The Best Type Of Pasta Sauce To Pair With Linguine

Technically, you can pair any shape of pasta with whatever type of sauce you want. However, if you're looking to fine-tune your cooking a little more, there are some noodles that just work better with certain sauce varieties. Conchiglie, for instance, works beautifully with marinara in stuffed pasta dishes, where their shells can soak up all that yummy sauce. On the other hand, you'll want to keep thinner pasta varieties like linguine out of these baked recipes, since they just can't hold your ingredients the same way. This long, thin noodle shape has its own sauce varieties that it works well with.

If you're making a recipe with linguine, choose a smooth sauce that ranges from light to creamy. When you see a dish with these noodles on a restaurant menu, you'll often see it with seafood like shrimp or clams and sauces like Alfredo or white wine — and it turns out, there's a reason why these pairings are so common. Unlike spaghetti, which is cylindrical, linguine is flat and a little wider, so it has more surface area to hold onto rich liquids. But unlike pappardelle, which is much wider, you'll still want to keep your linguine pairings fairly light so they don't overwhelm the noodles.

Light, smooth sauces are key

So, what sauces fall under the light to creamy range? Feel free to pair the simplest types possible with linguine if you prefer. These don't have to be boring — they can include butter, olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and chopped herbs, which all work beautifully with seafood. Or, try a white wine sauce, which is essentially composed of the aforementioned ingredients plus a dash of a dry vino blanc. Light, smooth tomato sauces also fall under this umbrella, especially easy ones with olive oil, basil, and garlic. On the flip side, try to avoid mixing in chunky ingredients like ground meat or diced veggies.

You can also dabble in creamy recipes like Alfredo, carbonara, basic garlic cream sauces, or lemony versions. If you can't choose between red and white here, throw a dash of cream into a tomato-based sauce or try out a pink sauce, which is essentially equal parts of each. When it comes to your protein, avoid heftier meats like beef and lamb and go for seafood like salmon, mussels, and squid. As tempting as it is to toss your linguine into a pot of Bolognese and watch it sink, your noodles will thank you for sticking to a lighter sauce.