mafalda and not the long version of the course. 

The taste associated with this noodle will be the same as Mafalda, but the texture will be slightly different due to the difference in the way the noodle is made. This noodle pairs well with thick and tomato-based sauces. 

6. Penne


The thick, rigid form of this pasta is what helped it make the list of Mafalda substitutes! The wonderful texture is ideal for chunky sauces with an oil base, such as cream or tomato sauce. The texture can grab even the most slippery sauces and keep it in place!

When you substitute, Mafalda and Penne have no difference in the measurements since they are both short pasta. The only real difference is the texture!

7. Rigatoni 


The overall shape of this noodle is not far from that of Penne. Both kinds of pasta have similar texture patterns, but the ends of penne are sharp and pointy, while Rigatoni has a broad, hollowed-out interior with clean-cut sides shaped much like a straight pipe. 

This is a wonderful substitution for Mafalda, though the texture is slightly different, the measurement of both is equal. You can pair this noodle with almost any type of sauce, but due to its thick nature, thick sauces or chunky sauces are best. 

Related: Best Substitutes for Pasta

Homemade Fresh Mafalda Pasta Recipe

You may not know that you can make your own Mafalda pasta at home, and it’s pretty simple!

Homemade pasta


  • 3.2 cups or 400g of flour
  • 4 Large eggs
  • A pasta machine.

Tip! The instructions below are if you want to mix everything by hand. If you want to use a mixer, the directions are much the same, and the mixer will most likely take less time to get you to the desired consistency.

  1. Pour your flower on a clean work surface and dig out the center to make a crater in the middle.
  2. Crack your eggs and put them in the crater you’ve made. Using a fork, mix your eggs into your flour. As you mix, pull the flour from the edges of your mound. You should be left with a mixture with a thick consistency. 
  3. Once mixed, your dough will be very sticky, at this point, use your hands to mix in any flour that is not already mixed into the dough. 
  4. Once you are done mixing, form your dough into a ball and knead. Kneading will take roughly 10 to 20 min. You will know when you’re done if you push your finger in the center of your dough, and it springs back up.
  5. Once mixed, cover the dough and let it rest for 20-30 min.
  6. During this time, it would be wise to go ahead and set up your pasta machine and set it on the widest setting. 
  7. When your dough is adequately rested, cut it in half, sprinkle it with flour, and flatten it with the palm of your hand. 
  8. Run your dough through your pasta machine, do this 3 times. Once it is through, change your pasta machine’s settings to a more narrow setting and run it again 3 times. Repeat this until you have a light, thin sheet.
  9. Once this is done, switch your pasta machine to a Mafalde cutter and cut your pasta into pieces around 10 inches long. Run these pieces individually through the machine. 
  10. Once this is done, cook your pasta for around 3 minutes in a pot of boiling water.


History of Mafalda Pasta

Mafalda pasta also called mafaldine or Reginette, which means “little queens,” originated in Naples, Italy.

It is a royal pasta because it is believed to have been named for Princess Mafalda, the daughter of Vittorio Emanuele, the king of Italy at the time. 

Mafalda is made as wide, flat pasta ribbons resembling a tiny version of lasagna noodles. The lasagna was believed to be named after the princess because she often wore frilly dresses. The frills on the dresses looked much like the wavy sides of the noodle.  

There are two different types of Mafalda. One is a small piece that measures anywhere from ¾ an inch to ½ an inch. The other is a long piece that resembles a sheet of lasagna. The only difference is that Mafalda is a long sheet about 1 cm wide.

The noodle is thick but wavy and is good with sauces of any thickness. Though, thick sauces are typically my favorite. Thick sauces have a nice balance with the thickness of the noodle.

Two such recipes include Mafalda Pasta with Vodka sauce and sausage and a creamy tomato sauce with Mafalda. 

What Does Mafalda Pasta Taste Like?

For anyone who has never tasted Mafalda. One of the best ways to describe it would be either lasagna or possibly bowtie, also known as Farfalle. Farfalle has little cut ridges in the bowties that are reminiscent of the texture of Mafalda.

Read More: Fusilli vs Rotini: How Are They Different?

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of sauce pairs well with Mafalda pasta?

Mafalda is versatile and is great for both heavy and thin sauces.

What does Mafalda pasta look like?

Mafalda looks much like a petite version of lasagna. 

How long does it take to cook Mafalda pasta?

Mafalda only takes about 3 minutes to cook. 

Should I salt the water I use to boil my Mafalda noodles?

Yes, you should always salt the water when boiling any type of pasta. The salt helps bring out the flavor and makes it easier for seasonings to penetrate the noodle.


Mafalda noodles are versatile and great for any type of sauce you can think of! Some of the best substitutes for this sauce include, but are not limited to, Lasagna, Fettucine, Pappardelle, Linguine, Casarecee, Penne, and Rigatoni.

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

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