It’s a debate that rages in every family. What is the best pasta shape? While we let other people duke out the great farfalle or fusilli debate, we’re going to explore why there are different pasta shapes in the first place. On the menus of Litchfield restaurants —and all Italian restaurants—you’ll notice that certain dishes are served with different pasta shapes. But are pasta shapes really all that different from each other? At Tammaro’s Cucina, we are committed to serving authentic Italian food right here in Litchfield, and that includes getting the pasta shapes right.
Let’s take a look at some common pasta shapes and the dishes they go best with.
You can probably guess the shapes that fall into this category: spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine…you get the idea. Spaghetti is the most versatile of this group. It’s thick enough that it won’t get lost in a meat sauce, but thin enough that it pairs well with olive oil-based sauces. Wider and flatter pasta shapes like linguine and fettuccine go well with lighter sauces and hold mix-ins in place. That is why you’ll often find them in seafood pasta dishes. Their wide flat shape makes them ideal for trapping scallops, clams, and similar seafood.
My mother has a picture of my brother, at about age six, with a piece of ziti on each finger. That doesn’t have much to do with the Italian food you’ll get at Litchfield restaurants, but it’s a funny image. The design of tube pasta, like ziti, rigatoni, or penne, traps chunkier sauces and delivers bursts of flavor. They are ideal for vegetable-based sauces or meaty ragus. You’ll often find them in pasta salad for the same reason.
There is really only one sheet pasta: lasagna (though some would argue tagliatelli qualifies, too). Lasagna is unusual in that cooks really only use it for one dish. While there are many variations on lasagna, and people debate what the best layers are, there isn’t another use for the pasta. There’s a reason the pasta and the dish it is made for have the same name.
Pasta at Litchfield Restaurants: Tammaro’s Cucina
There are many more types of pasta than just those; we didn’t even get to stuffed pasta or specialty shapes! If we left your favorite pasta off this list, come to Tammaro’s Cucina to see what else we have on our menu! We’re proud to be a favorite among Litchfield restaurants and to serve authentic Italian food.