The Best Pasta To Serve With Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan on spaghetti
Chicken parmesan on spaghetti - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Crispy on the outside, juicy in the center, and covered in a gooey layer of mozzarella, Chicken parmesan is a top-tier Italian classic. Paired with an aromatic tomato sauce, the chicken has an appetizing crunch and satisfying heft. Accompany your chicken parmesan with some pasta and you're looking at a deeply filling meal that's carby and crispy in equal measure.

While chicken parm is often served with spaghetti in restaurants, it isn't mandatory. When preparing it at home you can choose anything from linguine and fettuccine to rigatoni and farfalle depending on your personal preference. However, each variety of pasta comes with its pros and cons. When choosing your pasta shape you need to consider three things — the thickness of your sauce, the texture of the chicken, and who you'll be serving it to.

Spaghetti is commonly served with chicken parmesan because the light texture of the tomato sauce coats the thin strands evenly, ensuring that every bite is packed with flavor. Similarly, linguine, bucatini, or angel hair, which are classically served with light and silky seafood sauces, are perfect for absorbing a smooth and bright tomato sauce that has a delicate consistency. Even so, it can be a messy affair to slurp these lengthy noodles at the table if you aren't the best at twirling them onto your fork. It's also tricky to slurp spaghetti and eat the crispy chicken together in a single bite.

Read more: 44 Types Of Pasta And When You Should Be Using Them

Smaller Pasta Shapes Complement Chunky Morsels Of Chicken

Chicken parmesan and penne pasta
Chicken parmesan and penne pasta - Rudisill/Getty Images

A thicker, stout pasta shape, like a ridged rigatoni, works well with chicken parmesan because it matches the heft and satisfying texture of the protein. The sauce is also able to cling to the ridges on the surface of the pasta and become a vehicle for aromatics, like crushed garlic and fresh herbs. Plus, the pasta soaks up the succulent juices from the chicken as you cut into it. Farfalle pasta, which is commonly combined with a cream or tomato sauce, is a great option if you're serving chicken parmesan to children because of its fun shape and manageable size. The sauce gets into the nooks and crannies of the bow tie pasta perfectly, settling into its soft folds, and easily fits on your fork — making for a neater mouthful of chicken and saucy pasta.

If your tomato sauce is on the chunky side and has heaps of inviting texture — like this recipe for crispy and saucy chicken parmesan — then a tighter-shaped pasta, such as rotini, can work because it complements the thickness of the marinara and the substantive bite of the crunchy breadcrumb-coated chicken. But having said all this, the pasta police won't come and get you if you serve your chicken parm with whatever variety of pasta you have knocking about in your pantry. The heaven-sent combination of crispy chicken and saucy pasta is always a winner.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.