Linguine vs. Fettuccine – What’s The Difference? (Plus Recipes)

The Different Italian Pasta Types 

Italy is home to hundreds of pasta! Linguine and fettuccine are among the most common long pasta in Italy. Linguine vs. Fettuccine: What is the difference? Although these two are almost similar, they differ in shape and ingredients. 

The difference between these two kinds of pasta can impact your recipe. For example, you will need to use different types of sauce when preparing each of these noodles. Let’s learn more about these two pasta types.

What is Linguine?

Linguine is a type of Italian pasta with simple flour and water ingredients. Linguine pasta originated in Italy in Genoa and Liguria provinces. The different types of flour used to make linguine include whole wheat flour, white flour, and potato flour.

 What does linguine look like? This pasta is famous for its long, thin, and elliptical shape.

The linguine pasta’s texture helps carry the typical seafood or pesto sauce toppings. Most Italians season linguine pasta with green beans, pesto, and potatoes. Today this meal is typically served during the primo course of dinner or lunch in Italy before a meat or fish dish.


What is Fettuccine?

Fettuccine is a famous Italian pasta with a flat-ribbon shape and a thickness of 10 inches (25.4 centimeters). Fettuccine means “little ribbons” in Italian. What’s fettuccine made of? The main ingredients used to make this pasta are egg and durum wheat flour. 

If you love watching cooking shows or are taking cooking classes, the excellent alfredo fettuccine sauce is probably among the first dishes you’ll learn to make. Many people love making fettuccine alfredo sauce because it’s quick, easy, and, most importantly, tastes great!

Most cooks use fettuccine in pasta recipes that include hearty toppings or heavy sauces. Fettuccine pasta is served chiefly with Alfredo and porcini sauces. Everyday recipes include:

  • A topping of porcini mushrooms.
  • A sauce of meat ragù.
  • A Pomodoro bruciati recipe.

Many people love making fettuccine alfredo sauce because it’s easy, quick, and, most importantly – it tastes phenomenal.


What’s the Difference Between Linguine and Fettuccine?

Fettuccine vs. linguine. It is hard to tell them apart with so many different pasta types. Are there any differences between these two very similar types of noodles? From their look, it might seem as if these two kinds of pasta have a few differences. Howe

ver, as a pasta expert, these two couldn’t be more different!

If you have started making your own homemade pasta, you must have realized that there is a considerable difference between linguine and fettuccine. These two noodles don’t just differ in thickness and shape. They are also best cooked with different sauces and accompaniments.

The deeper you dive into the world of pasta, the more you begin to notice and appreciate how these little differences work in the kitchen. Let’s take a closer look at the difference between linguine and fettuccine pasta.


These two kinds of pasta have different ingredients. While linguine contains flour and water, fettuccine pasta contains flour and eggs as the key ingredients. The types of floors used to make these two pasta are white wheat flour, potato flour, and whole wheat flour.


Although these two kinds of pasta are long and wide, they differ in thickness. Fettuccine pasta is much heavier and thicker than linguine. Linguine is wide and flat. 


Fettuccine pasta has a flat surface, while linguine has an oval cross-section shape.


It is possible to make these two kinds of pasta at home. However, linguine is more challenging to make than fettuccine.


Due to the difference in thickness, you will need different types of sauce when serving these two kinds of pasta. Since linguine is lighter, it pairs well with thin sauces like plain tomato sauce. It would help if you used thick sauces when serving fettuccine because the pasta is thicker and can hold the sauce well.


Linguine is one of the most famous foods served during warm weather. This pasta pairs well with seafood or meat. On the other hand, fettuccine pairs with Alfredo, Bolognese, and Porcini.

Health Factor

Fettuccine pasta is heavy because of the thick added cream and sauces. Linguine is healthier because it contains light oils and thin causes.

Our Top Tips for Serving These Pasta Types With Sauces

Due to their difference in weight, linguine Fettuccine and linguine noodles pair better with different types of sauces. Here are some tips for serving these kinds of pasta.

Use Thick Sauces With Fettuccine.

