There are five hundred pasta shapes to choose from. The shape of your pasta should dictate your sauce. Choosing the right pasta shape to suit the nature of your sauce makes a big difference to the finished dish. So, where do you start? Continue reading for tips and tricks to use when pairing pasta with your sauce!

Butter or Oil Sauces 

Thinking of keeping it simple with your pasta dishes, perhaps only with butter, oil, or some fresh herbs? The best pasta for lighter sauces is thin and delicate long cuts of pasta capellini, thin spaghetti, linguine, Fusilli, lunghi, bucatini, and vermicelli. Sticking to thinner longer cuts of pasta complement the sauce or toss of garlicky olive oil. 

Creamy and Cheesy Sauces 

The creamier and cheesier and decadent pasta sauces call for sturdier pasta, sauce-capturing noodles that will hold in the rich taste. Pasta with hollows and scoopable shapes, such as cavatappi, elbows, farfalle, fettuccine, shells, and linguine, to experience the creamy, cheesy sauces.

Meat Sauces 

When you think of Italian comfort food, you might think of typical meaty sauces or ragùs that are hearty, filling, and flavorful. San Marzano tomato sauce or Bolognese are some of the most common in Italy; these classic slow-simmered sauces are often seen on Sunday dinner at Nonna’s house. The best kinds of pasta to capture the hearty sauces are tube-shaped ones —like Spaghetti, Rigatoni, Bucatini, Pappardelle, Conchiiglie, lumache, and Orecchiette. 

Pesto Sauce

You’ve seen pesto on your favorite pasta or even on chicken sandwiches. Pesto is best known as the gorgeously green oil-based herb sauce from Genoa, Italy. The pesto sauce is traditionally made with crushed basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. This fresh and fragrant pasta sauce is served uncooked, so choose a pasta shape that won’t overwhelm it. Similar to oil-based sauces, pesto is served best with longer cuts of pasta, like the corkscrew shape of Fusilli. Pesto works best with Bucatini, Capellini, thinner Spaghettini, and Fettuccine. 

At Nico Ristorante, we know our pasta well, for the best pasta feasts serve your pasta with the proper shapes according to the sauces. We have a feeling our recommendations will make your Sunday dinner even better. Impress all your family and eat until you can’t anymore. Still unsure of what works best with what pasta? Leave it up to us to do the cooking and visit us for dinner and try some of the delicious kinds of pasta on our menu. 

Our famous chef here at Nico treats every dish like an art piece. Some of the pasta dishes currently on the menu include: 

  • Gnocchi with creamy tomato sauce 
  • Rigatoni with vodka sauce 
  • Ravioli with truffle cream sauce 
  • Linguini with an oil and red pepper sauce

Visit us in The North End, Boston, to experience an authentic Italian meal. Contact us at 617.742.0404 or make a reservation online!

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Why Visit Nico Boston?

Nico Boston is situated right on bustling Hanover Street, in the heart of Boston’s historic North End neighborhood. It is simply a perfect location to dine on delicious and elegant Italian-inspired cuisine, as you are surrounded by the unique and authentic character of the North End. There are few places like it! With our menu of Italian-inspired favorites both old and new, you’ll find something that suits your appetite well. If you haven’t done so already, take a closer look at our full menu here on our website, or give us a call at 617.742.0404 with any questions or concerns. We look forward to having you here at Nico Boston, where each meal is sure to be delicious and memorable. Make a reservation right here on our website!