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Which pasta goes with what sauce

Updated: Dec 2, 2020


The choice of pasta becomes a nightmare if you do not know which one to choose. But there are some simple rules and then it is much easier.


Ever get stuck not knowing what pasta goes with what sauce?


Here are a few tricks.


Long Pasta


Serve long, skinny pasta shapes such as spaghetti, and linguine with light seafood sauces, cream or oil based sauces.


Lighter sauces are great with longer-style noodles like linguine or spaghetti. They carry the sauce well and add some good texture to counteract the thin and smooth sauce.


Seafood sauces tend to be lighter. Lighter-style noodles should match the texture and lightness of the seafood. The sauce pairs well with shapes such as spaghetti, and linguine.


Flat tube pasta shapes


Serve flat tube pasta shapes such as calamarta, ditalini, and penne with heavy cream or meat sauces. Allow the sauce to sit upon the pasta. They lend themselves to a good texture on the palate and hold the sauce well so you get a perfect bite on the spoon.


Twist pasta shapes


Serve twist style pasta shapes such as Fusilli, and Caserecce with lighter, smoother sauces which will cling to the twists, such as pesto. The curves and grooves in Fusilli and Caserecce hold pesto sauces well and allow for the herb-based oil to stick to the pasta.


Tube pasta shapes


Serve tube pasta shapes such as penne, rigatoni, macaroni and paccheri with hearty vegetable sauces, or baked cheese dishes. Also good with Bolognese or ragu.

The meaty chunks in these sauces are easily mopped up by tube-shaped pastas. The meat can enter the tubes and the pasta acts as a great vehicle to carry the sauce.


Mini shapes


Serve mini pasta shapes such as aneletti pasta in soups and stews or as pasta salads.

If you’re dealing with a thin broth, your pasta isn’t going to catch much of anything, but it can help enhance the dish. The pasta shapes will add texture to the broth or soup.


Filled pasta


Serve filled pasta shapes such as calamarata and rigatoni, as the filling contains lots of flavour, these are traditionally served with a light butter or oil sauce. Stuffed pastas are the way to go. The trick is to allow the sauce to fill the pasta rather than just sit on top. A filled pasta like calamarata is like a present where all the good stuff is inside. Use an oil or butter based sauce that will get a nice coating of flavor to glaze what’s inside the pasta.


Cooking Style Secrets


• Always cook pasta in a very large pan of salted, boiling water. If you don’t give the pasta enough space to move in the pan, it will stick together. Sicilians will tell you the water should be as salty as the sea to flavour the pasta.


• There is no need to add olive oil to your pasta when cooking. It won’t prevent it from sticking together, and will just end up down the drain.


• The classic version of spaghetti bolignaise usually consists of cooked spaghetti topped with saucy mince, but in Italy, the pasta and sauce are always combined in the pan to ensure every piece of pasta is coated.


• Don’t cook the pasta all the way through in the water. Instead, drain it when it still has a little bite, then add to the sauce and continue cooking for a few minutes more until the pasta is cooked and has absorbed a little of the sauce.


• When draining the pasta, make sure you save a cup of the pasta water. Then, when you add the pasta to the sauce, splash in a little of the water if it looks too dry. The starch in the water will help the sauce cling to the pasta.


Hope you liked our suggestions and enjoy many pasta dishes. Bobuona Mangiata


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