For the chef of the Ricotta & Parmesan restaurant in Brussels, pasta is sacred! And suddenly, the right dough for the right sauce is important.
It must be said that he knows his stuff: for more than 23 years, this restaurant located not far from the Grand-Place and the Monnaie has been delighting with its generous pasta. In total, between pasta (short, long, stuffed…) and sauces (with cheese, meat, vegetables, fish…), there are 375 possible combinations!
Here are his tips based on the different types of pasta.
Short “hollow” pasta
Rigatoni, penne, paccheri… all these types of pasta have the same particularity: the fact of being hollow. A definite advantage when you want a sauce with pieces. Indeed, the cavities of the pasta will allow the sauce, and what makes it up, to lodge in the pasta and therefore to balance the dough-sauce ratio with each bite. We prefer striped pasta, so that their “rough” surface allows the sauce to stick well.
Recommended sauces : carbonara, amatriciana or even melanzane & pomodori di collina.
Short “full” pasta
Solid pastas include smooth or spiral pastas that have no cavities, such as orecchiette. For this type of pasta, we prefer smooth and creamy sauces, which will coat the pasta. Sauces with small chunks or a bit of mache, such as pesto, are also a good option, especially for pasta twists.
Recommended sauces : tartufata cream and parmesan shavings or pesto alla Genovese.
Here, we distinguish two types of long pasta, thin and wide. The thin ones, such as spaghetti and capellini will go well with light sauces based on oil and cream, which will coat the pasta. Broad pastas, such as tagliatelle or pappardelle, like rich, thick sauces, such as stews.
Recommended saucess: for the thin ones, seafood sauce, aglio, olio & peperoncino or Al Freddo and white truffle cream. For the large ones, puttanesca sauce or al ragù.
The stuffed pasta alone is quite generous and tasty. To accompany them, the chef therefore advises favoring a light and relatively neutral sauce, which will counterbalance the richness of the ravioli, tortellini or ravioli and enhance the taste of the stuffing.
This rule also applies to gnocchi, which are also quite dense and stuffy.
Recommended sauces : cream of tomatoes and mascarpone with pesto, All’alfredo, or simply a drizzle of olive oil. Otherwise, for maximum indulgence, the chef recommends the unique combination of goat cheese and honey stuffed pasta and gorgonzola, pear and pistachio sauce.