Traditional and folk practices are often underpinned by a solid theoretical justification – the rules of pasta and sauce pairing are unassailable received tradition to the Italian cook.
A beautiful (and useful!) new book by George Legendre explores the mathematics of 92 unique pasta shapes and uses 3D modelling to illustrated the linear form. The properties of each shape explain why traditional pairings of sauce and pasta are ignored at your gustatory peril. Crenellations, folds, hollows, striations and smoothness all affect the manner in which a particular sauce will be incorporated with the pasta.
I am on a mission to cook a different shape of pasta every time until I have exhausted all 94 possibilities.
‘Pasta by Design’ by George L. Legendre
published by Thames & Hudson.