Angel hair pasta is a long, thin noodle with a round shape. It is also known as capellini or capelli d'angelo. The extremely fine pasta is excellent with light, delicate sauces as well as seasonal fresh vegetables. Several traditional Italian recipes call for angel hair pasta, and the pasta is readily available in most grocery stores. It can also be made by hand at home, although producing pastaof adequate thinness requires time and patience.
The pasta strongly resemble spaghetti, another long, thin, round pasta. Angel hair pasta, however, is much more fine. Spaghetti can hold up to heartier stocks and sauces which would overwhelm the delicate angel hair pasta. Angel hair pasta can also be used in Asian recipes which call for fine, thin noodles, typically fried in nests as a base for a dish.
The most basic angel hair pasta is made with durum semolina wheat, water, and salt. Durum semolina is a hard wheat, which will yield a slightly chewy, strong pasta. Soft wheats tend to break down during the cooking process, leading to mushy pasta with an unpleasant texture. Flavored angel hair pasta with additions like pepper and lemon, sun-dried tomato, or spinach is also available. These ingredients are typically ground up into a fine flour or paste, so that they will not interrupt the texture of the pasta.