Angel hair pasta is a long, thin noodle that's round in shape, just like the classic spaghetti noodle, but much thinner and more delicate. Due to its dainty nature, this pasta is best served in a lighter sauce. Historically, these noodles were served in a soup broth, so pairing them with a light pasta sauce is inspired by their original use.
If you've ever cooked angel hair pasta and watched it become a mushy mess, two things likely went wrong; your sauce was too heavy and your noodles were too soft. Since angel hair pasta can easily lose its structural integrity while cooking, you'll want to stop boiling it right as it reaches al dente. This will typically be about a minute less than package instructions, or around three to five minutes. This way, the noodles can finish cooking when you add them to the saucepan.
Similarly, a lighter sauce allows each noodle strand to be coated without being weighed down or overwhelmed by a thick meat or cheese sauce. There are many different options for a light pasta sauce, from fresh pesto with various herbs to a simple garlic and olive oil base. Lemon or white wine can also create a fresh, vibrant sauce that's still quite thin. It's important to remember that a light sauce doesn't mean less flavor.
Angel Hair Pasta With Light Sauce Is Trendy Again
If you've ever found yourself wondering why pasta sauce always tastes better at a restaurant, there's a good chance the chefs know which sauces pair the best with certain noodles. According to Chef Gordon Ramsay, adding olive oil to your pasta water and to the noodles immediately after they're removed can prevent angel hair from sticking together. Ramsay has even used simple ingredients like olive oil, white wine, and lime to create angel hair pasta sauce.
If you want to add protein to your angel hair, seafood is a popular pairing, especially shrimp scampi or lemon scallops. Back in the '90s, angel hair pasta was very trendy, particularly for its health-conscious profile. Since these noodles are so much thinner than spaghetti, they naturally made a lower-carb pasta dish, and a lighter sauce and protein kept the total calories low.
Angel hair pasta has also made a recent comeback on social media due to its versatility. While TikTok chefs love showing how tomatoes or fresh veggies can be added to this pasta for a lighter meal, others use angel hair pasta as a side dish in the form of a cold pasta salad. Of course, the sauce recipes you'll see are thin and light in nature. Regardless of how you choose to pair this pasta, knowing which sauce styles are recommended can help guide your creativity in the kitchen.
Read the original article on Mashed.