Penne (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpenːe]) is an extruded type of pasta with cylinder-shaped pieces, their ends cut at a bias. Penne is the plural form of the Italian penna (meaning feather but pen as well), deriving from Latin penna (meaning "feather" or "quill"), and is a cognate of the English word pen. When this format was created, it was intended to imitate the then-ubiquitous fountain pen's steel nibs.
The penne are one of the few pasta shapes with a certain date of birth: On 1865 a pasta maker from
San Martino d'Albaro (Genoa), Giovanni Battista Capurro, asked for and obtained a patent for a diagonal cutting machine. The new invention cut the fresh pasta into a pen shape without crushing it, in a variable size between 3 and 5 cm mezze penne (half pens) or penne (pens).