Have you ever wondered why certain noodles go better with a particular sauce? Sure, it’s a matter of taste, but there are also some more technical reasons for the choosing a particular noodle shape, length or thickness over another. Here’s a quick recap of a few popular pastas and sauces:



  1. Angel Hair: Made from long, fine strands, angel hair is the thinnest noodle available. Because it’s so delicate, you’ll often see it in very light sauces, in broths or just topped with a simple garlic and oil (or butter) sauce.


  1. Shells: These come in a variety of sizes so you’ll often see the largest ones stuffed with ricotta or meat, the medium-sized ones in casseroles and the smallest shells in soups.


  1. Fettucine: Popular in Tuscan and Roman cuisine, this flat pasta is thicker than spaghetti and can be used with creamy sauces or thicker tomato sauces due to its larger surface area.


  1. Rigatoni: Tube-shaped to capture plenty of sauce, rigatoni comes in a spectrum of sizes and lengths.


  1. Cavatappi: Italian for the word “corkscrew,” this ridged macaroni has plenty of crevices to hold a hearty sauce and plenty of flavor.



  1. Marinara: Originating in Naples, Marinara (from “mariner’s sauce”) is typically made with crushed tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil, chile flakes and basil. At 3 Sons Italian, we offer a homemade marinara and a spicy version.


  1. Alfredo: Credited to Alfredo di Lelio, who owned a restaurant in Rome in the 1920s, Alfredo sauce is made with butter, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese and plenty of pepper.


  1. Roasted Tomato Cream: The simplest way to think of this sauce is a cross between marinara and Alfredo, though the recipe varies slightly depending who is making it.


  1. Pesto: Hailing from Genoa, his green, nutty sauce is made with crushed basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and Parmesan cheese.


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Buon Appetito!    


3 Sons Italian Restaurant & Bar

14805 West 64th Ave., Arvada