The world owes the most gratitude to Italy for improving its gastronomy. Where would we be without dishes like pizza, tiramisu, cannelloni, or different pasta types?
Eating two identical versions of these dishes is impossible because there are so many combinations. Because of this, we will now talk about the different types of pasta and why some work better with certain sauces and others do not. Of course, first, we will explain a little about the history of pasta and how it came to be this legendary food.
What’s the story behind the pasta?
Until the Second World War, pasta was known as noodles, or dough, as per The Oxford Companion to Food. This term does not accurately describe what pasta is. We refer to it as macaroni, macaroni products, food, or pasta.
However, it is difficult, if not impossible, to trace the origins of pasta because it is composed of water and flour. It is impossible to say who came up with the idea to combine them to make a dough for making pasta.
The origin of pasta has not even been proven since, for example, there are traces that there were already dishes such as lagoon and itria in ancient Greece, which later were classified with other pasta varieties. In ancient Rome, which was not part of Italy, there were also lagani.
Pasta has many different origins, but the dishes that were born after it was created, such as spaghetti bolognese, alfredo pasta, pesto, and many other dishes, are examples of simple gifts to mankind.
How do you pair different types of pasta with sauces?
Sadly, no formula or law can tell us what kinds of pasta go best with different types of sauce since, if it existed, many of the combinations we know today would not exist today; even so, there are certain kinds of pasta that pair better with certain sauces than others, which we will explain in the following paragraphs, based on the information in various media and books, such as The Best Pasta Sauces and The Glorious Pasta of Italy.
LONG AND THIN KINDS OF PASTA:
The Best Pasta Sauces and the BBC cooking website agree that pasta of this type, such as spaghetti, lunghi, or noodles, is best when paired with creamy or soft sauces. These sauces may be based on cream or oil or may even be seafood-based.
THICK RIBBON PASTES:
The longer and thicker pasta types, such as tagliatelle, pappardelle, mafaldine, or fettuccine, are better with meat sauces such as puttanesca bolognese or even marinara.
PASTA WITH SPIRAL SHAPES:
For example, Fusilli, caserecce, strozzapreti, Gemelli, or trofie are very good preparations for heavy sauces like pesto or bolognese, which have a lot of volumes.
SHELL-SHAPED KINDS OF PASTA:
Some of this pasta is known as lumache or conchiglie and are excellent with thick creamy sauces, such as an alfredo or a bechamel, or tomato sauces with meat, including a ragout, a bolognese, or even an arrabiata.
Regularly hollow, these pastes are usually round and tubular, such as penne, rigatoni, macaroni, or paccheri, with cracks and ridges that are good with thick sauces, which their cracks can catch, like a bolognese or a ragout.
Even though our discussion will not encompass much of it at this time, these types of pasta are already known by a different names for their fillings. Serving cappelletti, ravioli, or tortellini with light sauces, butter, or oil, such as cacio e Pepe is traditional. However, they are also good when accompanied by thick sauces, such as a bechamel or a marinara.
SMALL AND THICK KINDS OF PASTA:
These smaller pastas are often quite thick and usually have marks or cracked surfaces, so they are well suited to sauces with a lot of fat, such as a ragout or a marinara. The rigatoni, cavatelli, and gnoquis are among the most popular specimens.
FINE AND LONG PASTES:
They are like spaghetti reversals, but they are thinner and can even crack if not properly prepared, such as capellini, vermicelli, or any thin noodle. The donkey pasta and cacio e Pepe look good with light sauces made of fish or butter.
The Pasta Mini:
Pasta in this category are all thin, small kinds of pasta, such as orzo, fregola, stelline, and Canestrini, including them in pasta salads with dressing and components of soups and stews, so they are not usually served as a main dish on their own.
Even though these combinations are styled between the types of pasta and sauces, true experts in Italian food believe that you should consume pasta in whatever way you love it. Chef Micol Negrin, for instance, describes in his text The Best Pasta Sauces how he usually consumes guanciale sauce with hollow spaghetti, although he might prepare it with tagliatelle.
According to experts, the most important aspect of the combination of sauce and pasta is how it enhances the entire dish. What are your thoughts on it? Please let us know your favorite pasta types and preparations, as well as how you enjoy consuming them.