The typical household is stocked with a set of dishes that includes things like appetizer plates, dinner plates, and soup bowls. Maybe you have a healthy collection of dinner-worthy coffee mugs and serving bowls. But what many people overlook is the pasta bowl, which, as any true noodle lover will tell you, is a very underrated serving vessel.
Don’t believe us? We’re here to change hearts and minds with some of the most gorgeous (and functional!) pasta bowls, lovingly selected by a handful of noodle-crazed Delish editors and savvy chefs.
What should I look for in a bowl of pasta?
Cereal bowls and soup bowls both have small mouths and high sides, but that’s no good for swirling beef stew-slicked strands of fettuccine. Pasta bowls, on the other hand, are usually shallow with wide mouths and low sides. There are always exceptions to this rule (and we’re including a few below!) But generally, pasta bowls have more surface area to spread out the noodles on and can hold more than the average cereal or bowl. Soupe. More space allows for the perfect sauce-to-noodle ratio. Plus, it sets the stage for a gorgeous Instagram photo.
Speaking of: Want an IG-worthy pic? When plating spaghetti, use tongs and twist while plating for a slightly swirling effect. (Watch this garlic spaghetti for inspo.) For shorter pasta, make sure the pieces are evenly dusted before serving and spread them evenly on the plate (just like these spicy rigatoni).
What are the best pasta bowls?
Options abound when it comes to pasta bowls. Some are simple, utilitarian workhorses that won’t distract from the beauty of a penne alla vodka with pancetta. Other bowls are works of art in themselves and deserve pride of place in your kitchen. But they all make fantastic additions to any dish collection – good luck picking just one set!
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Open Kitchen by Williams Sonoma Serving Bowl with Handle
“I gifted this beautiful set of two versatile bowls to my mother-in-law,” said Alejandro Bonilla, executive chef at Tiny’s, Yves and Smith & Mills in New York. “She loves it and uses it on every vacation or whenever the family gets together.” And who doesn’t love a built-in handle?
Hawkins New York Organic Ceramic Tableware
“The Hawkins New York Essential Dinnerware Cut Pasta Bowls are my favorite,” said Lauren Gustus, chef at Sweet Chick in New York. “They are simple and modern and come in beautiful colors.” The shape is also perfect for all pasta noodles, with tons of flat surface to spread them out.
Matte ceramic bowls Hand-finished ceramic tableware
“These bowls come in so many colors to mix and match and can fit an entire box of pasta if you want,” said Delish’s video director Julia Smith. “They are smooth and the bowl fits in my lap when watching TV and eating.” If that doesn’t make you want to click “add to cart” right away, we don’t know what will.
If They’re Good Enough to Have on the Table by Pati Jinich, author Treasures of the Mexican Table and host the PBS series La Frontera, then they are certainly good enough for our table. According to her, they “seem to be inspired by the beautiful hand-painted pottery found in Mexico.”
Bowl of soup
“Heath makes beautiful, very functional and sturdy dinnerware,” said chef Ji Hye Kim of Miss Kim in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “I love this particular bowl because it makes everything in it look beautiful. The 9 inch diameter makes it the perfect size to serve on a table with all the wine glasses, cutlery and other plates, but it also fits in your hand if you just want a big bowl of cacio e pepe while you watch Netflix.”
Royal Doulton 1815 porcelain pasta bowls
Ceramic Japanese ramen bowl set
“The bottom of this bowl is small [but] the top is large, which makes the food in the bowl full and attractive,” said chef Hu Youmeng, pasta chef at MR CHOW Beverly Hills. “The thermal insulation effect of ceramic bowls is also good . a light noodle and green leafy vegetables could stand out against the dark rim of this bowl.
Set of 4 Element soup plates ivory
“These are technically soup bowls, but they’re also great for pasta,” said associate editor Rachel Tepper Paley. “I love their size – there’s plenty of room to beautifully plate a velvety carbonara – and I love that they have a rustic, handmade look (even though they aren’t).”
Soup Cereal Bowls Set
“[I] randomly purchased in desperate need of something quick and I really like them,” said Philip Swift, senior post-production supervisor at Delish. Other people on Amazon love them for their affordability, ability to using them in the microwave and dishwasher, and “how sturdy and big they are”, as one reviewer put it.
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