Although there are many different types of pasta available with many different flavors, the majority of the taste from a pasta dish comes from the sauce. The lighter the sauce is the more noticeable the pasta’s taste will be. The size and shape of the pasta or noodles should be taken into consideration when determining the type of sauce to use. There are some general guidelines to follow when selecting a sauce, but do not be afraid to experiment with combining different shapes and sauces to see what appeals to your personal taste. Some general guidelines are shown below.
Matching Pasta to Sauce
Examples: Conchiglie, farfalle, fusilli, gemelli, gnocchetti, gramigna, lumache, lumaconi, orecchiette, radiatori, route, rotini, and trenne
Sauce: Thick tomato sauces, meat sauces, chunky sauces, and cheese sauces
Examples: Canneroni, cannolicchi, cavatappi, garganelli, macaroni, maccheroncelli, manicotti, paccheri, penne, rigatoni, tortiglioni, and ziti
Sauce: Thick tomato sauces, meat sauces, chunky sauces, and thick cream sauces
Examples: Angel hair, capellini, chitarra, fedelini, spaghetti, and vermicelli
Sauce: Light tomato sauces, butter based sauces, light oil based sauces, and light cream based sauces.
Examples: Fettuccine, lasagne, linguine, pappardelle, riginette, tagliatelle, and trenette
Sauce: For the wider dried pastas - meat sauces, thick tomato sauces, and thick cream sauces. For narrow or fresh pastas - Light tomato sauces, butter based sauces, light oil based sauces, and light cream based sauces.
Examples: Acini di pepe, alphabets, anellini, conchigliette, ditali, farfalline, orzo, pastine, risi, stele, stortini, and tubetti
Sauce: Light sauces, mainly used in broth or soups with a light base.
Examples: Agnolotti, pansotti, ravioli, tortelli, and tortellini
Sauce: Light tomato sauce, light cream based sauce, and broth