Matching Pasta Shapes with Sauces

Most people know very little about the different varieties of pasta shapes available when it comes to the world of pasta.  Although most of us enjoy it layered with mouth-watering sauces, what’s the perfect pasta and sauce combination? Some shapes don’t work as well with certain sauces which makes it really important to choose the correct combination. Tiny shaped pastas, for instance, are generally used in soups whereas the stuffed kind has a simple broth to go with it. The general rule is thin and light liquid sauces pair best with filled and thin pasta which may be stuffed with mildly flavoured ingredients. More concentrated and heavier sauces which are rich and spicy pair best with thicker pastas as their ridges can absorb more sauce. Read further to know about some of the most famous pasta and sauce pairings which you can try in your kitchen.

  • Penne


Penne comes from the Italian word “pens”. They’re cylindrical shaped and small-sized pastas which are cut at an angle. This pasta goes well with thick sauces, similar to other tube-shaped and ribbed pastas. Butter or olive-oil based tomato or vegetable sauce and cream-based preparations blend well with this pasta. The thick sauces sneak into the tubular shaped pasta and give it a delightfully juicy taste. Penne also blends really well with a rather generous serving of cheese on the dish.

  • Farfelle


Farfelle, which means butterflies in Italian, is commonly referred to as bow ties; it’s a common type of pasta among children. Pastas with a short shape such as farfalle tastes exquisite with rich sauces, especially if it has bits of meat or vegetables. The smooth surface and large size of the pasta blends very well with cream-based sauces.

  • Spaghetti


This is considered to be the world’s most popular pasta and is a staple in most Italian restaurants. Spaghetti tastes best when served with light sauces like olive oil, tomato or garlic. The light sauce can coat the strands evenly, making the dish flavourful. The light sauces ensure that the pasta can be easily wound up with a fork. Some light additions like tomatoes or fresh herbs can also be incorporated into the dish.

  • Fusilli


It’s short pasta which has a twisted surface. They taste best when served with light and smooth sauces which have some vegetables and meat. Its spiral shape holds the hearty and rich sauces well. This particular pasta’s been specially designed in such a way so that it holds on better to the pesto, ricotta and other cheeses.

  • Fettucine


This is a thicker variant of pasta and is ribbon-like and flat in shape. This particular pasta is well matched with rich, creamy and thick sauces. The flat shape of the pasta is what makes it ideal to be paired with thick sauces.

  • Linguine


This type of pasta is somewhere in-between narrow spaghetti and flat and wide fettuccine. The flat and thin noodles pair well with sauces which are rich and thick since the flat surface of the noodles can absorb all the juices of creamy sauces such as Alfredo.

When cooking pasta, you must consider several factors like the variance in shape, thickness and cut. The texture and form also play a major role in deciding the kind of sauce which will enhance its taste. If you’re health conscious you can make your pasta from scratch for a healthy alternative.

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