With all the different shapes and sizes of pasta, I am often asked how to choose what pasta to pair with a sauce. So, here's a little cheat sheet to help when cooking up your favorite pasta dishes!
Shaped pastas like orecchiette, farfalle, and fusilli are perfect for most sauces. However textured sauces in particular are best with shaped pastas, for example vegetables or meaty sauces. This is because the shapes are able to stick and hold onto chunkier ingredients. We use orecchiette for our lamb ragu sauce, so that each bite is filled with a little bit of that succulent lamb. YUM!
Tube pastas are best served with thick sauces. This could be anything from a simple marinara, to a bolognese meat sauce. The tubes and ridges hold onto the sauce and get enveloped in all the yummy flavors! A rigatoni would be best with a meat sauce, while a penne is ideal for a creamy pink tomato sauce.
When it comes to the flat and long pasta family, they need lots of olive oil love! You'll notice a lot of the thinner versions such as angel hair, spagetti or linguine will be served in lighter tomato or wine sauces. This is because they need the lubrication from the liquid and oil to stay silky smooth. For thicker versions such as fettuccine, or tagliatelle, these can hold up to cream sauces or ragus.
Hope this quick cheat sheet helps!