1. This name was synonymous with pasta when it first made an appearance in the aristocratic courts of southern Italy. Now maccheroni is a general term which can be applied to a variety of tubular pastas. Boccolotti and chifferi are small and used mostly in soups or with butter and cheese for small children. Chifferi are known in the U.S. as “elbow macaroni”. Denti d’elefante, which means “elephant teeth” and ziti are variations on the basic tube.