MOB Kitchen's Favourite Pasta Shapes
It doesn’t matter whether you’re passionate about penne or fanatic about fusilli, everyone loves pasta, right? It’s one of those staple foodstuffs that’s super easy to make and super rewarding to eat. I’d go as far as to say that MOB Kitchen wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Ben’s obsession with pasta and we’ve all got his dad’s Italian restaurant, Cibo, to thank for giving us all a job.
Although it’s hard to find fault in any shape or form of pasta, it’s equally hard to choose your favourite pasta. We've previously asked some top pasta makers what their favourite pasta is and they had some pretty interesting answers. Some might prefer a long, thin noodle while others prefer the kind that come packaged like freewheeling loosies. We decided to survey the team here at MOB to find out what all of our favourite pasta shapes are. Why? For science, of course.
Sophie Wyburd, Head of Food – Radiatori
"I'm going to give you an annoying Head of Food answer and tell you that my favourite pasta shape is radiatori. It's a little squat shape that is literally shaped like an old-school radiator, and it has phenomenal bite due to its chunkiness. Those little crevices are also perfect for cradling all your delicious pasta sauce. Of the long pasta shapes, pappardelle has to be my favourite. Silky and luxurious, it gets so damn glossy when tossed in a saucy bath. I cannot resist."
Lucas Oakeley, Senior Content Editor – Tortelli
"This is the sort of question that keeps me up at night but, having now spent countless hours tossing and turning and dreaming of 00 flour, I’m fairly confident in saying that tortelli is my favourite pasta shape. These plump little packages of pasta do vary in their size, shape, and filling but if there’s one thing they never vary on it’s their deliciousness. Best enjoyed bobbing in some kind of buttery or cheesy emulsion, tortelli are an unbeatable pasta shape in my eyes; every crimp of their surface is eminently loveable and, when timed properly, they’re always just on the right side of chewy. A top tier pasta."
Olivia Thomasson, Head of Partnerships – Tagliatelle
"It’s got to be tagliatelle – it’s simple, yet effective, and it combines perfectly with prawns to make the pasta dish of your dreams. It even comes in a little nest... what more could you want?!"
Michael Sladden, Director of Operations – Bucatini
"Bucatini is the best pasta shape. It’s like big, chewy spaghetti that has a hole in it. It soaks up flavour really well. It’s also quite hard to find, which means lots of people haven’t had it before, which makes me feel good about myself. I also once saw Phillip Schofield demonstrate what it was by holding an individual piece of bucatini up to the camera on This Morning. You could see straight through the hole. He’s the consummate professional. It was one of the UK’s most underrated TV moments for sure."
Seema Pankhania, Food Producer – Gigli
"My all-time favourite pasta shape has to be gigli. It has a ruffled outline so it catches all the delicious sauce, and lots of crevices for more sauce to hide. It works perfectly with any sort of pasta, and it's a small pasta shape so I don’t ruin my clothes (which usually happens with longer pasta shapes)."
Jordon King, Food Producer – Tortiglioni
"I sweated over this one for a while. The answer really depends on what mood I’m in, what sauce I’m making and if I’m making the pasta itself (in that case it’s trofie, if you’re wondering). When it comes to dried pasta though, my favourite is tortiglioni. Think of it as rigatoni’s sexy cousin, a bit slimmer and with gently spiralling vertical ridges. I like the versatility of this shape - it’s elegant enough for a lighter sauce like arrabbiata but will also hold a chunky Neapolitan style ragù or (my favourite) alla norma with ease.”
Toby Clarke, Video Producer – Rigatoni
"I think my favourite pasta shape has to be rigatoni. It's larger than penne, straighter than elbow macaroni and the perfect size to use as a pasta sauce blowgun. I've been banned from several fine dining establishments as a result, and not once have I regretted it. Big up rigatoni crew."
Jake Gauntlett, Head of Content – Rotini
"All I want right now is to give you the alt East-London-legend pasta take... pick something like pappardelle, lean back and watch the flocks of potential mating partners fall at my feet, clambering over each other for the pasta knowledge sorcerer. But alas I'm a rotini pasta kinda guy... I won't lie, I didn't even know it was called that until I Googled it. It's a staple in my home, a big batch of tuna, mayo, sweetcorn and this completely versatile, supremely delicious twisted helix pasta. It ba-hangs with cheesy broccoli as well."
Jack Parton, MOB Truck Manager – Spaghetti
"Whilst I bet everyone else will try to flex their pasta knowledge with some obscure shapes and sizes, let’s be real: we all know who’s boss. We were all raised on good old spag – a guaranteed staple of every home, available in any local food shop ever. With all the artisan pasta out there, spaghetti goes under the radar but its reliability, ease of cooking, and versatility make it the humble queen of pasta. Never gets the praise it deserves."
Meg Townsend, Social Media Executive – Pappardelle
"The classic pappardelle will undoubtedly always have my heart. Thick pasta is everything. I could go on and on about it, but I won't. It speaks for itself. I could never ever go back to spaghetti. Ever."
Sam Noss, Sales Executive – Linguine
"So I have a memory that holds dear to me, the first time I tried squid ink linguine. I mean, what more can I say? It just makes so much sense. The colour, the rich flavour, the hint of sea saltiness… I was sold from the get-go. Not only does this clusterfuck of goodness allow me to combine two of my favourite things in the world: Pasta and Seafood, but it also allows me and my brother to fill as much in our mouths as humanly possible, which is a sorry sight my mum always loves to see. Should we feel bad about that? I don’t think so… this is why my favourite pasta shape to eat is linguine."