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How To Work Pasta Bowls into Your Tabletop

As you expand your culinary repertoire, it's natural to want to get all the specialty bowls and plates. Pasta bowls are a versatile way to extend your place settings and serve up delicious, everyday meals, using the right bowls for the job.

What Are Pasta Bowls?

Pasta bowls are specialty bowls used for serving pasta dishes with or without sauce.

  • These bowls are shallow with low walls to allow for the perfect pasta-to-sauce ratio. Deeper bowls tend to pool sauce, whereas pasta bowls allow an ideal plating.
  • Some pasta bowls have rims, like soup bowls. Traditional etiquette says to use rimmed bowls at formal dinners, but for a casual meal, stock up on stacks of rimless bowls.
  • You can find very shallow pasta bowls, too. These almost look like slightly deeper plates.

Multi-Tasking: Soup Bowls and Cereal Bowls

When you're building out your place settings, new bowls are a great place to start.

  • The average place setting comes with dinner and salad plates, plus a mug and a bowl.
  • The bowls are usually either soup bowls or cereal bowls. Select your place setting based on which you think you'll use the most.
  • You can multi-task with your soup and cereal bowls, too, since they are closer in depth to each other than a pasta bowl.

The pasta bowl rounds out your place setting while you multi-task. Then, once you have pasta bowls you love, it makes sense to get soup or cereal ones -- whichever you don't already have.

Creating A Beautiful Tabletop with Pasta Bowls

Some people love to have all their whole tabletop match exactly. If you buy everything all at once -- or choose from a legacy pattern or style that you know isn't going anywhere -- then this is easy to do.

If you need or just want to get complementary ones, use the opportunity to develop a dimensional tabletop with contrasting colors or silhouettes.

  • Match pasta bowls to serving utensils or serving platters for a unique way to show off place settings against other service.
  • Pair them with colors you use for tablecloths or even dining room artwork with dusky, pastel or bright hues.
  • Use them alone with nothing else but flatware and a bread basket for a fun, casual pasta night.

These well-rounded bowls are a perfect way to introduce a new feel to the dinner table and present your meals as they were meant to be enjoyed.