25 amazing pasta dishes from food service chefs

As food service chefs experiment with every pasta shape from agnolotti to ziti, plus unexpected new sauces to match, the results are deliciously different. When jumping down the pasta-shape rabbit hole, culinarians will find lots of fascinating facts.

For example, penne, which translates to “quill pen,” is so popular because it holds sauces well and is durable under intense foodservice conditions. Farfalle means “butterfly” in Italian, and the pinch in the middle of the “bow tie” gives it extra firmness in the center and it’s perfect for pasta salads (source: Barilla Foodservice’s Pasta Encyclopedia).

“I like penne because it goes well with chunky tomatoes, vegetables and other mix-ins,” says CulinArt Executive Chef Kevin Kenny, East Side Dining at Stony Brook University, where the dining team has lots of fun with pasta, in dishes like spaghetti carbonara with peas, mushrooms, Parmesan cream and turkey bacon with the traditional egg swirled in. Meanwhile on the west side of the Stony Brook campus, Stony Brook’s CulinArt Executive Chef Rob Loria has a penchant for gnocchi, pasta’s cousin that’s technically a dumpling. “It has a fun, non-traditional shape and texture with a potato base and gives us the opportunity to the get the flavor out,” he says, combining gnocchi with crumbled Beyond Meat for a meatless Bolognese with herbed ricotta.

Check out these and many more pasta dishes that make the most of the shapes, sauces and creative add-ins, all together.

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