Traditionally Italians use denser sauces when serving long ribbon noodles. You should pair fettuccine pasta with a thick sauce like a bolognese or carbonara for the best results. Alternatively, you can use meat sauce like ragu.

Use Thin Sauces When Serving Linguine

Since they have a narrow shape, linguine noodles do well with thin sauces. Linguine generally pairs well with plain tomato sauces and light tomato-based pasta sauces. You may also consider using white wine and garlic mixtures or pestos.

Pair Linguine With Seafood

In case you didn’t know, linguine pasta pairs well with many different types of food. However, it complements better with seafood because the protein in seafood is lighter than in other meatier options. Try topping the pasta with a light coat of peanut butter and serving them with fish, prawns, or shrimp.

Add Alfredo Sauce to Fettuccine

Adding Alfredo sauce to fettuccine pasta makes it a classic Italian dish. Alfredo di Lelio invented fettuccine alfredo in the twentieth century. This famous Italian delicacy began as fresh pasta tossed with butter and Parmesan cheese. 

This simple coating for the pasta has since evolved into modern-day alfredo sauce, a thick cream sauce. This recipe is a common Italian food menu item worldwide, often topped with meatballs or clams.

Save Some Pasta Water

All experienced cooks will tell you to save some pasta water after boiling, and this is for a good reason. The water is always flavored; you can use it to thin out the sauce. It’s quite normal to forget this, but drained pasta water works much better than tap water. 

Use Genuine, Refrigerated Parmesan Cheese When Making Fettuccine Alfredo

Parmesan cheese is one of the most vital ingredients in making fettuccine alfredo. Therefore, you must use genuine, good, quality refrigerated parmesan cheese. Using any other type of cheese will significantly change the taste of your meal and spoil its authenticity,

Use Less Pasta for a Saucier Meal

Using less pasta when making Fettuccine and Linguine dishes makes the meal saucier. Don’t worry about the meal losing its quality or taste; it’s the same food but with a slightly new consistency.

Serve the Pasta Immediately.

When preparing these two kinds of pasta, cook in small batches that you and your guests can eat and finish. As with all other pasta, It’s advisable to do the last toss right at the table. If you let it sit around for a long time, you’ll get a lump of gluey pasta. Ask your visitors to eat right away upon receiving their plate.

The Different Use Cases

When preparing linguine and fettuccine pasta, you must always ensure your pasta’s thickness is proportional to the sauce you want to serve. The same rule applies when choosing an ideal pasta season for your noodles. 

During summer or warm weather seasons, thinner and lighter sauces work best. On the other hand, thick sauces work best during winter and other cold seasons. Most people try making Italian dishes because of how delicious and professional they appear. 

You must never forget that your pasta’s thickness is vital in deciding when and what to eat. 

As mentioned above, some of these pasta sauces go well with thick sauce, and others go well with a thin sauce. Others are versatile so that you can use thick or thin sauces based on your preference and availability. Let’s find out what exactly goes with what.

Thick Sauces

Fettuccine goes perfectly well with thick sauces such as alfredo. That is because this pasta is thick, wide, and flat. Fettuccine Alfredo has become more common in America but is originally from an old romance dish called fettuccine al burro. Fettuccine al burro is one of the heavy sauces Italians love pairing with fettuccine.

Traditional Italian sauces such as carbonara and bolognese also pair well with Fettuccine pasta. Because of their tenderness, fettuccine noodles are closely linked to cold-weather dishes for Italian dinners with thick sauces.

Thin Sauces

While fettuccine’s wide surface is suitable for gathering thick, heavy sauces, linguine is delicate and goes better with lighter sauces. When serving linguine noodles, most Italians don’t use tasteful cheeses such as Parmesan or Asiago. Instead, they use sauces to envelop the noodles. 

A classic linguine dish includes tomatoes and mussels in a light sauce with white wine and garlic in America. Although this sauce originated in Italy, Italians do not use tomatoes when preparing linguine with clams or mussels.


One of the interesting things about linguine pasta is that it works perfectly with many sauces. It is one of the most flexible pasta choices in Italy. Whereas Italians consume fettuccine during winter, most linguine dishes are available throughout the year.

