Pasta Pizzazz And My Favorite Shapes


Perhaps it's because I was raised (both sides) in an Italian family, where pasta was a huge staple in our meals, that my love affair with it goes very deep.

Like most Italians, pasta is a GOD.

If I were ever stranded on a deserted tropical island with only one primary food ingredient, I would choose pasta because you can make it so many different ways and eat it hot or cold. But I would also hope to have a few pots and pans, as well as a big box of stick matches, so that I could start a fire to cook it because raw pasta would be useless. That is unless I used it to spell out the word HELP in the sand so that a plane flying by might rescue me. *just like I did in the picture above.

Whenever I go grocery shopping, I always pick up extra pasta and sauce to have on hand because if you have those two things, you can make a meal in a pinch. And no, I don't ever make my sauce from scratch because I'm tremendously lazy when it comes to cooking. Yet, I have discovered some amazing pre-made sauces that actually have a made-from-scratch taste.

During the spring and summer, I like to eat pasta both hot and cold (pasta salads). However, during the autumn and winter months, I prefer eating it hot.

I am open to trying different forms of pasta, but I do have some favorites because I especially like their shapes.

Listed below are four of those faves:


Spaghetti: The most famous cut of pasta, it pairs nicely with simple sauces like tomato. *Note: I eat spaghetti with a fork and a spoon.


Angel Hair: Like spaghetti, it is rod-shaped but much thinner and more delicate. I prefer angel hair when I’m in the mood to have pasta with olive oil, garlic, and grated cheese. When I was a kid and first heard the words angel hair pasta, I actually thought it came off an angels' head. Silly me.



Farfalle: These butterfly/bow tie shapes taste best with simple olive oil- or tomato-based sauces that may incorporate ingredients such as peppers and artichoke hearts. They are also great for pasta salad because the shape is fun and bite-sized. I like calling these "bow ties" because that's what they look like, a tuxedo bow tie.

But they also resemble the bow on Hello Kitty's head, and we all know how much I hate ANYTHING Hello Kitty so let's not even go there.



Fusilli: Thick, corkscrew shaped pasta. They are a good choice for thick and hearty sauces because all the “goodness” gets trapped inside the spiral. But they also go well in pasta salad. When I was a kid, I would call these CURLY Q's.


Penne: These small tubes may be smooth or ridged. Penne is best used in soups, pasta salads, and with thicker sauces and casseroles, as the ingredients and sauces can penetrate the inside of the pasta. When I was a kid, I called these PIPES and would blow my breath through them. And of course the tomato sauce would come flying out of them.

Oh, and just in case I ever get unlazy and decide to make my pasta sauce from scratch, I came up with a great name and packaging so that I can sell it on eBay for $2.95 a jar. What do ya think?


Have a pasta pizzazz weekend everyone!
X



46 comments

  1. Geraldine H.September 26, 2014

    Oh yummm....it's after 2AM here, insomnia strikes again and I'm hungry too!!! I'll have an order of that spaghetti right now Ron, spoon optional. ;-)


    My fav shape is the bow tie, hands down. Always adds a little extra fun to any pasta meal.


    Darn, if I could only get a fork through this monitor. teeeheee...


    have a fab weekend Ron.

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  2. Ok, how did I not know you hated Hello Kitty? Funny!

    My favorite pasta to have with sauce is Spirals. Do you know what those are? Not every brand makes them. My favorite sauce is of course.....my own! I brown the ground beef and then put it in the crockpot all day with everything else. Super yummy! My kids like a brand of sauce called Mid's. I'm not sure if it's local or available everywhere.

    There is a restaurant here that makes the best orzo bowls. I had the Greek chicken and olive one a few weeks ago and it was delicious. They are good if you like pasta, but don't want to feel stuffed.

    Ok, now I'm hungry. Ciao!

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  3. Ron, I love your made by a real Sicilian tomato sauce. How cute! And for only $2.95 I'll by a whole case of them!

    I love pasta too and eat it every week. My faves are angel hair and farfalle (the bow ties), but I'll eat just about any kind of pasta. This past summer I made some really great pasta salads that I made in abundance so I could take it to work for lunch.

