now THAT's Italian...
OK ok I am back. I took a long very long needed break over the holiday time. Hopefully I can keep it up, as they say.
Have you ever noticed the weird numbering system on packages of pasta in the grocery? do they all share the same numerology or is it based on a per company basis? I know it means something but I do not know what just yet...
also, there is of course the concept of what foods go better with what shapes.
"Thin, delicate pastas like angel hair or thin spaghetti, should be served with light, thin sauces. Thicker pasta shapes, like fettuccine, work well with heavier sauces. Pasta shapes with holes or ridges like mostaccioli or radiatore, are perfect for chunkier sauces."
"The first industrial pasta factory in America was built in Brooklyn in 1848 by, of all people, a Frenchman, who spread his spaghetti strands on the roof to dry in the sunshine!"
these concepts and more here!
a-HA! an answer:
What do the numbers on the carton or package mean?
The number associated with the shape, or cut, of pasta is known as a "cut number". Cut numbers are commonly used in the pasta industry. These numbers identify the actual cut, shape, length or width of the extruder that is used to produce that particular shape of pasta.
so does that mean the smaller noodles are smaller numbers? I am still not sure I fully understand.