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Commonly known as "bow-tie pasta", the name is derived from the Italian word farfalla, meaning "butterflies".

Farfalle come in several sizes, but have a distinctive bow tie shape. Usually, the farfalle are formed from a rectangle or oval of pasta with two sides trimmed in a ruffled edge, and the center pinched together to make the unusual shape of the pasta. They are sometimes ridged, known as farfalle rigate.

Farfalle goes well with just about any type of sauce with its ribbon-like pleats - pesto, a creamy wine sauce, or simple tomato - try it all.