    "When I was a kid, I would call these Curly Q's." Lol I use to call them screws because they looked just like a screw.

    Now that you mentioned angel hair with olive oil, garlic and cheese, I've got to try that because it sounds delicious.

    Fun post, Ron. Have a wonderful weekend X

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  4. "That is unless I used it to spell out the word HELP in the sand so that a plane flying by might rescue me." ROFLMAO Too funny, Ron!

    I'm half Italian so I can vouch that pasta is a GOD. I remember when I first moved into my own apartment and didn't have a lot of money for food and made pasta almost every night because it filled me up. And you're right, you can make it so many different ways so it doesn't have to taste the same.

    Hey dude, if you ever start selling your own sauce on eBay count me in as a buyer because that's a very inexpensive price. Love the graphic. How did you make it?

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  5. Hola Denise!

    " And for only $2.95 I'll by a whole case of them!"

    Okay, I'll let you know when I start selling it :)

    "This past summer I made some really great pasta salads that I made in abundance so I could take it to work for lunch."

    Yes, I did the same thing because I spend so much money on buying lunch while I'm at work, that it really saves. And I'm one of those people who can even eat leftover pasta, cold.

    "Now that you mentioned angel hair with olive oil, garlic and cheese, I've got to try that because it sounds delicious."



    OMG, it's amazing. And it's probably one of my favorite ways to eat pasta.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a wonderful weekend too!


    X

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  6. Hiya Matt!

    "I remember when I first moved into my own apartment and didn't have a lot of money for food and made pasta almost every night because it filled me up. And you're right, you can make it so many different ways so it doesn't have to taste the same."

    Yes, that's the wonderful thing about pasta. It fills you up and can be made so many different ways.

    "Hey dude, if you ever start selling your own sauce on eBay count me in as a buyer because that's a very inexpensive price. Love the graphic. How did you make it?"



    HA! Okay, I'll let you know when it goes on sale :) I made that graphic at Face In Hole (where I make most of them). But I also edited it a bit, by adding the heart and the text.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, bud. Have a most excellent weekend!
    X

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  7. "Yankee Ronnie went to town, riding on a pony, stuck a feather in his cap, and called it....fusilli?!"

    Hey, Ron, great post! It's 9:30 in the AM and thanks to you I'm starving for pasta!! You sound like a real Pastafarian, which is good because i am, too. i can't get enough of that stuff. I never use a spoon, but to each his own!


    And it brings back so many memories of my mom and grandmother--both Italians, of course! It's actually hard for me to name a favorite dish, but it's amazing how spaghetti with tomato sauce can really hit the spot when it's done right!


    Have a spagh-tacular weekend, buddy, and if you ever do make that tomato sauce, put me down for a dozen jars!


    Take care!

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  8. I dislike Hello Kitty, too...and now they say she's not even a Kitty but a "character", oh please! Anything pasta...I LOVE!

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  9. Ok, I just went back and read your posts! Hilarious......I particularly enjoyed the titles! The vibrator was the most over-the-top product, followed closely by the beer! What MAN would drink that crap? Fortunately, I think the product line is dying down, but every once in a while, I will see something. I'm glad my daughters were not into Hell Kitten, but then again, most of the products seemed to be designed for adults!

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  10. I only occasionally eat ravioli and spaghetti so I'm not really able to comment, but I love the sauces that go with pasta. Yummy! If I saw your special pasta sauce in the shop I would definitely buy it, maybe it would taste good with chips. Could you or would you arrange a shipment? Well, I went back to view Hello Kitty and wasn't impressed... grins. Too sicky, sicky by far, no wonder you hated it so.


    Hope your weekend goes well. I have two days of eating out to look forward to... maybe, just maybe there will be pasta on the menu xx

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  11. Mark PetruskaSeptember 26, 2014

    Put me down for a case, too. You had me at "real Sicilian."


    I'm not Italian, but pride myself on my homemade spaghetti sauce. I must be spoiled, because I have a hate-hate relationship with the jarred stuff. I'm curious which brands you find to have a made-from-scratch taste.


