kitchen tips

Pasta: Sauces and Shapes



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! 

-Chef K

Storing Herbs in the Kitchen

If there's one thing I use often in Italian cooking, it's herbs! From basil to thyme, rosemary to tarragon, there are so many wonderful herbs to use for cooking. I've noticed that sometimes people shy away from herbs because they can definitely be a little pricier, and of course, can go bad quickly when not used! So, here a few tips! One great way to store herbs is to keep them in a glass jar with some water. Think of them like a new plant! I have found that my basil will last much longer when kept this way. Another great tip I have heard is to wrap them in a damp paper towel and keep it in the fridge. This does work, but definitely not for a long time. This method is best used for immediate use.

My favorite herb tip is actually from our Italian Inspiration board on Pinterest! Freezing your herbs in water or in olive oil is genius! I prefer the olive oil idea though, because that way it's ready to plop into the pot or pan, ready to go!

Sometimes it's the simplest tips that can really make a difference! Be sure to share these tips and try them out at home!