The Most Popular Pasta Shapes and How to Pair Them with Sauces

Learn about the most popular pasta shapes and how to pair them with sauces.

Learn about the most popular pasta shapes and how to pair them with sauces.

There are so many pasta shapes in the world (over 100!), and most of them were created in Italy. While it’s possible to make a variety of dishes and combinations, most pasta shapes are always paired with particular sauces. The shape of the pasta is an important consideration; for example, linguine has extra surface area that pairs well with butter-based sauce and seafood, while farfalle has pockets that hold heavier sauces very well. Continue reading to learn more about the most popular pasta shapes and how to pair them with sauces!

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

Thin, long noodles like spaghetti, angel hair, and capellini are best paired with lighter sauces, such as tomato or garlic and olive oil. Spaghetti cacio e pepe is a simple pasta dish that is filled with some of the best fresh ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and freshly ground black pepper. The light sauce coats the strands of spaghetti evenly and won’t weigh the pasta down.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Flat, long noodles like fettuccine, linguine, and pappardelle are best paired with rich or creamy sauces, as the flat surface can hold heavier sauces. Keep in mind that the heartier, meat sauces pair best with the wider noodles like pappardelle, while fettuccine and linguine pair better with simple cream sauces and seafood. Fettuccine alfredo is a very popular dish in America, but there are a few restaurants in Italy that serve the Italian version that is made with parmesan and butter. 

Pasta al Forno

Short tube pasta like penne, rigatoni, and ziti are very versatile and work well in soups, salads, casseroles, and pasta dishes with creamy or heart sauces. The larger the tube, the better it will be for holding sauces with pieces of meats or vegetables. Pasta al forno means that it is baked in the oven and is usually covered with delicious cheese and sauce. Giolitti Deli’s pasta al forno is baked ziti with a creamy four-cheese sauce.

Bucatini Carbonara

Bucatini is an interesting cut of pasta that is very popular with classic Roman dishes. At first glance, you may mistake it for spaghetti, but it is a bit thicker and has a hollow center. The hole that runs through the pasta is perfect for sauce-lovers, as the pasta actually gets filled with sauces, rather than just being covered by it. A velvety pasta sauce like carbonara pairs very well with bucatini, and you will notice the difference with how much more sauce you get in each bite!

Authentic Italian Cuisine From Giolitti Deli

Giolitti Deli is a full-service Delicatessen in Annapolis, MD, specializing in authentic Italian cuisine. Founded in 1992, we use the freshest ingredients to make time-honed recipes from scratch, with no MSG or preservatives. We believe in real food and offer many healthy options, including vegetarian and vegan menu items. At Giolitti Deli, we make our own sauces, mozzarella, grilled and roasted vegetables, bread, pizza dough, and desserts, and our sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza, and entrees are made to order. Owner Mary Giolitti has combined her passion for great food and fine wine to offer Annapolis a true taste of Italy!

Team members who also make the business possible include Manager Kathy Hunter, Manager and Catering Director Cheryl Molesky, Head Baker Porfirio Diaz, Chef Alfredo Escobar, and Deli Manager Noe Merino. To contact us, please visit our contact page or give us a call at 410.266.8600. Also, be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog!

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