No one really knows how many pasta variations there are. Even the
names of the same shaped pasta will vary from one region of Italy to
another. This is a list of some of the most commonly available pasta
shapes and suggestions for pairing various types of pasta with sauces.
Which Sauce Goes Best with Which Pasta?
The combination of pasta and a tasty sauce is almost a science in itself. But there are a few simple rules that people generally follow.
In general, long dried pasta strands like spaghetti are matched with thin sauces and thicker pasta tubes and chunky shells are paired with heavier meat
sauces or those with vegetable pieces.
Filled pasta like ravioli and tortellini have so much flavor of their own that they only need to be served with a simple butter sand sage sauce or a very light
tomato sauce. In the northern regions of Italy, filled pasta is often accompanied by a cream sauce. Thin fresh pasta should not be overwhelmed by a
powerful sauce either. A few truffle shavings, a little butter, or a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese is sufficient. Heavier fresh pasta, such as tagliatelle,
are particularly good when served with a strong sauce of mushrooms, cheese, cream, ham, or even fish.
With dried pasta, the choice of possible combinations is wider. Because dried pasta does not have a very strong taste, it is more dependent on the
accompanying sauce. Here the rule of thumb is the bigger the space inside the pasta the more sauce it can absorb.