The Stanley Tucci Pasta Rule You Should Never Break

Stanley Tucci's Italian heritage is an important aspect of the entertainer's life. He told CNN Travel, "Because my parents were so respectful of their heritage, that cultural identity was really important to me, and still is." That respect manifests itself in one of the most beloved Italian traditions: Cooking, and specifically, cooking pasta. Per "The Devil Wears Prada" actor's memoir, there is one rule he feels truly passionate about and believes should never be broken, and that rule has to do with your pasta and the type of sauce you pair with it. 

Tucci wrote in his book, "I feel it must be said that not all wheat flour pasta works with all sauces. The shape of the pasta is as important as the makeup and quality of its ingredients when it comes to the success of pairing it with the appropriate sauce; you might call it a divine coupling," (via Bon Appetit). And there it is. Tucci treats his pasta and pasta sauce pairings as something holy in the culinary world, and trust us when we say it would be blasphemy to go against this rule. Tucci explains, "There have been times when someone in my household (no names) made a traditional family sauce and served it with a completely incompatible pasta. I cannot describe the feeling I have when confronted with this."

How to impress Tucci

As rigid as Tucci's rule may sound, believe it or not, certain noodles are designed to be paired with specific sauces. According to Food Network, the more delicate and thinner the noodle, the lighter the sauce you want to use. Flat noodles that look like ribbons get creamy sauces, and you should match wider noodles with thick meaty sauces. When pasta has ridges, break out the pesto. And when pasta is short, chunky, and tubular – think penne, rigatoni, and ziti – it is more versatile and can be used in soups and salads in addition to pasta recipes.

Tucci urges his readers to put as much effort as possible into pasta and sauce pairings because you never know who you might delight or disappoint. Per Bon Appetit, Tucci wrote, "My suggestion to anyone who eats pasta either with or without gluten is, please pair it with the appropriate sauce and vice versa, because you never know who might be watching." Consider yourself warned!