There’s no better match for quick-tempered Aries than penne all’arrabbiata, a Roman pasta with fiery tomato sauce. Always open and honest with their hearts on their sleeves, Aries are never nefarious, nor have bad intentions: there’s no trickery with penne all’arrabbiata either–the name literally translates to “angry pasta”. You can see it’s spicy from a mile away. Aries’ energy and arrabbiata’s red chili, in the right levels, are warm and passionate, but when (not if!) they go a little overboard, it can be destructive. Luckily, they’re just as quick to cool down as they are to anger: a little more olive oil or a touch of sugar will help temper the heat of a too spicy sauce.
Cozy-loving Tauruses find their equal in gnocchi al ragù. At their best, Tauruses are cuddly, chill and sensuous: like a well-done gnocchi, they’re pillow soft, gifted at soothing those around them. At their worst, these bulls are so. ridiculously. stubborn. Like an over-boiled gnocchi, they become tough to work with and will stickily dig their feet into whatever hill they’ve decided to die on. Tauruses are also stewers–in both a positive and negative way. They’ll spend indulgent hours in bed or in the bath, or can spend the same amount of time grumpily chewing on others’ wrongs. What better sauce for these gnocchis than ragù? This meat sauce’s strong personality only truly comes out after hours and hours of simmering in its deep pot.
When you order tortellini in Emilia-Romagna, you never quite know what you’re going to get. Will it be the pork only Bolognese version or the Modenese one with a bit of veal? Although obviously similar in many ways, the two varieties stand stubborn in their differences–much like the big personalities of the Gemini twins. That said, these witty Geminis can talk to anyone about anything and have no problem jumping from one social activity to the next: tortellini likewise wear many hats (aka sauces). Whether in brodo or alla crema di parmigiano (the two most popular varieties in this northern Italian region), the stuffed pasta can fit to please the palates of any plate. And although these styles’ differences are as big as the duality within a Gemini (standoffish on one side and loving and gentle on the other), their respective flavors are as punchy as these air signs’ extraverted characters.
Enigmatic Cancers are a perfect match for spaghetti alle vongole. The spaghetti itself–coated simply in a sauce of garlic, olive oil, dry white wine and parsley–is of course tasty, but it isn’t until you pry open the molluscs that the real, robust flavor of the dish comes out. The same is true of Cancers: initially shielded by their own strong shells, Cancers may be perceived as distant. But it just takes a bit of coaxing, prodding and finagling to get to their squishy hearts underneath (albeit not a bivalve, but with four very full valves!). Gentle and compassionate, Cancers’ penchant for cozy crannies is like that of the pasta’s clams, hidden within the curves and edges of the long noodles, while the delicately briny vongole sauce reflects the water sign’s emotional depth.
The silky sauce of eggs, pecorino and guanciale in bucatini alla carbonara is just as suave as a Leo. There’s possibly no other dish that Italians are more puffed up about than carbonara… and they’re ready to get feisty over it (how Leo!). One Italian mad at food famously said “Carbonara is not an opinion”–well you better not have one about loud and proud Leos either, because they. don’t. care! Carbonara knows its identity and is not to be messed with (don’t even dream of adding cream), just like ever-confident Leos. And though you may feel overwhelmed and perhaps physically exhausted after a night with a Leo or a plate of bucatini alla carbonara, it’s no question that you had one hell of a time.
Virgos are like lasagne alla Bolognese…the most evenly-layered one ever. The Virgoan penchant for structure is easily matched by the lasagna’s ordered and uniform steps: lasagna pasta, bèchamel, ragù alla Bolognese, repeat. Hardworking yet ever-modest Virgos are hesitant to give themselves credit where credit is due; the same could be said for lasagna alla Bolognese, the humble workhorse of a casual table, underappreciated for the amount of work that goes into it–at least 4 to 5 hours just for the ragu alone! Done well (as Virgos always do) with homemade pasta and bèchamel too, the lasagna might just be one of the most complex pastas out there.
Tonnarelli cacio e pepe: one of the most beloved plates of pasta around Italy (and the world). You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t like the cheesy dish–how lucky for people-pleasing Libras! The success of the pasta’s sauce–made with literally just Pecorino and pepper–all comes down to the balance between the two ingredients–a ratio that’s essential for its iconic glossiness. (A silky sauce for sleek, slick Libras!) Libras have no trouble striking equilibrium either, and just like cacio e pepe, have a gift for turning even the simplest of materials into something luxurious. (Don’t be fooled by the humility of today’s black pepper though. The historically precious spice was often used as currency in Ancient Greece and Rome…Libras have always had an expensive taste!)
The simple appearance of the no-nonsense, three-ingredient spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino belies the intensity of the dish’s flavor–much like the enigmatic Scorpios who are hesitant to show their cards. You never know when a solid chunk of chili pepper (or Scorpio sass) is going to hit you in the back of the throat. And although the simple yet unctuous sauce may make the spaghetti quite literally slippery, spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino is the most loyal pasta plate there is: Scorpios will always be there for you at the end of the day (or raucous night… it makes sense that the dish is the go-to for la spaghettata di mezzanotte).
Sagittarius is undoubtedly the most honest sign of the zodiac… often to a brutal extent. Well the bitter broccoli rabe of orecchiette con le cime di rapa is just as biting as the Sagittarius tongue. Like cime di rapa, the Saggitarian candor is an acquired taste, but for those who are fans, the sharpness is deliciously refreshing. That being said, their saucy exteriors belie a sensitive inside: Sagittarians are secretly as soft and toothsome as orecchiette. Also friendly and optimistic, Sagittarians are always up for a conversation and love listening to thrilling stories: it’s no coincidence that orecchiette literally translates to “little ears”!
When a plate of ravioli di magro is plunked down in front of you, it often just looks like a whole lot of… beige. Capricorns are also not ones for giving the most colorful impression at first glance either: perceived as cold and a bit stony, Capricorns crave structure and love when things fit neatly into metaphorical boxes (or ravioli). In other words, the outsides of Capricorns and ravioli have the same shape: square. But grab a fork and dig deeper because Capricorns are (secretly) as delicate and dynamic as ravioli di magro’s creamy filling of spinach and ricotta. And we couldn’t forget the dry and wry Capricorn humor, unmatched by any other sign, as peppery as the sage that tops this pasta dish.
Aquarians need a pasta as original (read eccentric) as they are. What better than the thin, twisty trofie al pesto? A shape that’s just a bit silly, like an Aquarius, and a sauce that’s as bright as one too. Assertive Aquarians are not fans of going with the flow: they make up their mind and won’t budge unless presented with the hard facts. Sounds about right for a sauce whose raw ingredients need to be pounded in a marble mortaio (mortar and pestle) until smooth and creamy. Come prepared if you want to change an Aquarius or the traditional six-ingredient pesto recipe–basil, Parmigiano, pecorino, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil (and salt), and basta. A Ligurian nonna rolls in her grave every time the Genovese sauce is made with cashews or (god forbid) kale.
Go-with-the-flow Pisces can easily fit into any situation, place, or plate: what better for Pisces than the most ubiquitous, easygoing pasta dish there is? Pasta al pomodoro. Though we gave all other signs a specific pasta, shape-shifting Pisces and la passata are fluid enough to fit themselves into the nooks and crannies of any pasta, from spaghetti to paccheri to gnocchi. Able to romanticize even the simplest of things, Pisces exude childlike excitement–the same feeling that rises from our stomachs every time a plate of pasta al pomodoro arrives at the table. It is a dish with a million variations, whose perfection relies on a few but essential details–a perfect match for the endless imagination of the Pisces!