Pastas, like all good things, are not all created equal. In fact, some are more equal than others. Call us biased, but we believe to truly have the traditional Italian experience, you’ve got to do things with a bit more consideration, care and authenticity. And that means knowing your pasta! All of the authentic Italian pastas Rialto imports are made from 100% durum wheat flour according to age old tradition.

Bronze die pasta pertains to the cutter through which the pasta is extruded. This creates grooves and a rougher texture on the surface of the pasta, allowing sauces to coat and hold onto the pasta perfectly.

While there’s no harm in whipping together a quick and perfectly satisfying midweek pasta with whichever shape and sauce you have on hand, there is of course the ‘proper Italian way’ to do things. Each pasta shape, though at essence purely decorative, is meant to be prepared with certain toppings and not with others. But don’t be put off by the sheer scale of variety!

Here we will go through them in detail to forever end the confusion:

Short, Tubed Pastas

Think penne, rigatoni and macaroni and you always think heavy sauces and bakes, right? That’s because their ridges, curves and tubes are best served for holding thicker, heavier sauces and will hold their shape nicely, giving you perfect mouthfuls of sauce and pasta.

Long, Thin Pastas

The long, skinny pastas like spaghetti, linguine, angel hair and fettucine work best with thinner, lighter sauces. Cream and oil based sauces in particular work well with long, delicate strands of perfectly al dente pasta. The exception to this rule is of course Spaghetti Bolognese!

Shell Shaped Pastas

Conch shapes, or conchiglie, gnocchi and rigate, serve as holders of sauce and are best for chunkier sauces like chicken, beef mince, spinach and ricotta, mushroom and tomato. These pastas are also often textured to better hold onto sauce.

Twirly Shaped Pastas

Spirals, fusilli, bow ties and ruote (wheels) are the versatile pastas and can be used with a range of sauces and toppings, from thick and chunky to light and thin, as well as pasta salads and bakes.

There may be many to choose from and an endless array of delicious sauces to accompany them, but as a general rule you can never go wrong with pasta, so have fun making it your own!

Visit the Rialto Foods Factory Shop in Cape Town or Johannesburg, or visit your nearest Woolworths store for the finest imported Italian pasta.