    I'm a big farfalle fan myself. Also, I really like the underappreciated wagon wheel shaped pasta. Makes me want to rustle on up a great, big bowl of yummy goodness (while talking like a cowboy, apparently).


    Yeehaw, and have a great weekend, pardner!

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  12. When did macaroni become pasta? In general we always called it macaroni, then we called it by it's real name ie: fusilli, linguine, spaghetinni. Comfort food was always pastina aka stars. While my grandfather had macaroni every single day of his life, Thursday and Sunday were macaroni nights when I was a kid. Saturday night a big pot of gravy was put up, with meatballs and maybe braciole (I can't even remember the last time I had braciole). I remember going to the butcher and asking for "a piece of beef and pork for gravy". Only in NYC (and parts of Philly, as I learned) is tomato sauce/spaghetti sauce called 'gravy'). There was a short period of my life when I used jar sauce but now, even tho I hate to cook, homemade gravy is standard, it is just easier because the sauce cooks while the water boils. I use linguine and penne rigatti almost exclusively now...the linguine to go with the clam sauce and the penne for meat sauce...And yes, the best thing about being poor and Italian is that anything can be combined with macaroni for a filling and cheap meal. Viva Italiana!

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  13. "When I was a kid and first heard the words angel hair pasta, I actually thought it came off an angels' head." Lol Ron you crack me up!


    I'm not Italian but I should be because Italian food is my all time favorite. And I don't know anyone who doesn't like it. Great selection of your faves! I'd have to say that I love them all, but if I had to pick one I would choose plain old spaghetti with a red meat sauce and lots of grated cheese.


    Love your pasta sauce picture! I will stop back later this weekend to read your Hello Kitty posts because I hate anything Hello Kitty too.

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  14. Hey Bijoux!

    "The vibrator was the most over-the-top product, followed closely by the beer! What MAN would drink that crap?"

    At that time, I was on a roll with Hello Kitty and was amazed at all the crap I found online. I just couldn't resist sharing those posts - HA! And you wouldn't believe some of the comments I got from Hello Kitty fans who found those posts and cursed me out. One comment was so fowl that I couldn't even publish it because every other word was F***K YOU.

    "Fortunately, I think the product line is dying down, but every once in a while, I will see something."



    Thank god!


    Hello Kitty is VERY popular in Japan.


    Thanks for stopping back and reading the posts, my friend!
    X

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  15. "I dislike Hello Kitty, too...and now they say she's not even a Kitty but a "character", oh please! "

    Oh paleeeese is right! Hello Kitty gives me the creeps.

    "Anything pasta...I LOVE!"



    Amen, Suzi!


    Have a super weekend, my friend, and thanks for stopping by!
    X

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  16. ""Yankee Ronnie went to town, riding on a pony, stuck a feather in his cap, and called it....fusilli?!""

    Rob, you are soooooooooo cleverly hilarious. That was GREAT!

    "You sound like a real Pastafarian, which is good because i am, too. i can't get enough of that stuff. I never use a spoon, but to each his own!"

    It's funny because my father always used a spoon when eating spaghetti, so somehow it always stuck with me. In fact, it feels weird when I don't use a spoon.

    " it brings back so many memories of my mom and grandmother--both Italians, of course! It's actually hard for me to name a favorite dish, but it's amazing how spaghetti with tomato sauce can really hit the spot when it's done right!"

    I agree! Just spaghetti with tomato sauce it faaaaaaabulous!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a spagh-tacular weekend too!



    Ciao!
    X

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  17. Hello there Valerie!

    " but I love the sauces that go with pasta. Yummy!"

    Yes, the sauce is THE most important thing because it makes the pasta.

    "If I saw your special pasta sauce in the shop I would definitely buy it, maybe it would taste good with chips. Could you or would you arrange a shipment?"

    HA! Yes, I will arrange for shipment overseas!

    "Well, I went back to view Hello Kitty and wasn't impressed... grins. Too sicky, sicky by far, no wonder you hated it so."

    OMG...some of the stuff I found online with an Hello Kitty theme was just CRAZY weird. I know many people are big fans of Hello Kitty, however, I am not one :(

    "I have two days of eating out to look forward to... maybe, just maybe there will be pasta on the menu."



