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Pairing pastas to sauces

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.. .

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  1. 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

      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.

      1. 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

          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. Puttanesca sauce sounds interesting is that with capers?

          2 Replies
          1. re: hetook

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

            1. re: Meowzerz

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

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

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: hetook

                    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

                        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.

                    1. Favorite shapes for "macaroni" and cheese?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: fldhkybnva

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

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

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

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

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

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: fldhkybnva

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

                                  1. re: cheesecake17

                                    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

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

                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                    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.