The science of pairing pastas with different sauces is actually not too complex. Historically, pastas and sauces were paired together based on how the culture of the region prepared the dish. For example, carbonara recipes almost always call for bucatini or spaghetti as per the region it originates from. In fact, before pasta was mass-produced it was frowned upon to swap different pasta types in most recipes made in Italian kitchens.
Since the popularization of pasta in America in the 1920s, you can mix and match any pasta shape to any sauce you desire!
Just follow our few simple tips and tricks!
- How do you Pair Pasta with Sauces?
- What Sauces go well with Pasta?
- What can you add to Pasta and Sauce?
- How do you marry Pasta into Sauce?
How do you pair Pasta with Sauces?
The best guide for pairing a pasta with a sauce is the shape of the pasta. That’s right, there are almost a limitless amount of pasta shapes and types, and each one can compliment certain sauces in different ways. The best way to pair them up is to consider the shape, type and texture of your desired pasta.
Tube shaped pastas are best for heavier and chunkier sauces. Tube shaped pastas allow the sauce and its textures to be completely captured in every bite. Pastas that are tube shapes are best complemented with classic meat sauces, such as ragu. Another great way to prepare these together is to bake them into a pasta dish similar to Ziti.
You can find recipes for homemade pasta sauces on our recipe list here.
Protip: one of the best tools for preparing a homemade sauce is a food processor. This tool is great for finely chopping herbs and veggies, and also can bring a smooth texture that’s perfect for sauces.
At the end of the day, if the dish tastes good and you enjoy it, then that’s all that matters. However, if you’re the foodie in your family, you can definitely elevate pasta dishes by using certain types.
For example, when preparing cream sauces, you might want to use Fettuccine pasta. The flat ribbon shape of Fettuccine will stick and capture the creamy sauce making each bite perfecto.
For hearty, baked dishes we would recommend the traditional Lasagna, or the not-so traditional Elena Picolla, because of the sturdy way these pasta types layer between meats and cheeses.
For oily or buttery dishes, look for Rotini or Bucatini. The corkscrew shape of Rotini holds onto dressing and oils, and the long center tube of Bucatini traps in melty butter.
For the more traditional meat sauces, use Penne Rigate or Shell pastas. These pastas and other types that are similar have a ridged exterior and smooth interior which means the insides will fill with meat, sauce, and vegetables while the outside ridges will adhere to the sauce when stirred.
What Sauces go well with Pasta?
Some of the best sauces that pair well with pasta are:
- Pesto Sauce
- Red meat sauce or “Red Gravy”
- Classic tomato sauce
- Alfredo Sauce
- Lemon Butter Sauce
- Vodka Sauce
- Cacio e pepe
- Red wine sauce
- Carbonara sauce
- White wine sauce
- Marinara sauce
- Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- Aglio e olio
What can you add to Pasta and Sauce?
There are tons of fresh and exciting ingredients you can add to elevate your sauce and pasta dish!
Keep in mind that most recipes call for ingredients from this list.
Here’s a list of the most common ingredients you can add to your pasta and sauce:
- Onions and Garlic, duh!
- Olive oil
- Fresh tomatoes
- Crushed tomatoes
- Red pepper flakes for some spice
- Fresh basil
- Dried herbs, like thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil and parsley
- Ground beef or Italian sausage
How do you marry Pasta into Sauce?
The best way to “Marry” your pasta into your sauce is with a secret weapon called pasta water.
That’s right! After boiling and cooking your pasta in water, the water will contain lots of the same starch that came from your pasta. After boiling, reserve a cup water and add it to your sauce while the sauce is still on low to medium heat. This will allow your sauce to stick to your pasta and let it coat it evenly, this way every bite is perfection.
Italian Food at Home
Preparing a gourmet Italian dish at home is easier than you think. With the right guidance and the right ride experience, you can make any pasta dish in your kitchen.
Making authentic Italian food at home has never been easier with Dagostino Handmade Past.
Remember to use or quality tomato sauce, handmade pasta, and decadent olive oil.
You can also level up your cooking with rich cream, extra protein, fresh herbs, and of course cheese. We recommend parmesan!
The dish will be a guaranteed hit in your household with these products.
Visit our website for more quality ingredients and exquisite gift boxes full of pasta-making essentials.