    Have a WONDERFUL time eating out and thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady.


    X to you and Joe!

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  18. "Put me down for a case, too. You had me at "real Sicilian."

    HA! Okay Mark, I'll put you down for a case. And I'll even offer FREE shipment!

    "I'm not Italian, but pride myself on my homemade spaghetti sauce. I must be spoiled, because I have a hate-hate relationship with the jarred stuff. I'm curious which brands you find to have a made-from-scratch taste."

    I understand how you feel because you're a true cook, but I have to say I've purchased several jarred sauces that taste faaaaabulous.

    Classico, Francesco Rinaldi, and believe it or not, Trader Joe's Organic Marinara Sauce.

    These are all great!

    "Makes me want to rustle on up a great, big bowl of yummy goodness (while talking like a cowboy, apparently)."



    Bwhahahahahaha! Mark, you crack me the hell up!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a super weekend!


    X to you and Tara!

    ReplyDelete
  19. "When did macaroni become pasta? In general we always called it macaroni, then we called it by it's real name ie: fusilli, linguine, spaghetinni. "


    Same here, Grace. Macaroni was always referred to as macaroni when I was growing up.


    "Comfort food was always pastina aka stars."


    OMG yes, I remember pastina and LOVED it. Definitely comfort food!


    ". Only in NYC (and parts of Philly, as I learned) is tomato sauce/spaghetti sauce called 'gravy'."


    Do you know what's weird? In my family it was always referred to as "sauce", so the first time I heard "gravy" I was so confused because I always thought of gravy as something you put on turkey or mashed potatoes.


    "There was a short period of my life when I used jar sauce but now, even tho I hate to cook, homemade is standard, it is just easier because the sauce cooks while the water boils, unless of course I am doing the whole meatball thing - that gravy takes 3 or 4 hours. "


    Ooooo....and I bet your gravy is faaaaaabulous too!


    ".And yes, the best thing about being poor and Italian is that anything can be combined with macaroni for a filling and cheap meal. Viva Italiana!"


    Amen!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my Italian friend. Have a fabuloso weekend!


    Ciao bella!
    X

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  20. Hey there Robert. Or should I say, Roberto!

    "I'm not Italian but I should be because Italian food is my all time favorite. And I don't know anyone who doesn't like it."

    Yes, that is the truth! I've never met anyone who didn't like Italian food. To me, Italian food is Universal.

    " I'd have to say that I love them all, but if I had to pick one I would choose plain old spaghetti with a red meat sauce and lots of grated cheese."

    Yes, LOTS of grated cheese. In fact, I like more cheese than sauce.

    "I will stop back later this weekend to read your Hello Kitty posts because I hate anything Hello Kitty too."



    HA! Hope you enjoy them, buddy! Thanks so much for stopping by and have a super weekend!

    X

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  21. Mark PetruskaSeptember 26, 2014

    OK, good to know. Classico is definitely the best sauce in a jar I've tried.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I often make what I call "cheater pasta sauce" - start with jarred sauce and then add things live kalamata olives and zucchini and some fresh basil and oregano if it's in season.. I'm a fan of the fusilli (what my kids always call curly noodles) because it holds the sauce so well. Lately, I've been trying to eat more whole grain pasta because I know it's a million times better for you. Sigh.

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  23. Yes, Classico is outstanding!

    Bon appetit!

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  24. " start with jarred sauce and then add things live kalamata olives and zucchini and some fresh basil and oregano if it's in season.."

    OMG...that sounds delicious! And thanks for sharing that because I will try it myself. I adore kalamata olives!

    " Lately, I've been trying to eat more whole grain pasta because I know it's a million times better for you. Sigh."



    Yes, you're absolutely right, it is a million times better for you. And I will often use whole grain pasta. I get mine from Trader Joe's.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fabulous weekend in your garden!

    X

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  25. What do you call a fake noodle???


