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How to pick the perfect Pasta shape for each sauce?

How to pick the perfect Pasta shape for each sauce?

The first pasta dish that comes to your mind is surely the one with traditional red sauce and meat, but pasta can do a whole lot more than spaghetti and meatballs.  For example, farfalle makes a great base for refreshing summer pasta salads and macaroni makes a hearty addition to comforting soups.

Each type of pasta has unique qualities that make it better suited to certain sauces, cooking methods, or accompanying ingredients.

Here’s an overview of some of the most popular pasta shapes, plus how to pair them for a delicious and nutritious meal.


Type of Pasta Pasta Shape Pairings
Long Capellini Thin, round-shaped Thin tomato sauces, broth, or oil
Fettuccine Thick, ribbon-shaped Cheese or vegetable sauces
Linguine Thin, flat, ribbon-shaped Pesto or seafood sauces
Pappardelle Wide, thick, ribbon-shaped Hearty meat sauces
Spaghetti Thin, round-shaped Tomato or puttanesca sauces
Short Fusilli Spiral-shaped Meat or cheese sauces
Farfalle Bowties Tomato or light vegetable sauces
Macaroni Semicircular, curve-shaped Meat, cheese, or vegetable sauces
Orecchiette Small, ear-shaped Meats and white wine sauces
Penne Short, slanting, hollow, tube-shaped Chunky tomato, meat, vegetable, or cream

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