The Dish on Pasta

We all love pasta, but did you know there are certain sauces that go best with certain pastas? Here we give you a few recipes to try that follow those guidelines.
Feb 5, 2019
Jeffrey Crane
The Dish on Pasta


Large shells

Large shells are the perfect vessel for filling with creamy cheese and baking with any sauce.

No-Boil Stuffed Shells
Courtesy: The Food Network

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg
1 pound ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
One 8-ounce bag part-skim shredded mozzarella (about 2 cups)
3 T. fresh parsley, minced 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 24-oz. jar marinara sauce
One 12-oz. box jumbo pasta shells

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Combine the garlic, egg, ricotta, Parmesan, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, 2 T. of the parsley, a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl. Fold to combine. Transfer the mixture to a resealable plastic bag and snip a 1/4-inch hole in the corner. 
  • Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pipe the ricotta mixture into the shells and arrange them opening-side up in the baking dish. Cover with the remaining sauce and 1 1/2 cups water. 
  • Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil, top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and bake until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the cheese is browned, about 10 minutes more. Let cool 10 minutes. Top with the remaining parsley before serving. 

Short tube pasta

Tube pasta is perfect for carrying creamy sauces with small bits of meat.

The Silkiest Carbonara
Courtesy: Bon Appetit

¼ pound guanciale (salt-cured pork jowl) or pancetta, cut into ?-inch cubes
7 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 pound rigatoni
Kosher salt
½ cup finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan, plus more for garnish
2 t. freshly ground black pepper

  • Cook guanciale in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fat renders but guanciale is not browned, about 5 minutes. Pour into a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl; reserve drippings. Transfer guanciale to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add egg yolks and egg to bowl; whisk to blend. 
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. 
  • Immediately add rigatoni, 2 T. pasta cooking liquid, and 1 t. guanciale drippings to egg mixture; toss to coat. Working in three batches, gradually add ½ cup Pecorino, stirring and tossing to melt between batches. Add 2 t. black pepper; toss until sauce thickens, adding more pasta water by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with Pecorino.

Flat long noodles

Wide surface area pairs well with rich, hearty sauces that often include meat.

Spicy Sausage Bolognese with Pappardelle
Courtesy: The Food Network
2 T. olive oil
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casing removed 
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
1 small carrot, finely chopped 
1 rib celery with leafy tops, finely chopped 
1 small onion, finely chopped 
1 cup dry red wine 
1 cup chicken stock 
1 32-ounce can Italian crushed tomatoes 
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground clove 
A few grates whole nutmeg
A few leaves fresh basil, torn 
1 cup milk 
1 pound pappardelle pasta or other wide-cut flat pasta 
Pecorino-Romano, for grating

  • In a Dutch oven or medium pot heat the olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown and crumble. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and onions, and cook to soften, 10 minutes. Stir in the wine and let it absorb, then add the stock, tomatoes, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Bring the sauce to a bubble. Season with salt, and then stir in the basil. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool the sauce and store for a make-ahead meal. 
  • Reheat over medium heat and stir in the milk, cooking until well incorporated. 
  • Heat a large pot of salted water to boil, and then cook the pappardelle to al dente. Reserve a cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining the pasta. 
  • Return the pasta to the drained pot and toss with half of the sauce and some starchy water. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls topped with extra sauce and some grated Pecorino-Romano.

Short shaped pasta

The textured shape of this pasta makes it perfect for rich, hearty sauces filled with various meats and veggies.

Broccoli and Bow Ties
Courtesy: The Food Network
Kosher salt
8 cups broccoli florets (4 heads)
1/2 pound farfalle (bow tie) pasta
2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. good olive oil
2 t. minced garlic
1 lemon, zested
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted pignoli (pine) nuts
Freshly grated Parmesan, optional

  • Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve. Place in a large bowl and set aside. In the same water, cook the bow-tie pasta according to the package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well and add to the broccoli. 
  • Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Off the heat, add 2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, and lemon juice and pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Season to taste, sprinkle with the pignolis and cheese, if using, and serve. 
  • To toast pignolis, place them in a dry saute pan over medium-low heat and cook, tossing often, for about 5 minutes, until light brown. Note from Fort Wayne Living: For more flavor, add in some seasonings of your own such as Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes or Johnny’s Garlic Spread and Seasoning.

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