    AN IMPASTA


    I probably like all pasta. I really shouldn't have too much of it... occasional gluten issues. I have tried a couple of the gluten-free ones and they aren't terrible. Well, they are better than they used to be anyway.
    Ron likes thin spaghetti best so I always try to have a couple boxes of that in. Ronnie probably prefers bigger pasta like fusilli and penne but he doesn't like red sauce. Horrors! He likes butter and grated cheese. Not even olive oil and spices. Horror of horrors! lol To each his own, right?
    I used to use jar sauce as that's what my mom always used, but then as I started cooking more I started to make it with canned tomatoes, spices, etc. I'm sure it wouldn't be acceptable at an Italian's dinner table but we like it.


    Have a nice weekend!

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  26. Ron, I couldn't wait so I stopped back tonight to read your Hello Kitty posts. Loved your commentary. The one about the vibrator and the Hello Kitty Mental Institution were HYSTERICAL.You are so funny! Thanks for the laughs.

    ReplyDelete
  27. "What do you call a fake noodle???

    AN IMPASTA"

    Bwhahahahahahaha! Mary, that was freaking hilarious!

    "I have tried a couple of the gluten-free ones and they aren't terrible. Well, they are better than they used to be anyway."

    You know, I've always wondered what gluten-free pasta would taste like, so I'm glad you told me that. I may try it one day, just to see how I like it.

    "but he doesn't like red sauce. Horrors! He likes butter and grated cheese. Not even olive oil and spices. Horror of horrors! lol To each his own, right?"

    My father would also sometimes put butter and cheese on his pasta. You're right, to each his own. I've even seen people put butter and salt on white rice.

    " but then as I started cooking more I started to make it with canned tomatoes, spices, etc. I'm sure it wouldn't be acceptable at an Italian's dinner table but we like it."



    I think that's awesome because for being Italian, I've never made my sauce from scratch, so KUDOS to you. And I'm sure it's great!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor. Have a super weekend. I hear the weather is going to be flawless.


    X

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  28. Glad you enjoyed, Robert. I wrote those so long ago, I forget they're even there. I had so much fun putting them together.


    Have a grrrrrrrreat weekend, bud, and thanks for stopping back.

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  29. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comSeptember 27, 2014

    It's im-pasta-ble not to love pasta!

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  30. Hey there Lady Fi!

    "It's im-pasta-ble not to love pasta!"


    HILARIOUS! And I agree. Pasta is the bomb!

    Thanks so much for stopping by. So nice to meet you through Geraldines' blog. I look forward to viewing more of your photographs. Have a great weekend!

    X

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  31. petra michelleSeptember 28, 2014

    Did I miss that new pasta sauce on the supermarket shelf the other day, Ron?! I'd buy it in a heartbeat! :))
    And that same day, made an angel hair pasta which is so quick, easy, and delizioso if you're interested, Ron. Cook as much angel hair as you need, sieve, let it remain hot in the pot, to which add a diced wedge of softened brie, let the brie melt, and finally add as much fresh basil as you'd like. Sprinkled with parmesan cheese. Heaven! A meal that takes no more than 20 mins. (Of course, a vegetable or salad is great with it).
    p.s. The Stanley Tucci cookbook is on its way would you believe for under $10.00 including s&h from a bookstore in New York listed on Amazon. I couldn't believe the number of bookstores competing with the price of the book for just over $5.00! I really was surprised.
    Hope you had a wonderful weekend, Ron! :))

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  32. Fettucini, hands down. With a good Alfredo sauce....omg, to die for!! *sigh* Wishful thinking on my part with the gluten issue. So I pick a good quinoa fusilli pasta and pretend. The quinoa spaghetti comes in second place, but it tends to get kinda sticky, which ruins the whole deal.

    Oh, how I miss a good pasta!
    With or without that sauce you're offering at a heck of a price. LOL. I'd give it a try!

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  33. "Did I miss that new pasta sauce on the supermarket shelf the other day, Ron?! I'd buy it in a heartbeat! :))"

    HA! I'll let you know when I start to market it on eBay or Amazon!!!!

    " Cook as much angel hair as you need, sieve, let it remain hot in the pot, to which add a diced wedge of softened brie, let the brie melt, and finally add as much fresh basil as you'd like. Sprinkled with parmesan cheese. Heaven! A meal that takes no more than 20 mins. (Of course, a vegetable or salad is great with it). "

    Petra, I just got home from work and am so hungry, so reading that made my mouth water. OMG...it's sounds absolutely delicious! That's what I like, something that takes only a short time to prepare. Thank you for sharing the recipe!!!!

    he Stanley Tucci cookbook is on its way would you believe for under $10.00 including s&h from a bookstore in New York listed on Amazon."

