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We all have our favourite shapes of pasta, but did you know each one is specially designed for certain types of sauce?


Thin, flat ribbons usually made with egg. They go especially well with meat ragus, lighter spring vegetables and simple cream or tomato sauces.


These little shells are perfect vessels for heavy sauces with meat or cream in. Lumaconi are larger shells, often stuffed with a filling before baking.


Similar to penne but with straight-cut rather than angled ends, its ridges are perfect for holding meaty tomato sauces like Bolognese. Also delicious in pasta bakes.


Spiral-shaped pasta is traditionally paired with a tomato or cheesy sauce. Also great for pasta salads.


Also called risoni (‘big rice’ in Italian), orzo cooks quickly, and is a cheap, tasty way to bulk up a stew or soup. It can also be used in salad, or for a quick risotto.


About the author

Anna Glover
Anna is our former Creative Food Editor and a former cookery writer and food stylist