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What to eat with penne?

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Short cylinder-shape pasta with a hole inside to hold chunky meats or vegetables, as well as thick or heavy sauces. The hollow nature also helps distribute the sauces and cheese to ensure the pasta dish is appealingly and evenly sauced. 

Because it holds the sauce or ingredients so well, penne is frequently used in baked casserole dishes. Similar to other pasta shapes, penne tastes the same however, the shape of the pasta makes a huge difference to serve with variety of sauces and side dishes.

What to eat with penne? Penne is an excellent ingredient to make pasta with or without sauce, casserole, or into a salad. Generally, these tubular shape pasta are served to capture the sauce of a hearty and thick ragu. 

Even though the shape of this pasta is big, it goes well with fresh salad and cheese and simple salad dressing. Due to its subtle lack of flavor, penne pasta can be a great side dish to include chicken, meatballs, and sausages. 

When served with the right ingredients and sauces, penne is an easy to prepare comfort food. Besides sauces, penne is paired with soups, salads, stews, or baked in casseroles. 

If you are looking for ways to serve penne to taste better with or without sauce, this article details the sauces, cheeses, meats and wines to pair with penne pasta.

What goes well with penne pasta?

From heavy and creamy to simple light olive oil based sauces, there are many ways to enjoy penne pasta. However, improperly selecting the ingredients to create this wonderful classic dish can be troublesome.

Here are classic ingredients that can help penne pasta taste more delicious.

What sauce goes well with penne?

Penne pasta is fun to eat, and you will enjoy the explosion of flavor in every bite without missing out the sauce. Filling chunks of meat or vegetables blended with sauce, penne pasta holds extra juicy and flavorful sauces to balance the flavor even more.

As a result, selecting the right sauces when preparing penne pasta is important step that cannot be ignored. Here are classic sauces that go well with penne:

  • vodka
  • marinara
  • ragu
  • pesto
  • alfredo
  • cheese

What cheese goes with penne?

Cheese enhances the flavor of pasta, especially with penne. Whether it is seasoned to the sauce or adds texture on the topping for casserole, consider selecting mild aged cheese that melts easily when heated. 

Some cheeses that go well with penne include:

What meat goes with penne?

Due to its bland taste, penne invites a variety of ingredients to the dish and that includes meat. Including beef, pork, and chicken, these proteins add meaty flavor to the pasta dish and nutritional value to make a wholesome plate.

Meat and penne are a classic combination that makes penne tasty and also adds texture and flavor to the dish.

Here are classic meats that generally go well with penne:

  • Beef: Typically added to the sauce, ground beef blends well with creamy tomato sauce for pasta and casserole just like Bolognese sauce. In some dishes, you will see penne served with sirloin steak or steak strips.
  • Pork: Ragu sauce can be served with roasted pork shoulder, pork loin, or even ground pork to make into meatballs.  
  • Chicken: For a classic meat and penne combo, try chicken as it is quite versatile and blends perfectly with any flavor or sauce. Chicken in some creamy, rich penne pasta is heavenly, but finely chopped chicken slices in red sauce is the way to go.
  • Seafood: Shrimp, mussels, scallops, clams, lobster tail, and crab adds texture and bold flavor to a meal with some cheese or white sauce based penne for a sumptuous dinner.
  • Fish: Salmon, cod fillet, swordfish, and tilapia, these are flaky, fun, buttery fish. They all have distinct flavor and taste perfect with any sauces or cheesy penne pasta.

What can I add to my penne pasta to taste better?

Prior to adding sauces, most pasta noodles taste extremely bland. Therefore, it is recommended to add couple of teaspoon of salt to the water when boiling the noodles. 

I have been told many times to make the blanching water as salty as seawater, but you have to do based on your personal preferences. Generously salted water makes plain penne taste much better. 

Mixing cooked penne with sauce also adds flavor and taste to the meal and makes it incredibly inviting. Remember, pasta is a blank canvas and quite dull on its own. 

To improve the consistency, add a little of the pasta water to the sauce. This starchy, dense, and salty penne water will thicken the sauce and add some wheat flavor to the sauce base. 

Adding fresh herbs takes the dish up in terms of taste. They contain aromatic oils that pack the dish with earthy flavors and a sweet aroma. 

Finally, grating some cheese on the pasta adds a savory, complex, and salty taste to the dish.

What wine goes with penne?

Most light-bodied white wines form a classic combination with penne pasta. However, the sauce you are serving with penne pasta indicates the wine selection for the meal.

  • Vodka sauce: Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc
  • Bolognese: Graciano, Sangiovese, Chianti
  • Arrabiata: Lambrusco
  • Carbonara: Pinot Noir, Chinati Classico, Barbera, Montepulciano
  • Pesto: Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino, Catarratto
  • Seafood-based: Pinot Grigio, Rosé, Chardonnay
  • Tomato-based sauce: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel
  • Olive oil-based: Sauvignon Blanc, Agelio e Olio
Eat with penne

Eat with Penne: Conclusion

If you wonder what to prepare for dinner, then make it fuss-free with penne pasta. It’s not only satisfying, but also mouthwatering and ideal for both kids and adults. 

Whether it is classic pasta or casserole, this meal comes together in minutes and is quite versatile to pair with almost everything. Create pasta with or without sauce, oven baked casserole, or into fresh salad with vegetables and fruits.

Well prepared penne dish is loaded with flavor due to its tubular shape that can hold the sauce and ingredients to prevent being missed out. 

With penne pasta, the pairings are endless from meat to vegetables, cheese, nuts, herbs and spices. Also, a glass of wine can be a nice treat based on the type of sauce that is served with the pasta.

There you have it! Use these ingredients and sauce recommendations to create better tasting penne pasta next time you have the urge.

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