A Guide To Pairing Different Pasta Shapes With The Right Sauce
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Pasta meals are quick, economical and always manages to turn out fine no matter what kind of a rush you’re in to get dinner on the table. Whether it is a simple spaghetti tossed in tomato sauce or the rich and creamy Alfredo blanketing your portion of penne, pasta sauces are key to adding flavour as well as completing the whole experience. However, given the many varieties and shapes of pasta that are now available to choose from, treating them with the right kind of sauce is important for when you want delicious results.

Thin Pasta

Pastas such as spaghetti or angel hair are ideal to pair with light sauces or oil-based sauces – such as the Pomodoro or pesto. Since most bite-sized chunks of protein might not cling to the pasta while trying to take a bite, using thinly sliced or shaved vegetables like zucchini or asparagus usually does the trick. Use thin pasta varieties for dishes like a spring veggie pasta or a Genovese-style with green beans and potatoes.

Flat Noodles

Pasta shapes like the tagliatelle, lasagna or pappardelle make for the perfect foundation to use for dairy-heavy sauces like Alfredo or thick sauces such as the Bolognese. Since these pasta varieties turn floppy and soft on cooking, a creamy vodka sauce clings to the folds of the noodle, allowing for even distribution of pasta to sauce ratio. You could also experiment with lighter sauces that use plenty of olive oil and lemon juice, to enjoy the pasta as an accompaniment to other dishes.

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Tube Pasta

Thicker sauces like the Bolognese, Alfredo and carbonara are best enjoyed with tube-shaped pasta varieties such as penne, rigatoni and macaroni. The hollow centre of these pasta shapes serve as a vessel to carry the slow-cooked vegetable or meat sauce – irrespective of whether it is chunky or smooth. Thicker sauces for tube pastas also mean that they coat each noodle inside out, seasoning it adequately.

Stuffed Pasta

Since pasta varieties like the ravioli, tortelli and mezzelune come with their share of flavour in the form of delicious fillings, it is best to coat them in a sauce that allows the ingredients to shine. Using oil or butter-based sauces is the best way to treat stuffed pastas or even using a light marinara can do wonders for these pasta types.