Ido Fishman

Ido Fishman Explains the Significance of Different Pasta Shapes and Shares Tips to Make Delicious Pasta

Everyone loves a good pasta. You have fresh tomato spaghetti, creamy fettuccini, cheesy mac & cheese combos, classic garlicky Agilo e Olio, and so many more varieties. While it is a part of Italian cuisine, many other cuisines have developed the traditional pasta to their own tastes and have created wonders.

Have you ever wondered why so many different shapes of pasta exist? Or did you just put the thought aside as mere creativity of the producers? As it turns out, explains Ido Fishman, the different shapes of pasta are designed to hold different sauces. There are many sauces for pasta that are well-known and enjoyed. Let’s delve into the detailed explanation of the significance of the various pasta shapes by Ido Fishman and know our pasta better.

Different Pasta Shapes for Different Sauces         


Strands include spaghetti, vermicelli, and other strand pasta types. Since these types of pasta are more on the fragile side, they are best suited with light and oily sauces, a perfect example would be that of Agilo e Olio, a garlic pasta dish with an olive oil coating. 

Flat and Wide Pasta

This pasta shape is the exact opposite of the strands in that it is wider in shape and suitable for thicker sauces. If you are going for a rich, thick, and textures sauce, then you should pick this shape. The width of the pasta allows it to hold all the important ingredients of the sauce in every bite. As a general rule, the richness of your sauce is directly proportional to the width of your pasta. 

Filled Pasta

For this pasta, you want to think about pasta dishes that have flavourful fillings in them. Think of Ravioli, Panzotti, and others of the kind. Pasta of this shape is perfect for holding heavier fillings and sauces that contain pieces of meat, vegetables, or mince.

Shell/ Penne Pasta

Now, these pastas are perfect for the creamy and cheesy Bolognese or Alfredo pasta dishes. The hollow shape of this pasta allows the sauce to sit into the cervices and provide a flavourful explosion of sauce in your mouth with each bite. Comparing the shell with the filled pasta, it holds a significantly less amount of sauce and chunks. But it suits the consistency of the sauce.

Swirly Pasta

If you are a fan of pasta with tiny little chunks of meat, chicken, or vegetables, then this is the pic for you. This shape complements the tomato sauce mixed with mince combination as it holds the little pieces into its swirls to create a flavourful bite. This pasta is also often used in casseroles.

Miscellaneous Shapes

Now, the above-mentioned shapes are only a few of the honorable mentions. In the market, you will stumble upon all kinds of different shapes and even colors! Such as bow pasta, macaroni, smooth-tubes pasta, wagon wheels, and so many others. Ido Fishman explains that once you understand which shape compliments which texture of the sauce, you can use any shaped pasta you like. The important thing is to make sure that you are using the right combinations to bring out the enhanced taste of the sauce combines with the pasta.

Don’t think that you are limited to just these pasta dishes. Feel free to play around with different sauces and create a completely unique pasta dish with the basics in mind. The wonderful thing about pasta, in addition to its variety of shapes, is that it can be made in so many ways! You can serve a liquid sauce, a thick sauce, baked sauce, any sauce you like, as long as the consistency complements the pasta width and shape.

Make Your Home-Cooked Pasta Taste Better

Ido Fishman shares some of his best tricks to ensure a rich pasta dinner that even a beginner cook can nail. Follow these tips to create an impressive pasta dish.

Follow the instructions on the box

Now, most of us like to eye-ball the cooking time and cook the pasta till it’s big and mushy. Ido Fishman says that to achieve an authentic pasta taste, you should never overcook the pasta. So, bring the water to a boil, add the pasta to it and cook it down to the mentioned minute.

Don’t drain all the pasta water

This tip has totally changed the pasta game for many readers, don’t drain all of the pasta water. So, basically, save around a half cup of pasta water to add to the sauce. This gives the sauce a great texture and makes maintains its consistency.

Mix the sauce in the pan

It’s normal to get over-zealous with the presentation of the food that you cook yourself. You want it to look as fancy as possible. A little tip that Fishman shares with all the newbie pasta cookers is that you should mix the sauce in the pasta pan before serving. This is because pouring the sauce over the pasta may make for an overwhelming bite with too much sauce and too little pasta.

Remember to follow these tips the next time you are cooking a pasta dinner and be amazed by the notable difference it brings to your dish.

Final Thoughts

Pasta dishes are an option that a majority, if not all, of the population, enjoy eating. You come across so many different varieties of pasta dishes and enjoy their taste without any additional thought to the texture of the sauce or the shape of the pasta. Now that you have read such a detailed description of the significance of pasta shapes, will you wonder about that the next time you have some pasta?

The explanation of the reasoning behind the various pasta shapes by Ido Fishman is sure to enlighten some of the new cooks out there. Now, you will be more attuned to what your pasta requires to taste better. With the knowledge of the perfect pairing of the pasta sauce with the appropriate shape, you will surely impress a few people with your improved pasta dishes.

John Norwood
John Norwood is best known as a technology journalist, currently at Ziddu where he focuses on tech startups, companies, and products.