Why does pasta come in different shapes?
I've always wondered why pasta comes in different shapes. Is it simply to look a certain way, or does the shape make the pasta taste different?
One reason is that different shapes of pasta complement different kinds of sauces and recipes.
Can you imagine making macaroni and cheese with angel hair pasta? It would turn out to be a sticky unpalatable mess.
On the other hand, a light olive oil and herb sauce would be lost on lasagna noodles.
Those twirly noodles can hold on to a medium weight marinara, and are also good in a pasta salad.
It may also be that some Italian women had too much time on their hands.
Rochelle Frank is correct. It's about the matching with sauces. Think of them as categories of pasta eg long pasta, long pasta with hole, wide pasta, short pasta etc. You can interchange within categories.
I think pasta comes in different shapes because it's easier for kids to eat spirals and shells and bow ties that regular long noodles.
Ii agree with the previous answer that it has to do with types of sauces that goes on the pasta. Some are literally designed to catch bits of sauce. Furthermore, the types of pasta recipes lend themselves to different shapes. Hard semolina is usually better for an eggless pasta that is extruded into a shape like penne or rigatoni. But fettuccine is more often (but not always) made from a softer flour with eggs.
So I guess there is a bit of difference in the past dough itself. I knew some were made with egg and others not, but I can see that different kinds of wheat could make harder or softer noodles. So are 'hefty' noodles (penne ) made with semolina?
Usually, yes I believe...but I am just a home cook, and still learning....
it could be that the shape of the pasta holds onto different kinds of sauces better,.... but,..... what if,.... its because we need different sizes and shapes of pasta when we glue it to a cigar box and then paint it gold!.... and we need a variety of sizes and shapes to make our pasta necklaces that will paint and then keep in the pasta painted cigar jewelry box,.... just sayin
the different shapes are so that different dishes can be made. The pasta actually does taste different , and the sauces hold to it more or less. The lighter, thinner pasta is for enhancing seafood dishes, while the thicker heavier are for the meat and cheese dishes. By the way most pasta dishes taste even better the next day..now that's another issue...passionate lover of Italian food...
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