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Though there are many different types of pasta, most can be categorized into groups by shape. These groups can tell you what sauces or dishes a specific pasta would go best with. Pairing sauce to the right shape of pasta is important when the goal is to make a full and flavorful meal.
Thin, Long Noodles
Examples of fresh pasta that could be classified as a thin long noodle would be: spaghetti, Vermicelli and capellini. Because these strands of pasta can be fine, it is best to pair them with a light sauce, as to not overwhelm the pasta with a lot of sauce. Light, tomato-based, garlic or olive oil sauces would work best, such as the classic spaghetti and marinara sauce.
Long, Tube-Shaped Noodles
Much like spaghetti and angel hair pasta, these types of pasta are thin and long. However, these pastas, such as perciatelli or bucatini, have a tube running down the center of each noodle. Due to its shape, this pasta is best paired with sauces that have a strong flavor. This is because each bite contains more sauce, since the pasta allows for the sauce to run down the center of the noodle.
Flat, Long Noodles
Even though these noodles have a long, delicate shape, they are wider, thus providing a surface that can hold a heavier sauce. Examples of flat, long noodles include fettuccine, pappardelle and tagilatelle. Meat or game bird ragu are best paired with these kinds of fresh pasta. A popular dish of this kind is tagliatelle alla bolognese. Seafood-based dishes do well with flat, long noodles as well, because the meat is generally not as dense as red meat, so the pasta is still able to support it.
Short, Tube-Shaped Pasta
Penne, rigatoni and ziti are examples of short, tube artisan dried pasta. Due to the sturdiness of the short tubes, these pastas can hold a much heartier sauce. Meat and sauce alike can find its way inside the pasta, while the ridges of the tube allow for the sauce to cling to the pasta. These types of pasta can be great for baking, like the famous baked ziti, which is typically made with tomato sauce and ground beef.
Small, Tube-Shaped Pasta
Macaroni and ditalini are well-known small, tube-shaped artisan pastas. Because of the thin tubes but strong shape, these pastas pair best with creamy and cheesy sauces. A good example for a dish of this kind would be the all-time favorite, macaroni and cheese.
Short, Shaped Pasta
This particular group of pasta has a large variety, as the shapes can include everything from ridges to curls. Farfalle and fusilli pastas are popular in this group, as they can be used with a large variety of sauces. Since the shapes can hold sauce, heavier, cream sauces typically pair best with these types of fresh pastas.
Within these types of pasta are countless varieties of recipes. To explore the different kinds of artisan pasta we offer, visit our online shop today!