One of the fascinating things about linguine is that it works perfectly with a wide array of sauces. You can use cheese, cream, oil, and tomato-based sauces based on your preference. 

However, the sauce option can differ depending on your protein choice. Here are more sauces that you can use when serving linguine:

Seafood-based sauce – Seafood sauce goes well with linguine. Consider deserving this pasta with scallops, shrimp, or clams. You can also combine grilled or pan-fried food with pasta.

Pesto sauce – Italians traditionally served linguine pasta with pesto sauce. The pasta absorbs the nut and earthy taste of the pine nuts and herbs in the dish. You can pair this sauce with cherry tomatoes or chicken or make a creamy pesto version with cheese.

Tomato sauce – linguine pasta blends well with sweet and tangy tomato sauce. All you need for this is chopped tomatoes and a heap of tomato paste. You may also add grated parmesan and basil leaves to maximize the flavor.

Lemon sauce – Using freshly prepared citrus lemon sauce is a wonderful way to lighten up the pasta noodles. Lemon juice blends well with garlic, butter, heavy cream, and herbs to create a tasty dish.

Clam Linguine With Turmeric and Coriander

Time: 20 minutes

Serving size: 5 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Nutritional Facts/Info per serving/in total:

Kcal: 763

Fat: 1.03 ounce (29.3 grams)

Saturates: 0.50 ounce (14.3grams)

Carbs: 2.91 ounces (82.5 grams)

Sugars: 0.22 ounces (6.2 grams)

Fiber: 0.20 ounces (5.6 grams)

Protein: 1.03 ounces (29.7 grams)

Salt: 0.1 ounces (2.4 grams)

Equipment Needed

  1. Tongs
  2. Spider
  3. Measuring cup
  4. Microplane
  5. Salt cellar
  6. Wooden spoon
  7. Pasta pot


  • 17.6 ounces (499 grams) of linguine pasta
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 large cloves garlic ( thinly sliced)
  • 4 fresh turmeric fingers(about 2.36 to 2.76 inches (6 to 7 centimeters each) well washed and finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 0.91 kilograms (2 pounds) clams (well cleaned)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 ounces (113.4 grams) of salted butter (diced)
  • 10.6 ounces (300 grams) of baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped (including stalks)


  1. Boil the linguine in a large pan of salted boiling water until just al dente. Drain, reserving some water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan and stir in the turmeric, chili, and garlic flakes. Allow them to sizzle gently for 1 to 2 minutes.
  1. Add in the clams while stirring quickly to coat. Add all your favorite spices, then stir. Add the white wine and stir again. Cover the pan and cook for a few minutes.
  2. Remove the lid, stir again and add in the pasta, tomatoes, butter, and a few spoonfuls of the pasta cooking water.
  3. Allow the liquid to drain, and cover the noodles while you stir. Taste the broth and season again if need be. Toss the coriander through and serve immediately.

Shrimp Broccoli Alfredo

Time: 30 minutes

Serving size: 4 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Nutritional Facts/Info per serving/in total:

Kcal: 503 kcal

Fat: 0.67 ounces 19 (grams)

Saturates: 0.28 ounces (8grams)

Cholesterol: 0.001 ounces (38 milligrams)

Carbs: 2.91 ounces (82.5 grams)

Sugars: 0.22 ounces (6.2 grams)

Fiber: 0.2 ounces (5.6 grams)

Protein: 0.811 ounces (23 grams) 

Sodium: 0.034 ounces (965 milligrams)

Iron: 2 milligrams (7.05 ounces)

Calcium: 10.06 ounces (455 milligrams)

Equipment Needed

  1. Tongs
  2. Spider
  3. Measuring cup
  4. Microplane
  5. Salt cellar
  6. Wooden spoon
  7. Pasta pot


  • 7 ounces (198.4 grams) fettuccine 198.4 grams ( fettuccine (uncooked)
  • 1 pound (454 grams) shrimp (medium raw and peeled)
  • 3 garlic cloves (grounded)
  • 1/2 butter (cubed)
  • 6 ounces (170.09 grams) fresh cream cheese (cubed)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper


  1. Cook the fettuccine as per the package instructions. Meanwhile, pan-fry the shrimp and garlic with butter in a skillet until the shrimp turns pink. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
  2. Mix Milk, cream, and Parmesan cheese in the same container; cook while stirring to melt and smoothen the cheese.
  3. In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of water and add the broccoli. Allow the water to boil. Lower the heat; cover and cook until tender for 2 minutes.
  4. Heat the broccoli, shrimp, pepper, and salt into the cheese sauce. Drain the pasta and cover it with the shrimp broth.

