The Best Type Of Pasta To Serve With A Meat Sauce

There are different sauces for different pasta shapes, believe it or not. The Italians knew what they were doing when they invented all the different unique types of noodles; in fact, Share the Pasta estimates there to be around 600 shapes, all with different tasty purposes. It's all about the consistency of the sauce and how likely it is to cling to the noodle.

According to Paesana, different shapes of pasta were made to invent crevices for the sauce to nestle into, yielding more flavor in every bite. For example, shapes with deep innards like shells and macaroni need a creamy sauce to trap, whereas shapes with many ridges such as fusilli need a chunkier sauce, states The Washington Post.

Longer noodles such as spaghetti, bucatini, linguine, fettuccine, and angel hair hold butter and oil sauces, and smaller pasta shapes such as orzo, ditalini, stelline, and fregulla go best in soups and stews to help thicken the liquid while ensuring a bite of pasta in each spoonful, The Washington Post explains. While all of these pasta shapes have a sauce to call home, we can't forget the ever-so-loved meaty sauces like bolognese and ragu — what pasta shape is their soulmate?

The pasta shape that pairs best with bolognese and ragù

According to Grapes & Grains, bolognese sauce in Italy is called ragù alla bolognese, originating in Bologna, Italy. The sauce is universally loved and splits its time evenly between two pasta shapes: rigatoni and tagliatelle. While rigatoni has large openings for chunks of meat to fit right in, tagliatelle almost acts as a deconstructed lasagna noodle to fold around the meat with your fork for a perfect bite. Alpine Bakery states that ragù uses essentially the same ingredients as bolognese, just with different ratios, and that wide, flat noodles are the best vehicle to carry such a hearty, meaty sauce.

According to Taste of Home, tagliatelle pasta is similar to fettuccine but wider and much less thick, resembling ribbons. If you find yourself low on meat but have ingredients on hand for other sauces, some to keep in mind that also pair well with this shape are vodka sauces or creamier dressings such as alfredo. While tagliatelle has the least nooks and crannies, bolognese and ragù have enough of them to suffice. Just like opposites attract in people, they do the same in the world of pasta.