Have you ever wondered if you’re serving the right kind of sauce with your pasta?
Italians are very particular about which sauce to pair with different types of pasta. In fact, Spaghetti Bolognese is not as authentic as most people think because Italian cooks wouldn’t serve a thick, saucy ragu with thin pasta ribbons!
Not only does understanding which sauce is right for your pasta make a difference in taste, it also helps you make a ‘bella figura’ (good impression). So let’s get started!
Begin by considering the pasta’s cut, shape, and texture, and asking yourself questions like:
- Is this pasta best served cold?
- Should I add this pasta to soups or serve it alone?
- Would this pasta taste better with a heavy meat sauce or a light, oil-based coating?
Below are seven types of pasta, the sauces to serve them with, and recipes to get you going!
Often called bow tie pasta, farfalle (butterfly in Italian) is a great choice for cold pasta salads or for dressing up warm bowls of vegetables or meat. Here’s one of our favorites: Farfalle With Pesto, Broccoli And Pangritata
Perhaps the most versatile pasta, the smallest shells can be added to soups and stews, medium-sized shells are a nice addition to heavy cream or meat sauces, and large shells are best when stuffed and baked! Here’s an amazing recipe for Conchiglioni del Lucchese
Twisted pasta like fusilli and trofie work best with lighter, smoother sauces that cling to the pasta, including pesto. And this Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad can be served hot or cold.
Pappardelle is wide egg noodle pasta with Tuscan origins, and is often served with a hearty meat sauce. For a meatless version, try this Pappardelle with Fried Basil recipe.
Similar to pappardelle, tagliatelle is long ribbon pasta often used for rich, meaty sauces and mushroom-based sauce. Here’s our favorite meatless version: Tagliatelle alla Checca
Tubed pasta like penne, rigatoni, macaroni, and paccheri are perfect for hearty vegetable sauces, baked cheese dishes, and ragu. Try this Italian classic
Pasta Arrabiata , or this Penne with Spicy Sausage and Rosemary Ragu
Long and skinny pasta like linguine, vermicelli, and spaghetti are fabulous in light, seafood sauces, or sauces that use cream or olive oil as a base. Spaghetti with Anchovies and Olives is a perfect example.
Generally speaking, larger shapes work better with thick, robust sauces, while skinny shapes or strands, like the delicate vermicelli, suit light and creamy sauces.
Now that you know which sauce is best, you are well on your way to preparing the perfect pasta!