Pasta is an Italian food made from a dough using flour, water and/or eggs.
There are approximately 350 different shapes of pasta. A few examples include spaghetti (solid cylinders), macaroni (tubes or hollow cylinders), fusilli (swirls), lasagna (sheets), and gnocchi (balls), although this is considered a individual dish by some. The two basic styles of pasta are dried and fresh. There are also variations in the ingredients used in pasta. The time for which pasta can be stored varies from days to years depending upon whether the pasta is made with egg or not, and whether it is dried or fresh. Pasta is boiled prior to consumption.
The word, pasta, can also denote dishes in which pasta products are the primary ingredient, served with sauce or seasoning.