Do different types pasta cook at different times (brand, shape, whole wheat)? I know there is no exact science to cooking in general but I was wondering if there is a statistical difference in the respective cooking times.

  • 3
    ...and there is "exact science" to a lot of cooking....
    – moscafj
    Dec 3, 2019 at 11:37
  • @moscafj Heston Blumenthal in a mad scientist outfit immediately came into my mind when I read exact science.
    – dlb
    Dec 3, 2019 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


Pasta definetely does have (sometimes vastly) different cooking times. Thin noodles like angel hair spaghetti might be done in 3 min, and al dente in 2 min, while e.g. penne rigate or rigatoni often need 10min+. Whole wheat noodles also tend to need to cook longer for the same pasta type, and often don't get as soft as wheat noodles.

That being said, check the box or bag your pasta came in, it should include approximate cooking times. If you like your pasta softer, cook it for a little longer than what is recommended, if you like it al dente, cut it short. The best way to find out is to taste regularly towards the end of the cooking time.


I don't believe so. Every pasta box has cooking instructions on the box and these usually have the same or similar cooking times and instructions on them.

  • 4
    Your answer contradicts my experience, just compare capellini/ angel hair pasta and, say, rigatoni. There’s a huge difference in cooking time.
    – Stephie
    Dec 3, 2019 at 5:45
  • 3
    You say "same or similar cooking times", but with fast cooking food like pasta, "similar" isn't really. The difference between 6 minute pasta and 11 minute pasta is huge in that cooking 6-minute pasta for 11 minutes will result in a sticky mess, and cooking 11 min. pasta for 6 will be undercooked. Dec 3, 2019 at 6:10

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