Pasta (sometimes known as noodles in the US) comes in dozens of different shapes and sizes and is used in a variety of different ways in cooking. From long to tubular, from stuffed to special shape and not forgetting the tiny variety we use in soups. We all use it but how much do we know about it? I have never really stopped to think about why different kinds of pasta exist. Why do the various shapes and sizes matter? Put your culinary knowledge to the test and improve the way you cook with pasta by taking Flavorly’s quiz!
How many different kinds of shaped noodles are there?
According to the International Pasta Organization, there are more more than 600 different shapes produced throughout the world.
Spaghetti is a familiar ‘long’ noodle. Can you name some others?
Angel hair, fettuccine, fideo, fusilli, lasagna, lasagne, linguine, mafalda, pappardelle, reginette, tagliatelle, thin spaghetti, vermicelli.
What should you always do after cooking and draining noodles?
Immediately rinse it with cold water to prevent sticking and over-cooking.
What kind of sauce goes best with long, thin noodles?
Because these strands can be fine, it is best to pair them with a light sauce, as to not overwhelm the dish with a lot of sauce. Light, tomato-based, garlic or olive oil sauces would work best, such as the classic spaghetti and marinara sauce.
Orecchiette is a soup pasta. What is it named after?
Orecchiette means ‘little ears’ in Italian
If you break a noodle in half and there is a white line in the middle what does it mean?
It means that it is not yet fully cooked
What does the phrase ‘al dente’ mean?
It means ‘firm when bitten’ aka perfectly cooked
Why should you NOT use long thin noodles when making mac and cheese?
Because the noodles should catch and hold the cheese. Stay away from long, thin spaghetti and linguine, and shapes that are super tiny. Select a shape with plenty of surface area and nooks and crannies to capture as much cheese sauce as possible. Good examples are shells, campanelle, and the ever-classic elbow macaroni.
What kind of sauce should you use with stuffed shells like ravioli and tortellini?
Light sauces pair well with stuffed shells since you don’t want the sauce to overwhelm the flavoring of the stuffing.
Why should you NEVER use pre-shredded cheese in your dishes?
Pre-shredded cheese includes anti-caking ingredients that prevent the shreds from sticking together. This makes pre-shredded cheese harder to melt than cheese you shred yourself.
Does cooking two different shapes of pasta together matter?
Yes it matters because their different shape and size requires different cooking times.
Which is worse, cooking pasta in too much or too little water?
Cooking it in too little water causes the noodles to stick together because of the starch.
What is Bucatini?
Bucatini, also known as perciatelli, are a thick spaghetti with a hole running through the center.
Where was the first pasta eaten?
Whereas most assume it was Italy, this is wrong! The first recorded reports of people eating pasta came from China, as early as 5,000 B.C. Legend has it that famed explorer Marco Polo introduced the noodles to Italy in the 12th century.
Which shape goes best with thicker, chunkier sauces?
Thicker, chunkier tomato sauces go better with short, tubular or spiral shapes, like rotini and fusilli.
Which US President allegedly brought the first pasta to America?
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, is credited with being the first person to introduce it in America, back in 1789.
Does eating pasta make you happy? True or false?
True! Eating it will make you happier! It’s true — the carbohydrates in it increase the body’s production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that scientists believe trigger feelings of happiness and well-being.
How did you do on the quiz? Why not head over to Flavorly now for some happiness!