("The Plethora of Pasta Permutations" by Pop Chart Lab. Buy the poster here)
Comfort food is on the menu this season: fried chicken to casseroles, and hearty stews to - our personal favourite - pastas. Between the alfredo and the ravioli, there are entire grocery aisles of options to choose from, which can be quite daunting. So we've enlisted the help of Hamilton-based food truck Nudulz to teach us how to use our noodle and the symbiosis in saucing them.
Soups & Broths
If you've made a beautiful clear soup, the last thing you want to do is muddle it with large pasta. Go for the more tiny, delicate shapes like ditalini, fregula (*the easiest of all pasta to make), orzo, stelline or pastina.
*To make fregula you simply get a cookie sheet and sprinkle semolina flour on it. Wet your hands and drip the water on the sheet. After doing this for a bit, strain the semolina through a colander and the larger pieces remaining are fregola! Poof, you've made pasta!
So, you've just made a lovely rich meat sauce and you are thinking about what type of pasta to use. Think about pasta like engineering. Did she really just say that? Yup, but there is logic behind it, so please be patient. Meat sauce as a rule is thick and chunky. If you were to stretch a strand of linguini or spaghetti like a tight rope, would the meat sauce stick? Nope. If you used a wider cut of pasta, a tubular or cup shape, would it hold the sauce? Absolutely. Rule of thumb: think of the pasta as a hand cupping the sauce. For rich sauces, try pastas such as penne, campenelle, conchiglie, lumaconi, fusilli, orecchiette, and rigatoni.
Very light pasta sauces, including the cream sauce variety, are the most challenging. You don't want the pasta to overwhelm or be underwhelmed. For a marinara or a cream sauce such as an Alfredo, here are the pastas to use: spaghetti, spaghettini, ziti, linguini, farfale and capellini.
Cheese, Cheese, Glorious Cheese
What pasta pairs with a dense cheese sauce? Here is the answer: jumbo shells, lasagne, manicotti, macaroni and sfoglia.
I recommend exploring pasta in all its glorious shapes. Use this as a guideline, but do experiment and let us know about your "pasta adventures."
Sending #noodlelove to you all!
Cathy and the Nudulz Team
by Cathy Penney, Nudulz Food Truck Owner