If you look at the menu of any Italian restaurant, you’ll see a lot of pasta dishes. Pasta is a staple of Italian food, but it has several variations. We’re used to different dishes using different pasta shapes, but we don’t usually think about why. Every region in Italy has its own specialty, but there are practical reasons for pasta shape variations as well. Different sauces and additions pair better with certain pasta shapes to bring out the flavors and textures.
So you can better enjoy Italian food, we’re going to give you a brief overview of the different pasta shapes and how we use them.
You can break long pasta down into two different types: long and thin and long ribbons. Spaghetti, linguine, and vermicelli are all long and thin pasta, while wider shapes like fettuccine and tagliatelle are the long ribbons. Long and thin pasta goes best with light cream or oil-based sauces. These sauces stick to the long strands of pasta and make them easier to eat. For heavier, meaty sauces, long ribbon pasta is the way to go. The wide pasta holds all the ingredients in the sauce, so you get all the flavors and textures in every bite.
Twists and Tubes
Twisty pasta shapes like fusilli and gemeilli aren’t just fun to eat, they’re also great at trapping sauce. Lighter, smoother sauces like pesto pair perfectly with pasta twists because the sauce settles in the crevices to deliver bursts of flavor. Tube shapes do something similar but for heartier sauces like ragu or baked cheese dishes. We love penne or rigatoni for these dishes because they hold the sauce and deliver bold flavors.
Another favorite pasta variety is filled pasta, such as ravioli or tortellini. When it comes to filled pasta, you want to stick with light sauces. They’re already packed with flavor, so you don’t want to overpower the taste of the fillings with heavy sauces. Butter or oil-based sauces are popular choices to serve with filled pasta to accentuate the flavors without taking over.
Traditional and Delicious Italian Food at Cello’s
No matter your favorite pasta dish, you’ll find something delicious at Cello’s Farmhouse Italian! We’re proud to serve authentic Italian food right here in Candia, NH. Enjoy an old favorite or try something new when you visit us!