Can You Substitute Pasta With Each Other?

Of course! You can substitute Linguine and fettuccine noodles for each other at home. However, an original Italian chef wouldn’t do this. Linguine noodles are thinner, lighter pasta and go better with delicate sauces. On the other hand, most people prefer serving Fettuccine with thick cream-based sauces.

It’s easy to tell the difference between these two kinds of pasta when you know what to look for. However, unless you’re very disciplined about the pasta you buy, it won’t make much difference which pasta you use for most dishes at home. You can confidently switch these two kinds of pasta or any other ribbon noodles and still enjoy a great meal!

Other FAQs

Which is Better, Linguine or Fettuccine?

Although these noodles are somewhat interchangeable in most homes, experienced Italian chefs know that each style of pasta has its place in Italian cooking!

Linguine pasta is thinner and lighter than fettuccine, so you should cook it in a thinner and lighter sauce than what you use with fettuccine. Fettuccine noodles are flatter and can better handle much thicker and heavier sauces.

Linguine noodles are usually coated in light oils and prepared with light green vegetables. On the other hand, Fettuccine pasta goes well with super-creamy sauces. Lots of heavy cream and cheese will go into making a delicious fettuccine dish.

If you’re trying to cut some calories or live healthier, linguine pasta in a light sauce is the way to go. If you aren’t counting calories or trying to find creamy comfort food, thick fettuccine pasta covered in parmesan cheese is the one for you!

What Wine Goes Well With Linguine and Fettuccine?

Like all other pasta dishes, fettuccine and linguine pair amazingly with a chilled wine. Most food critics argue that choosing the wine boils down to personal preference. However, more than enough palates have tasted different wines to give you a good head start to finding your idea of the best pairing for your favorite pasta.

The beloved Fettuccine Alfredo pairs well with a wide variety of wines, from red wine made in Sicily to California chardonnays. You can consider pairing your Alfredo fettuccine with Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, or Pinot Noir.

When it comes to wine pairing with linguine, it all depends on what sauces you choose to serve with. If you use tomato sauce, you can serve your linguine pasta with chilled Barbera, Zinfandel, or chianti wine. If you make your linguine with seafood or seafood sauce, you can wash it down with chilled Vernaccia, Orvieto, or Verdicchio wine. 

Fettuccine and wine

Linguine vs. Fettuccine: Which One Is the Real Winner?

Experienced pasta cooks will tell you that it all depends on the meal you are cooking. When cooking fettuccine, you should use alfredo style. Linguine, on the other hand, is better when you serve it with seafood or pesto. 

These two meals are quite different. Therefore there won’t ever be a clear winner in the war between linguine vs. fettuccine! At the end of the day, you and tradition will determine the best fit for a dish.

If you have a pasta maker, you can try cooking both styles of long pasta at home and test the various textures and tastes. Once you have tested for both linguine and fettuccine, you can decide which kind you prefer. Why not save our recipes above for later?

The Bottom Line

Tossing up the long strands of these two long pasta is a very satisfying experience. Whether you are enjoying it with wine or seafood, there’s one thing we all agree on; these two noodles are delicious when prepared with the right complementary ingredients.

Most people serve Linguine and fettuccine with genuine traditional sauces. Thin, light pasta goes well with creamy sauces, while thick, heavy pasta blends well with thick sauces.

Whether you’re planning to surprise your significant other or the whole family with a nice meal, these two pasta sauces will never fail to amaze you. They will totally love it! As long as you follow our recipes above and all the tips and tricks we have covered, your friends will be scraping the pot each time you make these two kinds of pasta!