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Pasta & Sauce Pairing Tips

By: Molly Michet, Chief Product Officer

Pasta shapes aren’t only fun, they’re designed for specific uses. Most of the “rules” are pretty obvious: thicker pastas for thicker sauces, thinner pastas for thinner sauces, and the little nooks in shells and elbows give creamy sauces the perfect place to cling.

When deciding on our first noodle shapes, GOODLES Chief Product Officer Molly Michet knew she wanted a variety of shapes for a variety of uses. Here, she explains a bit more on the optimal sauce pairings for our pasta shapes. 

Q: What makes certain pasta shapes better for certain types of sauce?

“It’s important to consider the texture and density of the sauce when pairing with particular pasta shapes.  Light sauces, such as pesto or olive oil & garlic work well with thinner, more delicate pastas.  Heavier, chunkier sauces work best with larger, thicker, more robust shapes.  It’s also important to consider actual shape - tube-shaped pastas and shells are great vessels for chunkier sauces which hide in the spaces.”

Q: What types of sauce pair best with Lucky Penne?

Lucky Penne is somewhere between robust and delicate, so I’d say there are more options.  I’d go with a simple marinara, a light meat sauce, or even mixed with veggies & cheese.  The hole through the middle, along with the ridges, allow the sauce to bury inside and to cling to the outside, creating a yummy, saucy experience.”

(Find a recipe using Lucky Penne with a braised beef ragu sauce here).

Q: What types of sauce pair best with Curveballs?

Curveballs have a fun “cup” which perfectly holds excess sauce.  My favorite pairing would have to be gooey cheese sauce for making homemade “curves & cheese”  which can come straight out of the pan or baked with extra cheese and buttered bread crumb topping.  A bumpier meat sauce would work too - all the little bits of meat and minced veggies get stuck inside the cup so each bite is loaded with flavor.”

(Find a recipe using Curveballs with a spicy pork kimchi sauce here).

Q: What types of sauce pair best with Loopdy-Loos?

Loopdy-Loos are best with lighter, simpler sauces because of their thin spiral shape, which would be overpowered by thicker, chunkier sauces.  It’s all about balance!  We like to cook this shape with herby pesto in our test kitchen during the day because it’s nice & light.  Kids also love this fun shape, so a simple butter parm sauce works great too.”

(Find a recipe using Loopdy-Loos with a mushroom, goat cheese and herb sauce here).

Q: Why did you choose these shapes for the first GOODLES noodles?

“We wanted a mix of classic favorites, unique & unexpected, and pure GOODLES fun.  Each shape was carefully considered and tested to make sure the same yummines and fun you’d expect from GOODLES Mac & Cheese would work here too!”


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