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Pairing pastas to sauces

Meowzerz Dec 3, 2012 08:56 PM

I bought some rigatoni to go with the puttanesca sauce I am making tomorrow. Then I got to thinking, I always see puttanesca with spaghetti at restaurants. I'm sure it'll still be awesome =) haha . Anyways, just wanted to see what everyone's favorite (and possibly least favorite!) shapes of pasta to pair with different sauces. And why/why not.

Sorry if this is a repeat post.. .

  1. h
    hetook Dec 3, 2012 09:35 PM

    I'm into spaghetti made with a simple sauce of butter,cheese, walnuts and s&p. I'm growing as a cook and am finding that less is definitely more. In fact , I think the mark of a good cooking is ability to transport the diner with just a few, common ingredients. I like pasta in all shapes but I'm not impressed with use of ingredients that may come from a particular region in Italy. I usually get a box of good tasting mac or spaghetti from ....OMG Safeway.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hetook
      Meowzerz Dec 3, 2012 10:40 PM

      Oh yes, I agree with simplicity's greatness. I also agree that spaghetti sounds like the best pasta for the dish you described! I was just in the mood for puttanesca sauce haha! Next week I'll probably do a white bean/farfalle/garlic dish.

      Oh and by the way everyone, upon further browsing, I did find very similar, very recent threads. My bad, I don't get on the computer enough haha.

    2. f
      foodieX2 Dec 4, 2012 09:01 AM

      You might find this thread intersting too


      1. Bacardi1 Dec 4, 2012 11:22 AM

        Sure you can use Rigatoni with Puttanesca sauce, but it's sort of a waste. Rigatoni is SO very suited to thicker sauces - especially meat sauces - or baked dishes with lots of cheese. Puttanesca will just slip out of those tubes.

        In my opinion (& again - this is just MY opinion & personal preference), Puttanesca goes best with what it was originally meant for - plain old spaghetti.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bacardi1
          Meowzerz Dec 4, 2012 07:04 PM

          You know you're right. Haha. Just had it for dinner and the rigatoni shape was a bit odd for the sauce. But I also wanted to use up an eggplant I had from the week before, and thought rigatoni would be more suited to the 1 inch pieces of eggplant I had sauteed. But next time I make Puttanesca I'll use spaghetti.

        2. h
          hetook Dec 4, 2012 05:58 PM

          Puttanesca sauce sounds interesting is that with capers?

          2 Replies
          1. re: hetook
            Meowzerz Dec 4, 2012 07:07 PM

            Yep, capers, olives, and anchovy paste are some of the star ingredients. It's a good thing =) lol

            1. re: Meowzerz
              hetook Dec 4, 2012 07:24 PM

              I had to give up t.v. a few years ago (due to LiLo overload) ..I get ur reference.

          2. a
            ahuva Dec 4, 2012 08:04 PM

            kids won't eat mac and cheese unless it's elbows or rotini. brown butter sage sauce is always with tagliatelle or gnocchi. Fettucini or linguine for all brocolli-chicken-beef or something stir fry

            1. chefathome Dec 4, 2012 08:08 PM

              I love to make my own pasta. One of my favourite shapes is a "rag" which lends itself to free-form dishes that are a bit messy but delicious such as roasted butternut squash with pine nuts in brown butter and shaved Parmesan. Another is tagliatelle with wild boar ragu. It holds up very well. Mac and Cheese can be any shape to me really as long as it has lots of nooks and crannies. The other day I made pasta i fagioli and threw in a few commercial pasta shapes that were still languishing in my pantry. I broke them up into small bits but it all worked in the end.

              1. t
                tastesgoodwhatisit Dec 5, 2012 04:51 PM

                I do a roasted cherry tomato and garlic pasta that's very good, and goes best with orecchiette, which is just the right size and shape to gently cup the deflated whole tomatoes.

                1. h
                  hetook Dec 14, 2012 01:56 PM

                  Golden rule , Meowerz. If i've learnd annything as a cook...u can NEVER mAke too much sauce.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: hetook
                    Bacardi1 Dec 14, 2012 03:21 PM

                    Maybe in order to save some sauce for another meal, but I personally don't care for pasta drowning in sauce. Nor do Italians.

                    But as always - personal preference prevails.

                    1. re: Bacardi1
                      hetook Dec 14, 2012 07:41 PM

                      who said drowning?

                      1. re: Bacardi1
                        nedh Dec 18, 2012 09:57 AM

                        Believe it or not, Italians are a diverse group of people with different preferences and tastes -- just like anywhere else. I'm sure somewhere in Italy, there is an Italian who likes to drown his pasta in sauce. It doesn't make him any less Italian. This isn't directed exclusively to you, Bacardi -- people just tend to generalize a little too much on the food preference of other countries -- especially the Italians.

                    2. fldhkybnva Dec 14, 2012 07:09 PM

                      Favorite shapes for "macaroni" and cheese?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                        cheesecake17 Dec 20, 2012 03:47 PM

                        My husband loves Mac and cheese with the skinny twists- gemelli. Best part- the pieces that stick up and get crunchy

                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                          juliejulez Dec 20, 2012 04:24 PM


                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                            Cheese Boy Dec 21, 2012 10:57 PM

                            Baby shells, and include a cup of *drained* canned chickpeas too.

                            These --> http://www.google.com/imgres?q=baby+s...

                          2. tracylee Dec 15, 2012 10:37 AM

                            TJs perlina pasta with prosciutto and parmesan do not pair best with a thick, garlicky clam sauce. OK, it was odd but good. More filling than the usual browned butter/sage sauce I usually toss it with, and I made too much clam sauce for it.

                            1. boyzoma Dec 18, 2012 10:24 AM

                              Some of my favorites are:

                              Mac & Cheese – elbow or shells
                              Alfredo – Fettuccini
                              Spaghetti Sauce – Thin Spaghetti
                              Carbonara, Browned Butter & Mazithra or Clam Sauce – Regular Spaghetti
                              Roasted Red Pepper Sauce – Linguini
                              Scampi – Angel Hair
                              Creamy Chicken Marsala – Tri-color Penne
                              Tuna Casserole – Tri-color Rotini
                              Stroganoff – Wide egg noodles

                              1. fldhkybnva Dec 18, 2012 10:32 AM

                                I plan to make macaroni and cheese this week - I can't decide elbows, cavatappi or gobetti?

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                  cheesecake17 Dec 20, 2012 03:48 PM

                                  Cavatappi... That's the other Mac n cheese favorite shape in my house

                                  1. re: cheesecake17
                                    fldhkybnva Dec 20, 2012 03:57 PM

                                    yes, this is my current choice for macaroni and cheese for the upcoming holidays. I am a little concerned that since it's a bit bigger than macaroni that it won't be as cheesy but perhaps I am confusing it with gobetti which I think has a similar shape but might be larger.

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                                      cheesecake17 Dec 20, 2012 04:09 PM

                                      I use a not traditional recipe and when I use larger pasta shapes I add more milk to the mixture

                                  2. re: fldhkybnva
                                    juliejulez Dec 20, 2012 04:26 PM

                                    Ooops just responded above, but yes, cavatappi! I just had some a few weeks ago at a restaurant that was delicious, and it was not too big.

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