    That's AWESOME because I think it sells for around $25.00 (hardcover) in the bookstores. Can't wait to see how you like it!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you had a wonderful weekend too!

    X

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  34. Hiya Mel!

    "Fettucini, hands down. With a good Alfredo sauce....omg, to die for!!"

    Yup, my mother loved fettuccine Alfredo as well! I prefer either a red sauce or olive oil with garlic.

    "Wishful thinking on my part with the gluten issue. So I pick a good quinoa fusilli pasta and pretend. The quinoa spaghetti comes in second place, but it tends to get kinda sticky, which ruins the whole deal."

    That's a great idea! I never thought of using quinoa, but I bet it's good. I eat a lot of quinoa tabouli and love it!



    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Hope you had super Sunday!


    X

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  35. I'm a linguini man myself, but I do like a good fusilli pasta bake.

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  36. "but I do like a good fusilli pasta bake."

    YUM-MY! Me too!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Dale. Have terrific week!
    X

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  37. ndutyke-dizzywifeSeptember 29, 2014

    I always cook pasta with the sauce-in-a-jar I got from supermarket. So I wont mind to buy one or two jars from you :D

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  38. Oh my gosh... have you ever had little ear pasta? Orecchiette. Mix crumbled sausage, chicken broth, olive oil, broccoli, garlic, s/p and white wine. Make sure the pasta is al dente. You can use ground turkey or chicken instead of sausage.. and even put a bit of parsley and fresh lemon juice on top if you want, or parm too. YUM!!!!

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  39. OH. MY. GOD.!!!! Katherine, that sounds absolutely HEAVENLY!!!!!

    And yes, I've eaten Orecchiette but have NEVER prepared it that way.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!!!

    Ciao bella!
    X

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  40. Greetings! Thank you for stopping by. So nice to meet you!

    "I always cook pasta with the sauce-in-a-jar I got from supermarket. So I wont mind to buy one or two jars from you :D"



    HA! Great. I'll let you know when I get it eBay or Amazon :)


    Have a great week. And again, thank you for stopping by!


    X

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  41. I LOVE pasta! Could eat it every day. I can' t ever cook the angel hair correctly, though. Thanks for all the info. This recipe is easy and awesome for homemade sauce. Unfortunately, you won't be able to market it. :)
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/simple-tomato-sauce-recipe3.html

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  42. " I can' t ever cook the angel hair correctly, though."

    You're right about that Nitebyrd because if you cook it for one second too long, it gets gummy and all stuck together. And that's happened to me before :(

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing that recipe for tomato sauce. And I love it because it looks EASY.

    Thanks, Sis!

    X ya!

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  43. Oh, I luuuvvvv pasta! But, being a woman of a certain age, white flour is not my best friend. I choose whole wheat pasta when possible, but even with that, I have to be awfully careful about how many POUNDS of it I eat!

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  44. I made spaghetti for dinner just last night! I used to make my own sauce from scratch too but have fallen back on pre-made sauce over the years. I like fusilli pasta best when it is served with a garlic sauce & chunky veggies like cauliflower & broccoli. However, I have never been a fan of penne pasta & I don't know why.

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  45. "I choose whole wheat pasta when possible, but even with that, I have to be awfully careful about how many POUNDS of it I eat!"


    Yes Lisa, I too have tried whole wheat pasta and really like it. It's funny though because pasta doesn't seem to put on the weight for me. If anything, carbs seem to burn the calories off me. I think it's because of my high metabolism.


    X

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  46. "I used to make my own sauce from scratch too but have fallen back on pre-made sauce over the years."

    There are some really great pre-made sauces out there that taste homemade. For me I love them because I'm just so lazy when it comes to cooking.

    "I like fusilli pasta best when it is served with a garlic sauce & chunky veggies like cauliflower & broccoli."



    OMG...that's sounds DE-licious!


    X

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