L'OCAbulary Guide To Pasta Shapes

Noodles are like friends; they come in different shapes and sizes.
And, different noodles play better with different sauces.
Let's take a look at some of the most popular pairings...

2 min read



Tips from Chef Paul Moran

Before we take a look at a few different pasta shapes, Chef Paul Moran offers some key cooking tips for achieving perfectly seasoned pasta. 
"The dough used to make ORO fresh pasta does not contain any salt," he explains, "but salting the cooking water will help season the pasta itself.

Our pasta fresca (fresh) dough is extruded through traditional bronze dies to create a rough, porous texture on the surface of each noodle; perfect for even cooking and soaking up sauce. This is why salting the water is especially important for ORO pasta!

Chef Moran recommends a specific salt ratio, "We're looking for about 3% salt, very similar to that of the ocean, roughly 30 grams (2 tablespoons) of salt per litre of water."
Remember to add the salt only after the water reaches a rolling boil, and then give the noodles a quick twist or stir as soon as they hit the water to prevent sticking.
Finally, Chef Moran suggests reserving some starchy pasta water, "This can help adjust the consistency of your pasta sauce later on."

Pasta Shapes


Long, ‘hallow straws’ that love to drink up rich and hearty sauces.

Suggested Sauce Pairing:
ORO Forest Mushroom & Truffle


Soft, golden dough rolled into tubes, and ribbed to resemble intricate scrolls.

Suggested Sauce Pairing:
Basil Pesto or Béchamel


Large, hollow 'ridged' tubes, the perfect vessel for chunky sauces.

Suggested Sauce Pairing:
ORO Arrabiata


Long, flat 'cut' ribbons, when swirled, gracefully capture cream or thick sauces.

Suggested Sauce Pairing:
ORO Bolognese


With nothing to prove, both thin and thick sauces love to get into the grooves or ‘spindles’ of this pasta.

Suggested Sauce Pairing:
Almost any tangy tomato sauce, rich cream-based sauce, or vibrant pesto.


Named for Princess Mafalda of Savoy these wide, flat ribbons earn their regal 'little queen' name thanks to their unmistakable wavy, ruffled edges.

Suggested Sauce Pairing:
Béchamel or a Ragù alla Bolognese

As you can see, pasta comes in many unique shapes and sizes; both long and short, smooth and textured, fresh and dried.
For your next pasta dinner, here are a few general 'rules':

  • Think long, skinny noodles when you're craving tomato, cream, or oil-based sauces.
  • For meaty or creamy sauces, wider ribbons work wonders.
  • Tube shapes are ideal for hearty vegetable sauces and chunky ragus like Bolognese.
  • Stuff shells with your favourite flavours… or capture every bit of pesto with a twisted shape.
  • For soups, stews, and salads, smaller shaped noodles are your best bet.
  • Compliment stuffed pastas with lighter flavours that will not overpower the star of the show.

What's for dinner tonight?

The 'pastabilities' are unlimited, but here are some of our favourite noodle recipes.