Spaghetti, rigatoni, farfalle… which pasta to use?

the pasta Stuffed, in sauce, in a gratin or in a salad, there are many recipes for pasta. Practical advice for choosing the right variety for cooking, but also for pleasure varieties.

Pasta is clearly the favorite food product of the French. But why this success? They keep for a long time, are easy to prepare, vibrant, cheap and can be cooked in a variety of ways. Tagliatelle, penne, bucatini, fusilli… we’ll be lost. Even Philippe Starck created “Mandala” paste for Panjani in 1987. “It was a huge flop”, commented Mathieu Angioni, pasta maker, head of a shop dedicated exclusively to the food trade in the 6th arrondissement of Marseille (1). A choice guide for choosing the right variety of pasta according to the dish you want to cook.

Fresh or dried pasta?

Before starting a preparation and choosing the starch size, it is necessary to decide between the fresh or dry form of pasta. Traditional fresh pasta is made from durum wheat and eggs. “They are wet. You have to eat them quickly. After three days, they are hard and no longer edible. They must be kept cold, wrapped well, then put in the vegetable drawer”, explains the artisan. This is the main difference with dry pasta which can be kept in our kitchen cupboard for many months. “They contain wheat and water or eggs, sometimes”, develops Matthew Angioni.

If the merchant does not admit his preference between fresh pasta and dry pasta, he insists on respecting the cook: “In all cases, it is recommended to respect the famous pasta. Chath, which means “grinding in the teeth”, even if, in France, it is not very broad at the end. For fresh pasta, all you need is a minute or two in boiling water Once cooking is complete, a successful dish preparation technique is to always keep a small amount of cooking water in your pasta In a preparation this way, the pasta will absorb the sauce better.”

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For the pasta sauce

Once the choice is made, between fresh pasta and dry pasta, what about the form? Should we choose long pasta? Fat or short? “It all depends on the sauce,” replies the professional. He distinguishes between three: light sauces (based on olive oil, garlic, chopped vegetables), medium (classics such as tomato sauce, arrabiata, pesto) and rich (sauce from a simmered meat base, such as Bolognese).

For the light sauce: “Fresh pasta is best in this case. For shape, long and wide pasta eg Linguisticor tagliatelle. If the sauce isn’t very textured, the pasta can be a little too much,” says Matthew Angioni.

For the medium sauce: “When there is a lot of liquid sauce, medium-sized pasta that you can easily strain with a fork is perfect. You can start with fusilli, farfalle, conchiglioni(“shells” in Italian), or even radiatori pasta”.

For the rich sauce: “Large pasta, quite wide and long, ideal. It goes well with dishes with sauces that are a little rough in preparation, such as ragout, Provencal stew. If necessary, I immediately think of pappardelle, which looks like large ribbons. , avoid pasta such as conchiglioni, Which in their large format, can break down under too much sauce”.

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For the pasta salad

One of the most common ways to eat cold pasta in France is after recipes with sauce. “In a salad, you can afford weird, playful and colorful shapes as long as they’re easy to poke. In Penne, Celentonidraper, Blowjob Regate, orecchiette, road… It all depends on the ingredients. With lots of chopped vegetables, we prefer the smallest pasta”, advises Mathieu Angioni.

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Stuffed pasta, au gratin or broth

We tend to forget this, but pasta can be made into a gratin, broth, or even stuffed before going into the oven.

For the Stuffed Pasta: “We don’t present them anymore, but cannelloni, these long thick tubes that are stuffed with meat, tomato sauce, herbs or even vegetables. For more originality, you can choose large conchiglioni”.

For the Pasta Gratin: “This use of dough is very American. We know the famous mac and cheese, but shells can also go very well in a gratin. They’re small and regressive.”

Pasta in Broth: “For children, but if you are sick, pasta in a broth is always comforting. In general, we turn small and delicate pasta: angel hair, stellines, alphabet pasta or bird’s tongue” . Which keeps us quiet and always coming back to our pasta.

(1) Shells and fusilli109 Boulevard Notre-Dame, 13006 Marseilles.

*This article, originally published on October 4, 2019, has been updated.

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