Definition of pasta in English:



  • [mass noun] A dish originally from Italy consisting of dough made from durum wheat and water, extruded or stamped into various shapes and typically cooked in boiling water.

    • ‘The pasta went into the hot water in the saucepan and I lit the gas underneath it on my stove.’
    • ‘But Miss Wilson sent him money and he bought food such as pasta and cooked it in his cell.’
    • ‘Sometimes I cook large rice or pasta for salads and vary the toppings as the week goes by.’
    • ‘The pastas include lasagne, spaghetti, tagliatelle, macaroni, tortellini and capellini, so you're not going to get much more Italian than that!’
    • ‘Two people are paying their bill and the waitress is finishing up a dish of pasta.’
    • ‘Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for two to three minutes until tender.’
    • ‘Tip in the beans, the ricotta and the drained pasta and fold lightly with fork.’
    • ‘We use saffron water to give fresh pasta an inviting rich colour and subtle flavour.’
    • ‘The old days of a beer keg on the coach on the way home have been replaced with trips back drinking water and eating pasta.’
    • ‘Fred had three favourite Pronto Pasta pasta dishes, all of which still remain as part of the menu.’
    • ‘There were roast pheasants, turkeys and boar, pizzas, pastas, caviar, salads, gelatin, pies and many other yummy goodies.’
    • ‘I don't know why, when dried noodles are now as easy to find, store and cook as dried pasta.’
    • ‘Despite her reluctance, there are plenty of good reasons to choose brown pasta.’
    • ‘Salt the water and add the pasta, letting it cook at a fast boil till tender.’
    • ‘Use mint instead of the basil if you like, and use another shaped pasta if you have no fettuccine.’
    • ‘We sprinkle this coral powder over fish dishes, risottos and creamy sauces for pasta.’
    • ‘Cook the pasta in a pan of salted water as per the instructions on the packet.’
    • ‘Repeat the whole rolling process until you have created enough pasta for the lasagne.’
    • ‘I often put a table out of doors at my house in Surrey and pile it with big pots of delicious pasta and salads.’
    • ‘Serve pasta in big warmed bowls and ladle copious quantities of bolognaise mince on top.’


Late 19th century: from Italian, literally paste.