Matching Pasta & Sauces
Posted On January 30, 2020
While there are so many different pasta shapes and sauces on our shelves, sometimes it’s hard to know which to pair together for the perfect bite. Matching the right shape with the right sauce can make a big difference so when planning your next pasta meal, take into account the shape and weight of the pasta in relation to the sauce to get the most delicious bite.
So, how do you know which pasta shapes to match with which sauce? Here are some helpful tips and recommendations:
- Mini-shaped pastas like orzo, anelli (small rings) and small shells work well in soups or brodo or light pasta salads.
- Short-shaped pastas like farfalle (bow tie), orecchiette or cavatelli have different ridges or curls to them. These noodles are sturdier which makes them wonderful for holding rich, heartier sauces or even in pasta salads with proteins and vegetables.
- Macaroni noodles and tortellini are a good addition to meatier soups, stews or used in baked pasta dishes with a lot of sauce.
- Spaghettini, capellini and angel hair are thinner, more delicate, long noodles which pair well with lighter cream sauces or oil-based such as an aglio e olio - which gets its consistency from the addition of pasta water to olive oil, garlic and chili flakes.
- Spaghetti is traditionally served with meatballs and a lighter tomato sauce also known as marinara or passata.
- Rotini, cavatappi or fusilli are great with pesto since the ridges or tubular shape makes it easy to cling to. Long sturdy ribbons like pappardelle and tagliatelle along with tubular-shaped pasta like penne and rigatoni are the best for meatier sauces like ragu and bolognese and with hearty cream-based or vegetable puree based sauces.
The best part about having so many shapes of pasta to choose from is the chance to get creative in the kitchen! There are so many combinations to try so you’re sure to find a new favourite or two. Share pics of your creations with us by tagging @italiancentre @itailanctryyc and using #stepintoitaly on Instagram.