Elbow macaroniÂ is one of the most common tube pasta shapes with its short, semicircular shape. It is used in many different types of dishes including soups, salads and casseroles. pes. In the United States, macaroni is traditionally used in macaroni and cheese. It pairs well with almost any type of sauce, baked recipes, soups, salads or stir-fry dishes. Elbow pasta is typically used in macaroni and cheese dishes, but is also a popular choice for pasta salads.