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Pasta + Perfect Sauce= Pasta Heaven🍝

Pasta + Perfect Sauce= Pasta Heaven🍝

It is estimated that there are approximately 350 different types of pasta - and about four times that many names for them!

In Italy, for example, names differ corresponding to the region or area. Besides, pasta manufacturers and cooks may come up with new shapes or give new names to old shapes…the possibilities hence become endless!

In Italian, all pasta type names are plural. Pasta ending in 'ini' may be a smaller version of a particular shape, and pasta ending in 'oni' the larger one. For example, spaghettini (smallest), spaghetti (regular), spaghettoni (largest).

Pasta shapes are specifically designed to hold the sauce in the best way possible. Many Italian regions have created their pasta shapes: for example, Strozzapreti (meaning, ‘priest strangler’) is from Emilia-Romagna; Trofie (perfect with pesto) is from Liguria, and Orecchiette (or, ‘little ears’) is from Puglia.

Choosing a sauce to suit the shape of your pasta can make a big difference to the finished dish.

Pasta Shapes and Sauce Recommendations

Long to medium pasta -Spaghetti, Pici, Scialatielli, etc.

🍝Creamy, thin, oil-based sauces with chunky that include anything from the basic smooth pesto to the most traditional Sugo al Pomodoro (basic tomato sauce) with chunky ingredients.

Long ribbon pasta -Tagliatelle, Fettuccine, Pappardelle, etc.

🍝The key here is rich, silky, and very often full-on meaty. The most filling of all pasta dishes, also since ribbon pasta is often freshly made and hence contains quite a few eggs.

Twisted shapes-Trofie, Strozzapreti, Vesuvio, Spugnole, etc.

🍝Twisted shapes are perfect for a cold pasta salad as well as anything tomato or cream-based.  The tiny nooks and crannies of twisted pasta shapes are best for capturing sauces with small bits of finely chopped ingredients, such as pesto or crumbled sausage. When pairing, just think about how narrow or wide the curves and match the lumpy bits of the sauce accordingly.

Tube shapes- Penne, Rigatoni, etc.

🍝Best suited to hearty meat, cheese, or vegetable sauces of medium consistency that can be caught in the tubular shape. Also good for baked pasta recipes. Good with Bolognese or ragu.

Shell shapes- Orecchiette, Gnocchetti sardi, etc.

🍝These suit all types of sauces with creamy, cheesy, veggie, or meaty ingredients.

 Mini shapes: Ditalini, Risoni

🍝Perfect for soups, minestrone, and stews

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Eve Mitchell - June 2, 2023

I had no idea that pasta is specifically designed to hold sauce! My husband and I lived in Italy when we got married and we grew to absolutely love the food. It’s our 20th anniversary this week, so we’d like to visit an authentic Italian restaurant.

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