Last Updated: August 17, 2022

Fettuccine vs Linguine Explained!

Fettuccine vs Linguine

Pasta is one of the most consumed foods worldwide; whether homemade or store-bought, no one can say no to the allure of a warm pasta dish when it is served in front of them. Pasta-like soups are comfort food. They are loved and enjoyed by all. 

But pasta often gets confusing with its names as most of us are unfamiliar with their names. So today I shall help you decide between two of the most famous kinds of pasta out there. Yes, right, we’ll discuss everything about Fettuccine vs Linguine.

What is Linguine?

Linguine is pasta that originated in the city of Genoa in Italy. Linguine means “little tongues” in Italian. It is a very simple pasta made from just water and flour. No binders are used here. It is usually between 6-9mm and very delicate. And due to this small size and delicate nature, it is mostly served with thin or runny sauces.

Image credit: Brooke Lark, Unsplash

What is Fettuccine?

Fettuccine is a pasta that originated in the metropolitan city of Italy, Rome. Fettuccine means “small ribbons” in Italian and is perfectly named as it is like ribbon-shaped pasta. It is made from flour and water like all pasta, but it also has eggs. This gives fettuccine a rich taste and a deep yellow color that it gets from the yolk. Fettuccine is usually very flat and wide compared to other pasta and is mostly served with thick sauces.

fettuccine closeup view
Image credit: Montatip Lilitsanong, Unsplash

Fettuccine vs Linguine Compared

IngredientsFlour, WaterFlour, Water, Eggs
ShapeTongue-shaped (thick in the middle, flattened at the sides)Ribbon shaped
ThicknessSlightly thick in the middle.Flat
Preferred Sauce TypeThin saucesThick sauces
Homemade?Traditionally noTraditionally yes

A Detailed Discussion of Fettuccine vs Linguine

Size and Shape

Fettuccine and linguine are both long pasta. Fettuccine is very flat. It has a large surface area that makes it perfect for thick sauces. It can hold a large amount of sauce, so it is always served with thick sauces. On the other hand, linguine is thicker. It doesn’t have much surface area, so it is usually cooked with thin sauces.


Linguine is made with just flour and water. Although it is traditionally made with wheat flour, other flour can also be used to make linguine. It is very fragile and has a unique texture due to its shape.

On the other hand, fettuccine is traditionally made with flour, water, and eggs. Eggs act as a binding agent and also enrich the pasta. It also helps the pasta develop a wonderful texture unmatched by pastas without eggs.

Additionally, fettuccine is often colored and flavored by natural ingredients. Squid Ink and beet juice are very popular choices. Squid ink adds a very intense black color to the pasta and an iron-ey taste, which is loved by many. On the other hand, Beet juice provides the pasta with wonderful purple-pink color and adds an earthy flavor to it.

Sauce Preferences

Here are some sauces you can use with Fettuccine and Linguine:

  • Bolognese: This classic Italian pasta sauce can be used with any long kind of pasta. It is a meat-based sauce with ground beef, herbs, and tomato sauce. It may also contain mushrooms and sausages that are minced and cooked into the sauce.
  • Ragu: Similar to bolognese, ragu is also a traditional Italian sauce that is ground meat and tomato-based. And similar to bolognese, it is also best paired with long pasta.
  • Amatriciana Sauce: This tomato-based sauce is usually made with guanciale, olive oil, and cheese. Guanciale is cured pork, a classic Italian cured meat that is very popular.
  • Marinara: This is probably the most popular Italian sauce in the US. It is a tomato-based sauce that doesn’t have any meat in it. It is flavored heavily with garlic and Italian herbs. 

    It is usually made from scratch, but nowadays, premade versions of it are also available in stores and shops. Its usage is not just limited to pasta but also a wide range of other dishes.
  • Pesto: Pesto is a traditional Italian sauce that is very healthy and green-colored. This green color comes from the classic Italian herb Basil. Basil, pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan Cheese, and herbs are made into a sauce. 

    It has a wonderful herby, nutty, cheesy taste that everyone loves. It is a good coating sauce as it adheres to pasta very well.
  • Alfredo: Another popular Italian sauce, Alfredo, is a thick creamy sauce. It is served with long pasta, and one of the best options for Alfredo sauce is fettuccine. Fettuccine Alfredo is one of the most popular pasta dishes across the US and the whole world. 

    This cream-based sauce is white-colored; it contains cheese and butter as well. While you can easily have it on its own, you can also add seafood and poultry. Light warm spices are often used to flavor up this sauce.
  • Carbonara: Another popular pasta sauce, this is a truly unique sauce. It is flavored with cured meats like prosciutto, Parmesan cheese, butter, and pepper. It is a cheese-based sauce. 
    This sauce has a wonderfully cheesy, nutty, and meaty taste. Bacon can also be used instead of cured meats. This simple sauce highlights 2 things, mainly cheese and cured meats.
  • Pomodoro Sauce: This is yet another tomato-based sauce made with olive oil, garlic, onions, herbs, and seasonings. It goes well with all kinds of pasta and is universal.
  • Putanesca Sauce: This sauce is an acquired taste. Even though this sauce is tomato-based, it is heavily flavored with anchovies, olives, and capers. The tomato mellows out and stays in the background while the anchovies remain the dominant flavor.

    You will love this sauce if you love anchovies and seafood flavors. This savory and spicy sauce goes well with long pasta. Optionally you can add seafood like clams, mussels, and shrimp.
  • Brown Butter: It is made with browned butter, much like its name. Butter is cooked with warm spices and herbs for a long time. It separates the milk solids from the butter and adds a wonderful nuttiness to the butter. And with the help of herbs and warm flavored spices, this becomes a great choice for pasta of all shapes and sizes.
  • Frutti di Mare: This seafood-based sauce is a great option for long pasta, especially fettuccine. Seafood like clams, shrimp, mussels, squid, octopus, etc., adds a wonderful seafood taste to the sauce. Tomatoes, herbs, and spices complement those seafood-ey flavors very well.

Almost all of these sauces work well with both Fettuccine and Linguine.


Both of these pasta are classified as long pasta. Even though they are long pasta, their shapes separate them from each other. Usually, pasta with less surface area is good with thin sauces as they cannot hold the sauce. At the same time, pasta with more surface area is good for thick sauces as it can hold the sauce.

So they are both quite versatile in their way.

Final Verdict: Who’s The Winner?

You cannot properly compare the two. Even though they are long pasta, they are distinctly different and have different culinary uses. The best pasta is the one you love the most. So there you go. Which one do you love the most? Fettuccine or Linguine? Email us your answer!

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