Guide To: Pasta and Their Shapes

Did you know that chefs use different shapes and sizes of pasta for different purposes?  In fact, certain shapes hold different sauces better than others and are preferred in many instances.

Pasta comes in all different shapes and sizes, but does the noodle really impact the dish?  Have you ever even put much thought into choosing your pasta?

Did you know that Chefs use different shapes and sizes of pasta for different purposes?  In fact, certain shapes hold different sauces better than others and are preferred in many instances. For example, thin pasta, such as angel hair, works better with thin oil-based sauces and soups, while thicker noodles, like rigatoni or fettuccini pair better with a heavy sauce like Alfredo.

Chefs and foodies tend to organize the shapes into several groups including long pasta (spaghetti, fettuccine), tubes (penne, macaroni), stuffed (tortellini and ravioli) and more!

Rigatoni is central to Southern Italy.  This shape is used in all seasons.  Here’s a recipe for a fresh summer pasta salad by one of the brand’s we carry @percoranerapasta.

  1. Cook pasta and transfer to a large prep bowl or mixing bowl
  2. Once cooled, add the following ingredients
  3. Parsley
  4. Diced red onion
  5. Feta
  6. Olive oil
  7. Pepper and salt (to taste)
  8. Diced cucumbers
  9. Hint of Fresh mint

Toss together until the feta breaks up and coats all ingredients.  Place in fridge and cover to chill.  Voila!!

Fun Pasta Facts:

  • There are more than 350 different shapes worldwide
  • Spaghetto is the singular word for Spaghetti
  • Before machinery, pasta was kneaded by foot (not hand)
  • Al dente not only tastes better but it keeps you fuller longer
  • The average Italian eats 60 lbs of pasta per year
  • October 25 is world pasta day
  • January 4th is National Spaghetti Day
  • Most dried pastas are made with only two ingredients
  • Pasta comes from the Italian word for Paste (flour + water = paste = pasta)
  • Italy produces between 1,700,000 and 3,300,000 TONS of pasta per year.
  • The most popular brand of dried pasta in Italy is Barilla
  • The three most popular shapes of pasta are: macaroni, spaghetti and penne

 

At Summerhill Market we carry a variety of fresh and dried pasta options.  Click here to for buying options.

Angie Smith

Angie Smith

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