When Pasta Met Sauce

When Pasta Met Sauce (cont.)

Pasta comes in many shapes, and it’s not because Italians like to invent silly names like strozzapreti. It’s because certain shapes complement certain preparations. (At least that’s what they tell us. Perhaps it’s the language barrier.) Here are some simple guidelines for which sauce goes with which pasta.

Winter Greens Lasagne
Winter Greens Lasagne

BAKED

These shapes work best in baked casseroles such as Winter Greens Lasagne or Baked Radicchio and Mozzarella Pasta:
Bucatini, Ditalini, Fusilli, Fusilli col Buco, Fusilli Napoletani, Gemelli, Gigli, Jumbo Shells, Lasagne, Lumaconi, Macaroni, Manicotti, Orzo, Penne Lisce (a.k.a. Mostaccioli), Penne Rigate, Radiatore, Riccioli, Rigatoni, Rotelle, Rotini, Sfoglia, Spaghetti, Spaghetti alla Chitarra, Spaghettini, Trenette, Tubettini, Ziti


Autumn Squash Ravioli with
Sage Brown Butter Sauce

BUTTER/OIL

These pastas are best with delicate butter- and oil-based sauces, such as sage brown butter or aglio e olio:
Campanelle, Capellini (a.k.a. Angel Hair), Farfalle, Fettuccine, Fusilli, Fusilli col Buco, Fusilli Napoletani, Gemelli, Gigli, Linguine, Macaroni, Malloreddus, Penne Rigate, Spaghetti, Spaghetti alla Chitarra, Spaghettini, Tagliarini, Ziti

Chestnut Gnocchi with Robiola Cheese Sauce
Chestnut Gnocchi with
Robiola Cheese Sauce

CREAM/CHEESE

Use more delicate sauces such as cacio e pepe or green garlic cream sauce with the thinner noodles in this list, and a robust sauce such as one made with Robiola Bosina cheese for the more substantial noodles:
Campanelle, Capellini (a.k.a. Angel Hair), Casarecce, Cavatelli, Conchiglie, Farfalle, Fettuccine, Fusilli, Fusilli col Buco, Fusilli Napoletani, Gemelli, Jumbo Shells, Lasagne, Linguine, Macaroni, Penne Lisce (a.k.a. Mostaccioli), Penne Rigate, Rigatoni, Rotelle, Rotini, Spaghetti, Spaghetti alla Chitarra, Spaghettini, Tagliarini, Ziti

Wild Boar Ragu
Wild Boar Ragu

MEAT

Pair these pastas with chunky meat sauces such as Wild Boar Ragu or Ragu alla Bolognese:
Campanelle, Casarecce, Cavatelli, Conchiglie, Farfalle, Fettuccine, Fusilli, Fusilli col Buco, Fusilli Napoletani, Gemelli, Gigli, Jumbo Shells, Lasagne, Linguine, Lumaconi, Macaroni, Malloreddus, Manicotti, Orecchiette, Pappardelle, Penne Lisce (a.k.a. Mostaccioli), Rigatoni, Rotelle, Rotini, Sfoglia, Spaghetti, Spaghetti alla Chitarra, Spaghettini, Strozzapreti, Ziti

Pasta Salad with Spinach, Olives, and Mozzarella
Pasta Salad with Spinach,
Olives, and Mozzarella

PASTA SALAD

Match the smaller pastas with recipes using finely chopped ingredients, such as this salad with zucchini and pine nuts in which you can substitute pasta for the couscous. The larger pastas will hold up well with recipes that call for coarsely chopped ingredients, such as Pasta Salad with Spinach, Olives, and Mozzarella:
Anelli/Anellini, Campanelle, Cavatelli, Cavaturi, Conchiglie, Ditalini, Farfalle, Fusilli, Fusilli col Buco, Fusilli Napoletani, Gemelli, Macaroni, Orecchiette, Orzo, Penne Rigate, Riccioli, Rotelle, Rotini, Ziti

Pasta with Arugula Pesto, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts
Pasta with Arugula Pesto,
Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts

PESTO

Try anything from a Watercress-Walnut Dip or arugula pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts to parsley, walnut, and black olive pesto with these shapes:
Bavette, Capellini (a.k.a. Angel Hair), Casarecce, Conchiglie, Farfalle, Fusilli, Fusilli col Buco, Fusilli Napoletani, Gemelli, Linguine, Orecchiette, Trofie

Linguine with Clams and Chorizo
Linguine with Clams and Chorizo

SEAFOOD

These shapes are ideal for scooping up pieces of seafood; try them with this San Marzano red clam sauce or clams and chorizo:
Bavette, Calamari, Capellini (a.k.a. Angel Hair), Casarecce, Farfalle, Fettuccine, Linguine, Spaghetti, Spaghetti alla Chitarra, Spaghettini

Pasta e Fagioli
Pasta e Fagioli

SOUP

Brothy soups are made even better when a handful of pasta is thrown in. Try these in Minestrone, Pasta e Fagioli, or as a substitute for the rice in this chicken soup:
Acini di Pepe, Anelli/Anellini, Capellini (a.k.a. Angel Hair), Cavatelli, Ditalini, Farfalle, Fregula, Fusilli, Fusilli col Buco, Fusilli Napoletani, Gemelli, Orzo, Pastina, Rotelle, Stelline, Tubettini

Pasta with Caramelized Tomatoes and Sausage
Pasta with Caramelized
Tomatoes and Sausage

TOMATO

The more delicate noodles pair well with simple sauces, such as a Basic Tomato Sauce or raw tomato sauce (marinate tomatoes and garlic in oil for a few minutes, then toss with cooked pasta and torn basil), while the more substantial noodles hold up nicely when prepared all’Amatriciana or paired with caramelized tomatoes and sausage:
Bavette, Bucatini, Calamari, Capellini (a.k.a. Angel Hair), Casarecce, Conchiglie, Farfalle, Fettuccine, Fregula, Fusilli, Fusilli col Buco, Fusilli Napoletani, Gigli, Jumbo Shells, Lasagne, Linguine, Lumaconi, Macaroni, Malloreddus, Manicotti, Orecchiette, Paccheri, Penne Lisce (a.k.a. Mostaccioli), Penne Rigate, Radiatore, Riccioli, Rigatoni, Rotelle, Rotini, Sfoglia, Spaghetti, Spaghetti alla Chitarra, Spaghettini, Trenette, Ziti

Beet Greens and Feta Pasta
Beet Greens and Feta Pasta

VEGETABLE

Try these pastas with an assortment of vegetable sauces, from Eggplant-Pepper Tomato Sauce to beet greens and feta or broccoli, prosciutto, and toasted breadcrumbs:
Campanelle, Capellini (a.k.a. Angel Hair), Casarecce, Cavatelli, Cavaturi, Conchiglie, Farfalle, Fettuccine, Fusilli, Fusilli col Buco, Fusilli Napoletani, Gemelli, Jumbo Shells, Lasagne, Linguine, Lumaconi, Macaroni, Manicotti, Orecchiette, Paccheri, Penne Lisce (a.k.a. Mostaccioli), Penne Rigate, Rigatoni, Rotelle, Rotini, Sfoglia, Spaghetti, Spaghetti alla Chitarra, Spaghettini, Strozzapreti, Trenette, Ziti