Pasta and sauce — seems simple enough. While you may be inclined to pair any jarred sauce with any box of pasta on the shelf in the grocery store, as it turns out, most of the more than 350 shapes of pasta have a history and a designed purpose behind their shape beyond just being pretty.spaghetti and macaroni. But do you know how orecchiette got its name? Or the best sauce to serve with your bowl of casarecce? Most of the traditional pasta shapes are region specific, and the sauces that these shapes pair with are more often than not using local ingredients.
To have an authentic experience, you have to pair the right pasta with the right sauce, which requires knowing and understanding the history behind each unique shape.
Manufactured pasta shapes are the result of the industrialization of the pasta. In 1824 the Agnese family opened the first pasta factory in Italy. Now pasta could be sold in larger scale and dried pastas rose in popularity; however, certain more traditional shapes were not easily reproduced in a factory. Shapes like fusilli and radiatori, while widely popular are not traditional shapes, but rather manufactured.
From egg-based pasta doughs to classic semolina durum pastas, we have the history and how best to enjoy a few pasta shapes beyond your typical spaghetti that you should give a try next time you are at the grocery store.
Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.