Pasta + sauce

by Sofia

From the Atlantic, a brief guide to what no-egg, dried pasta goes with which sauce.

In the broadest terms, long shapes go with tomato sauce and short shapes go with meat and vegetable sauces. Here are some more-specific and breakable rules for sauces that go with dried pasta without egg. For long thin pastas, such as spaghettini and vermicelli (which are nearly identical) and linguine and trenette (also nearly identical): fish and seafood sauces. For these pastas plus thicker long pasta, such as spaghetti, perciatelli (from the word for “pierced,” because it is hollow), and bucatini (thicker than perciatelli, also hollow): cream, butter, and cheese sauces; tomato sauces; sauces with strong flavors such as hot pepper, garlic, anchovies, or olive paste. For short pastas, such as rotini (spirals), ziti, penne, and rigatoni (big ridged tubes), and hollowed-out pastas, such as lumache (snails), conchiglie (shells), and elbows: meat sauces and vegetable sauces, because the shapes catch meat sauce and enable yo to pick up chunks of vegetable and pasta at the same time. For very short pastas: sauces with dried peas, lentils, chick-peas, or fava or other beans (the combination of pasta and beans is usually found in soup). For flat pastas, such as farfalle and rotelle (wheels): sauces with cream or cheese or delicate vegetable sauces—such as ricotta and spinach, asparagus, and puree of winter squash with nutmeg.

In brief:

long: tomato sauce
short: meat + vegetable sauces

long, thin: fish + seafood sauces
long, thicker: cream, butter, and cheese; tomato; and strongly flavoured sauces
short: meat + vegetables
very short: with beans + legumes in soup
flat: sauces with cream or delicate vegetables