I have a feeling my local supermarket just scratches the surface when it comes to pasta types. With beads, strands, shells, tubes, corkscrews, bow ties, ribbons, twists, dumplings, rippled strips, gold chains, medallions, mustaches, ribbed tubes, IROCs, hats, and worms, to name a few, the Italians have seemingly left no shape un-pasta-ed.
Does anyone know the exact number of different pasta shapes? Or is this figure unknowable because in the old country so many people make their own pasta as to make the number of total shapes impossible to count or deduce?
As a follow-up, what is your preferred pasta shape? If there's a specific reason for a shape being your favorite, please state it. For example, your favorite could be the shell shape because it's as close to a vagina-shaped object (including actual vagina) that you're ever going to get.
Anyway, my favorite is plain old spaghetti-style. Why? Because there are so many goddam shapes, I don't know what the hell I want anymore, so I picked the simplest!!