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When you go shopping it can be easy to be overwhelmed by the number of different pastas available. There is the all time favorite spaghetti but there is also rotelle, bavette, penne, linguine, fettuccine… Well the list goes on.
Let’s take a look.
The long, thin pasta shapes like spaghetti, bavette and linguine are best used with light sauces, like thin bolognese and carbonara sauce. Use sauces that are based on cream, tomato or oil and without large chunky pieces. This allows the sauce stick to the pasta, and you don’t end with a big bowl of sauce at the end.
The long ribbon shaped pastas such as fettuccine, tagliatelle and pappardelle are suited best to the cream or butter based sauces. These sauces will cling to the pasta and yum.
When cooking chunky meat or vegetable sauces it is best to use pasta with hollows and groves so that the sauce clings to the pasta. Try penne rigate, conchiglie (shells), fusilli (spirals) and macaroni for a hearty family meal.
And when it comes to soups use pasta about the same size as the other ingredients. Try ditali rigati in chunky meat or vegetable soups.
For salads you need pasta that will hold some of the dressing and vegetable. Our favorites are the ones with hollows such as conchiglie (shells), rotelle, fusilli (spirals) and farfalle (bows). Use the different colored pastas for a more colorful salad.
Of course the stuffed pasta like tortellini and ravioli are great with most sauces, just ensure the sauce complements the stuffing.
And well, lasagna sheets are used for lasagna or anything else that requires layers. As for cannelloni tubes, they are great for stuffing with cheese sauces, my favorite being ricotta and spinach.
Now that we have chosen our pasta, we need to ensure we store it correctly.
For dried pasta keep it sealed in a cool dry place and it should keep well for a couple of years. The egg varieties will not keep as long, so it is best to check the label. Fresh pasta, which is my favorite, on the other hand should be used within a few days.
Until our next cooking tip together.
Lisa “The Crock Cook”
About the Author: Lisa along with husband Neil, loves cooking and shares their own Crock Pot Pasta Recipes (Yes, you can cook pasta in your crock pot) with you at http://www.a-crock-cook.com.
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