The Chef’s Table

Created by the Chefs of Maggiano’s Little Italy

March 1, 2016

Maggiano’s Little Italy Chef Tips: How to Pair Pasta Shapes to Sauces

Choosing the right pasta really depends on how you plan to top it. The pasta shape you pick and the sauce you select can make a world of difference in your pasta dish. Try our chef’s suggestions and do it the Maggiano’s way!

Long & Skinny Pastas like spaghetti, linguine and angel hair are the perfect shape for delicate sauces that are oil, seafood, or tomato-based. These sauces coat each strand perfectly.

Tube-Shaped Pastas like ziti, penne, macaroni, and rigatoni are the perfect vessel for either a hearty sauce or a creamy and cheesy, baked dish. This category of pasta would really capture everything good in a bolognese or a veggie ragu.

Flat & Wide Pastas like fettuccine and pappardelle can stand up to the best meaty, robust sauces as well as creamy sauces. We think we nailed it with our Fettuccine Alfredo, but the general rule is the wider the noodle, the heavier the sauce.

Shapes like twists and shells go with a variety of sauces depending on the size. Twists like stozzapreti are perfect for smooth sauces like pesto. Shells go well with bold meat sauces and can even be stuffed if you get the jumbo shells. Mini shapes like orzo make create pasta salads and additions to soups.

Stuffed Pastas like tortellini and ravioli already have the flavors inside, so simplicity is a good thing - consider a butter sauce.

What are your favorite pasta and sauce pairings? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter! We invite you to join us at Maggiano’s Little Italy for your next meal or special occasion. We also invite you to join our E-club, follow us on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest, and watch us on YouTube for more chef tips, recipes and ideas.

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