If you think the world of noodles begins and ends with spaghetti, you should take National Noodle Month as an opportunity to broaden your horizons. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of noodle varieties in the world. Differences range from noodle shape (including thickness and width) to ingredients (some are egg-based and others use various types of flour) to regional variations. Let’s dive into five interesting Italian pasta noodles you should consider trying out this month.
Angel hair is a very thin form of spaghetti. It is actually the thinnest form of pasta, but because of this, it needs to be paired with light sauces, olive oil, and herbs, or even just a simple broth. These very fine strands of pasta cook very fast, so they are a good bet for a busy weeknight.
Pappardelle is an egg noodle that hails from Tuscany. The noodle is very wide (though not nearly as wide as lasagne noodles) and the egg ingredient keeps it pretty hearty. Both of these characteristics means it pairs well with thick, chunky sauces and decadent flavors.
These cool looking noodles might be mistaken for spaghetti at a quick glance, but there is a key difference. They’re hollow! If you’re picturing a thin pasta straw, you’ve got it. These noodles are delicious stir-fried, cooked in broth, or baked in a casserole. The unique shape means they can carry a mouthful of flavorful sauce in the tube, but thick, chunky sauces don’t benefit from them.
This is another wide egg-based noodle that is popular in Rome and Tuscany. Fettuccini is a fairly thick noodle, and it is wider than spaghetti but not as wide as pappardelle. Fettuccini is most often served with Alfredo because the wide noodles carry the thick sauce nicely and balance the rich flavors.
Ok, technically this one is not a noodle, but humor us for a moment. If you’re expanding your love of Italian pasta dishes to include more pasta types this is a great one to try. Traditionally, these small dumplings of pasta were made with potato, flour, and egg, though there are versions that also include ricotta cheese. The dough is boiled so that it becomes soft, but it remains hearty enough to carry thick sauces and it even holds up well to baking.
CELEBRATE NATIONAL NOODLE MONTH AT BASTA PASTA
For more than 12 years, Basta Pasta has given Maryland diners delicious Italian food from local and fresh ingredients. Enjoy delicious pasta dishes, unlimited salad and breadsticks, and fine wine at one of our locations in Timonium, Fallston, Perry Hall, or Eldersburg. Contact us online or give us a call at the location-specific phone number listed here. Read our menu and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter! If you don’t feel like going out, order our signature crab cakes online and enjoy delicious Basta Pasta from home!