The World of Pasta

We take a look at the general rules for pairing noodles and sauces.

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”2″][vc_column_text]This week’s menu includes a great recipe for penne pasta in a simple tomato sauce. When composing pasta dishes, there are some general rules for pairing noodles and different sauces. Of course, any combination you choose will technically work, but if you follow a few guidelines you can maximise the flavor and potential of both the noodle and the sauce. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2603″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”Generally speaking, there are a few categories that all pasta fits into: long, short, stuffed, cooked in broth, stretched, or in dumpling-like form (i.e. gnocchi).” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1593785353388{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Linguine is a versatile long pasta that works well with cream and tomato based sauces and is commonly found in seafood pasta dishes. Pappardelle, with its wide, flat shaped noodles is better built for sturdy sauces, so bring on the rich, chunky meat sauces! The same goes for tagliatelle. More delicate long pastas include angel hair (Capelli d’angelo) and capellini, which are best suited to thin oil or cream-based sauces – think pesto!

Short pastas like penne and macaroni work well in thinner tomato based sauces and also work very well in soups and baked pasta recipes. Large tubular pastas, like manicotti and cannelloni beg for a flavorful, hearty filling and pasta with no tube at all, like bow tie and orecchiette make a nice addition to salads. As for filled pastas like ravioli and tortellini, they are most commonly cooked in flavorful broths or tomato sauces. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2745″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”Short pastas like penne and macaroni work well in thinner tomato based sauces and also work very well in soups and baked pasta recipes.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1593785463825{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]When it comes to any pasta noodle, you can choose between fresh and dried. Both have their advantages, but it’s hard to argue that fresh pasta doesn’t taste better than dried, in the same way that fresh baked cookies are superior to boxed ones. Because it contains eggs and additional water, fresh pasta is more tender than dried and takes about half the time to cook. Contrary to popular belief, dried pasta is not fresh pasta that has been dried. It is made using a different dough and without eggs, which are usually the primary component, besides flour, of fresh pasta. As a result of these different recipes, you get different colors and textures.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”6434″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_column_text]In general, dried pasta is more robust and stands up better to thicker, heartier sauces (i.e. bolognese or vodka), whereas the delicate texture of fresh pasta pairs best with light sauces made with oil and butter, such as pesto. 

Which type of pasta you prefer really comes down to personal taste – there’s no right or wrong. The convenience of dried pasta is undeniable but just make sure that you choose a premium one since sauce will cling to quality pasta. Cheap pasta is like plastic wrap: it sticks to itself but nothing else. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]