There’s you, a delicious bottle of red and a menu full of more pasta options than you ever could have imagined. The waiter saunters over to take your order and, cool as a cucumber, you say: “I’ll have the orecchiette, grazi.” Except reality awkwardly hits in that moment, and you butcher every syllable of that pasta pronunciation, finally caving and asking the waiter for help. Here, a guide to help you avoid all that.

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pasta fusilli
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Fusilli

The Wrong Way: Few-silly

The Right Way: Foo-zeel-ee

The spiral shape really holds onto the Parmesan cheese. 

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pasta orecchiette
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Orecchiette

The Wrong Way: Or-reh-shetty

The Right Way: Or-ay-key-et-ay

This ear-shaped pasta is perfect with pesto.

pasta tagliatelle
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Tagliatelle

The Wrong Way: Tag-lie-ah-tell

The Right Way: Tah-leah-tell-ah

A flat or cylindrical noodle, typically found drowning in Bolognese sauce.

pasta bucatini
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Bucatini

The Wrong Way: Buck-a-tiny

The Right Way: Boo-cah-teen-ee

It walks and talks like spaghetti but is hollow—and slightly thicker. 

pasta penne

Penne

The Wrong Way: Pen-ay

The Right Way: Peh-neh

This ridged pasta really works overtime to absorb the sauce.

pasta pappardelle
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Pappardelle

The Wrong Way: Pepper-del

The Right Way: Pa-par-day-lay

It’s tagliatelle’s slightly bulkier cousin.

pasta fettucine
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Fettucine

The Wrong Way: Feta-cheen

The Right Way: Fay-tuh-chee-knee

It’s all about the creamy sauce.

pasta farfalle
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Farfalle

The Wrong Way: Far-fall

The Right Way: Far-fall­-ay

Bow-tie pasta is the cutest.

pasta gniocchi
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Gnocchi

The Wrong Way: Guh-no-chee

The Right Way: Neh-yo-key

Think of it as little pasta pillows. Yum. 

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