Why Do Some Pasta Shapes Look Different?

When it comes to mentioning your favorite dishes, most of you would definitely choose pasta.

When it comes to mentioning your favorite dishes, most of you would definitely choose pasta. And why not, after all, it's so tasty. Interestingly, an average American consumes nearly 20 lbs (9kg) of pasta yearly. This makes it the 6th most consumable food in the country. Most people believe Italy is pasta's birthplace, where fresh veggies and spices join the dish to make it tastier. With time pasta has evolved into various shapes and sizes to satisfy diners' taste buds. Surprisingly, there are approximately 350 different shapes of pasta in the world. 

The pasta's shape and size affect the taste as some shapes retain different sauces effectively. For example, oil-based sauces go great with thin pasta like angel hair or spaghetti, whereas thick sauces are well suited to thick pasta. Expert chefs believe that flat pasta is a companion to creamy sauce, while round pasta and tomato sauce are best friends. 

This video features a factory in Gaziantep, Turkey, to show the process of pasta production. It describes why pasta comes in various shapes and how these shapes hold different sauces. 

We know pasta is a combination of water and semolina (purified wheat flour). However, to make quality pasta, the process involves several stages. 

First, factories use good-quality raw materials. They use durum wheat due to its distinct flavors, colors, and cooking features. They clean it and remove all foreign materials using machines. Then, they temper the wheat by putting it in hot water to loosen its outer bran layers for easy separation from the endosperm. 

After this, the wheat goes into the milling machine for the grinding and separation process. The grains are converted into fine powder to produce semolina, one of the main pasta ingredients. 

To make pasta dough, factory workers add water to semolina. They shape the dough as per the requirements and leave it for some time to let it dry. The process of making pasta of different shapes is the same till the dough stage. However, the quantity of semolina and water changes to make specific pasta shapes so they can hold sauces better. 

Though the process is almost the same for different types of pasta, we can't deny the fact that each pasta shape tastes different. Still, if you don't believe me, try it out yourself. You'll be able to spot which pasta shape goes better with which sauce!