The ultimate food ranking: pasta

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Look, I am going to say it. Pasta is the top tier carbohydrate. Sorry bread, potato and rice lovers, just admit I am right and move on. Think of the versatility: how one minute you can have a gorgeous truffle ravioli with lashings of parmesan, then you can humble yourself with your struggle meal of pesto pasta. A key student staple and yet a refined meal, pasta has an unrivalled place in my heart. 

However, pasta is not simply one shape. Oh no, pasta wins us over once again  with its variety of looks. Like all things in life, some are better than others. Because who doesn’t love a good ranking – here’s a definitive (and correct) ranking of the common pasta shapes one can find in the Tesco Market Place pasta aisle. 

10) Tortellini 

It is not quite ravioli. You tried tortellini, you really did. But you are simply too small to have any substantial filling in. A rich sauce compliments you well, yet that is not enough. Sorry, but you are at the bottom of my list. Nice try though. 

9) Penne

Controversial I know. A classic, a staple, the GO TO shape. That is the problem with it. Branch out a bit, have some ADVENTURE with your pasta. If penne is your go to shape, you also like ready salted crisps and a plain ham sandwich in your meal deal. 

8) Lasagna 

Woah, woah, I know what you are going to say. You cannot beat a good lasagna. I do not disagree, but that is all you can do with lasagna sheets! The fact that lasagna sheets were the only pasta product left in Tesco during the start of lockdown says it all really. 

7) Macaroni 

Macaroni, you are fun. You little funky ‘u’ shape. Mac and Cheese? Yes, perfect. Tell me, dear reader, can you really think of another sauce that goes with macaroni pasta? No you cannot. When buying a pasta shape, you have to think of how many sauces you can pair with it. If macaroni is only known for one dish, then it just is not good enough to be in the top five. 

6) Fusilli

Fusilli is penne’s older brother I feel. Both have the same aim, both are traditionalist, but fusilli is a little more established. It has made a name for itself. Perfect in a summer pasta salad, or heart warmingly brilliant in a winter cheesy pasta bake, fusilli combines conventionality with practicality. 

5) Rigatoni 

As you can tell, I am not a penne fan. If we make penne a tad bigger, thicker, and more room to hold sauce, then we have rigatoni. And that, pasta lovers, is why I am a fan. Perfect with a beef ragu sauce, rigatoni elevates ANY meal. 

4) Farfalle

The most fashionable of the pastas, who doesn’t love their food to look like an item of clothing? Pesto swimming in a bowl of bow-ties, what is there to not like? Perfect with some sundried tomatoes, farfalle makes a struggle meal look like a special meal. 

3) Ravioli 

A pasta that comes with an already pre-made filling? Sign me up! Ok, I know it is a tad more expensive, but that is what happens when you buy fresh pasta! You pay for a wider selection of flavours, with better pasta dough! How can you complain about that? A personal favourite is the ‘Porcini Mushroom and Truffle’ ravioli one can get from Lidl. Buy it and thank me later. 

2) Conchiglie 

Bucket hat, but make it pasta. Right, these bad boys are AMAZING at holding sauce. The perfect pasta to sauce bite ratio comes from conchiglie. Easy to find, pair with any sauce you want and boom – dinner is served. 

1) Linguine/Spaghetti 

Yes, I am pairing these two together. No, you cannot stop me. Seafood linguine? A classic carbonara? Spaghetti Bolognese? Wow, all that variety, from one cheap pasta shape. Another redeeming quality is that this shape is so simple to make by hand, for an even more authentic meal. Spaghetti and linguine both act as robust and cheerful shapes, perfect for any sauce or meat/veggie combination.

Image: Unsplash

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