Certain sauces lend themselves well to a specific pasta shape. For example, those that are considered heartier, like a tubular penne and ziti pair well with a thick sauce like ragu, while short pastas with lots of crevices, like orecchietti are the perfect vehicle for a sturdy vegetable sauce as they trap the small chunks in their little cavities.
When it comes to choosing pasta, the sauce should dictate the shape you use, resulting in a more balanced meal. Here is a quick reference guide to choosing the right type of pasta for your sauce:
- Spaghetti—meat sauce or tomato sauce, butter/oil or seafood sauce
- Linguine and Fettuccini—cheese sauce, butter/oil, or seafood sauce
- Ditalini and Orzo—in a pasta salad or soup
- Orecchietti—with vegetable sauce, pesto or in a pasta salad
- Farfalle and Rotinti—cheese, meat, tomato or vegetable sauce, butter/oil, seafood, pesto, or in a salad or soup
- Macaroni—cheese sauce and pasta salad
- Pappardelle—meat sauce
- Rigatoni—meat, tomato or vegetable sauce
What’s you favourite sauce/pasta combination? I’m pretty partial to rigatoni with a hearty ragu but I also love orecchiette with browned butter, broccoli, mushrooms, and Parmesan.