Considering that Italians have been making pasta for thousands of years, it isn’t surprising that there are strong traditions when it comes to matching a specific pasta with a specific sauce.
You can certainly follow your instincts and try out pairings that you think would work. A few tips might be helpful as you consider which sauce to marry with your favorite pasta shape.
Short smooth pasta: This group includes penne, ditali, mezze, zite etc. It is best paired with fairly smooth cream or tomato-based sauces, because the pasta’s slippery
Short ridged pasta: This includes Penne rigate, rigatoni, fusilli rigati, and other short ridged pastas. This does well with Chunky vegetable sauces, and sauces that contain large shrimp or meatballs, which can nestle in the holes of the pasta.
Long pasta with a hole: such as bucatini, zite and other long pasta with a hole are even long cylindrical pasta without a hole (such as spaghetti) for grabbing ingredients. Cream sauces with meat or seafood are also good choices
Egg pasta: There are a number of dried pastas made with egg. Both long tagliatelle, fettuccine and short ones, garganelli are best with cream sauces, because of the delicate taste the egg confers to the pasta. Meat sauces are also excellent partners
Tiny pasta: This category is usually reserved for soup. It includes acini de pepe, orzo, stelline quadratini and other pasta with a very small diameter. Use larger pastas for chunkier soups, like minestrone, and smaller pastas for liquid soups, like chicken noodle soup.