Don’t look past the intricacies of pasta

Ben Kane, Contributing writer

Pasta is such a simple dish. Just grab a handful of noodles from a box and drop it into a pot of boiling water. Once it’s cooked and out of the water, throw in some sauce or butter and there’s your dinner.

However, those noodles aren’t just something you eat: they’re a form of art.

Pasta is little tiny mixtures of eggs and flour formed into fun and exciting shapes. From the classic ziti or rigatoni, to the more complex cavatelli and rotini, the noodle- shape possibilities are endless. But which one is the best?

While there are many shapes in contention for that number one spot, the one that can definitely be cut is the tri-color shapes. When thinking of pasta, the color that usually comes to mind is yellow-ish gold, not green or orange.

From a technical standpoint, tri-color is just rotini or penne with food color. I’m convinced each color has a distinct taste, though, and I just can’t get past it.

The only other shape that ranks just as terribly as tri-color has to be angel hair. No one has ever said, “I wish there was something like spaghetti, but really thin.” However, that’s exactly what angel hair is and it just doesn’t make any sense.

Moving to the positives, ranking very highly has to be cavatelli. Shaped like the long braided locks of Rapunzel, this pasta is one of the best for sauce. The little indents within the noodle create the perfect ledge for a tomatoey basil mixture to perch itself on, making for the perfect sauce- to noodle ratio.

A noodle that does this better than the rest is rigatoni. While it doesn’t have the braids of a cavatelli, the small grooves on the cylinder-shaped noodle once again create a perfect sauce-to-noodle ratio. What makes it better than the cavatelli, however, is the hollowness of the noodle. By having this hole, the sauce can travel through the noodle and saturate the inside as well, creating a saucy bite every single time.

So yes, while some noodles rank higher than others, pasta, like anything, is all subjective. I think it correlates with mood as well. When I want to feel sophisticated, I go for a bucatini. When I want something that will bring me back to my childhood, I go for the classic penne. There’s really no wrong answer, just as there’s no right answer.

Next time you go into the cupboard and want to grab a box of pasta, really envision how you want the rest of your day to go, and let that pilot your taste buds and your pasta experience.