Pasta, pasta, pasta! Which one shall I use?


We gave you a solid list of the different types of Italian sauces, but now you should know how to use them. Though there are a variety of ways to use any sauce, let’s first talk about how to use them for pasta dishes. Which pasta you use will depend on the sauce’s ingredients and the consistency, so choose wisely!

Because we got so saucy in our last article, let’s make pasta the star of today’s show. Here’s the types we’re working with:

Long, thin noodles
Examples: spaghetti, linguine, fusilli, vermicelli
Sauces it works with: light seafood sauces, cream- or oil-based sauces
From our list: bechamel, vodka

Long ribbons
Examples: tagliatelle, pappardelle, fettuccine
Sauces it works with: rich, meaty sauces
From our list: bolognese, amatriciana, arrabiata, carbonara

Examples: conchiglie, lumache
Sauces it works with: Heavy cream or meat sauces
From our list: Vodka, bolognese, carbonara

Examples: fusilli, gemelli
Sauces it works with: light, smooth sauces
From our list: pesto, arabbiata

Examples: penne, rigatoni, macaroni
Sauces it works with: hearty vegetable sauces or baked cheese dishes
From our list: bolognese, tomato, puttanesca

Filled Pasta
Examples: ravioli, tortellini
Sauces it works with: Light sauces, oil-based sauces
From our list: tomato, pesto

Food for thought: The general rule is that delicate noodles are used for light sauces, and sturdier noodles are for heartier sauces. It’s similar to a wine pairing. But what it all boils down to, no pun intended, is that there are tons of options out there. Experiment and have fun with this!

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