Follow our guide to perfect pasta-sauce pairings

By TASTE, 29 August 2023

PSA: not all sauces and all pastas go together. To reach pasta perfection (like with this fantastic and classic Alfredo), you actually need to give some thought to your pasta and sauce pairings. Lucky for you, we have the lowdown.

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By now you’ll know that linguine is not the same as penne, and will be familiar with classic dishes such as lasagne or spaghetti Bolognese. But what about fusilli, pappardelle or rigatoni? If you’ve spotted these shapes on Woolies' shelves but have been too intimidated to try them because you’re unfamiliar with them, read below for a quick crash course on all things pasta.

Long or flat noodles

Pasta like fettuccini, pappardelle and tagliatelle are great with light, creamy sauces. Try this 3-ingredient Alfredo. It's dead easy and our latest weeknight fave.

There are two alfredo recipes to try: classic Alfredo pasta and Alfredo pasta with a South African twist.
Light, white wine sauces pair perfectly with shellfish. Add angel hair pasta or spaghetti and you have a light, satisfying meal that's easy to put together. These shapes carry the sauce well and add some good texture that counteracts the sauce.

Ridged and tubular

Meaty, chunky sauces like Bolognese or ragu were meant to be mopped up by rigatoni and penne. The hollow shapes make the perfect vehicle for carrying rich sauces.

Get the recipe for peperonata penne here.


There are tons of twisted pasta variations, but you’ll likely see fusilli and fiorelli on Woolies’ shelves. These groovy shapes are great with pesto. All the curves and grooves let this herby, green sauce stick to your pasta really well. Get the recipe for basil pesto fusilli here.

Mini shapes

Bulk up soups and broths with shapes like farfalle and rosmarino. Since these are thinner than sauces, they won't catch much, but will add texture to your meal.

Get the recipe for sundried tomato farfalloni broth here. 

Craving more Italian? Find more Italian-inspired recipes here.

Want to cook the perfect home-cooked pasta? Look no further than Woolworths’ impressive range of pastas imported from Italy. You'll find the everyday, red label pasta range made using 100% durum wheat, and a speciality range including bronze die-cut pasta and pasta made using expertly sourced 100% durum wheat and spring water, on shelves and online.   

Shop at Woolworths.


Article by TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.
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