Create the Perfect Match: Pasta and Sauce Pairings

We all know the guy that refers to any shape of pasta as ‘spaghetti’. But not so. There are hundreds of different types of noodles. For example, you wouldn’t use a long spaghetti in a soup and it wouldn’t do to use a thin pasta with a thick sauce! Use the chart below to assist you in pairing the best pasta with the best sauce to compliment. Now that’s using your noodle!


Long and skinny:

Spaghetti, linguine, fusilli lunghi, vermicelli

Serve with: Light seafood sauces, cream- or oil-based sauces.foodiesfeed.com_fresh-pasta-dill-vegetables

Long ribbons:

Pappardelle, fettuccine, mafaldine

Serve with: Rich, meaty sauces.beef-17040_640



Conchiglie, lumache

Heavy cream or meat sauces; large ones can be stuffed.
cream sauce



Fusilli, trofie, strozzapreti, caserecce, gemelli

Serve with: Lighter, smoother sauces which will cling to the twists, such as pesto.pesto


Penne, rigatoni, macaroni, paccheri

Serve with: Hearty vegetable sauces, or baked cheese dishes. Also good with Bolognese or ragu.macaroni

Mini Shapes:

Orzo, fregola, canestrini, stelline

Use in: soups and stews or pasta salads.soup

Filled pasta:

Ravioli, tortellini, cappelletti

Serve with: Since the filling contains lots of flavour, these are traditionally served with a light butter or oil sauce.tortellini


Many of these noodles and sauces are conveniently available in the aisles of Jim Alesci’s Place. Don’t forget about dessert! Alesci’s has a fantastic bakery full of traditional Italian desserts like cannoli, cassata cake and more, that will create a very happy ending to your Italian feast!


See also: 4 Things you Should Know about Olive Oil


Adapted from Perfect pairings: How to match pasta shapes to sauces By BBC Good Food team