You are here

Bow Tie Pasta

Bow tie pasta, more popularly known as farfalle, is “bow-shaped” pasta from Italy. This pasta comes in different sizes and flavors such as plain, spinach and tomato, with serrated edges and a pinched center, like a bow-tie. This pasta tastes best with tomato and cream sauces and it also goes well with chicken. It is used in various preparations that include cold salads, thick soups, and baked dishes and even used casseroles. There are a few versions of this pasta - farfallone for the large version and “farfalline” for the miniature version. This pasta can be easily made at home with egg-based dough.


The origin of farfalle dates back to around 16th century, where it is believed to have been made in Northern Italy, in Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia. The name of this pasta is derived from “farfalla”, an Italian word that means butterfly; which changes to plural, when the last letter “a” is replaced with the letter “e”.

Popular Farfalle Accompaniments

There are many ingredients that go well with bow tie pasta, which include –

  • Vegetables
  • Goat or Feta cheese (grated or shredded)
  • Steamed baby spinach
  • Seafood (tuna and salmon)
  • Grilled tofu
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sauces (tomato, pesto)
  • Salad Dressing

Popular Bow Tie Pasta Recipes

There are many delicious preparations of bow-tie pasta that are popular all over the world. Couple of such preparations is detailed here –

  • Farfalle with Sweet Corn, Ricotta & Bacon – This quick to make pasta dish is made by boiling the pasta till al dente in salted water and draining off the excess water (reserving a little water). Sautéed shallots, garlic and corn mixture (seasoned with salt and pepper) are added along with shredded ricotta and parmesan cheese. The reserved pasta water is added to the pasta mixture and tossed well and finally,basil and crumbled bacon combined with the pasta and mixed well before serving.
  • Bow Tie Pasta with Italian Sausage – This is a very simple pasta dish that is made with farfalle and Italian sausage. The sausages are browned, crumbled and added to sautéed onions, garlic, and tomatoes that have been flavored with basil, and oregano. Salt and pepper are added to taste. The contents are cooked for some time and when done, the sauce is spooned over cooked pasta. Grated parmesan cheese is added and tossed, before serving hot.
  • Bow Tie Pasta with Garlic Grilled Chicken – Chicken is grilled and cool before cutting it into small cubes. Meanwhile, garlic, green onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and red pepper flakes are sautéed and simmered in chicken broth, till the broth reduces to half. The chicken cubes are added to the cooked pasta and tossed with a little cilantro. This pasta dish is served with a garnish of cilantro.


Farfel is Jewish egg-parley pasta that sounds similar to the Italian farfalle; however, these two are not related in any way.