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Pasta with smoked salmon, sour cream and capers.

Why all these different pasta shapes? I've cooked cylinders, squares, circles, items from nature (conchiglie, fiori, stellini, dinosaurs), automotive parts (ruote, rotelle, radiatori), human body parts (orecchiette, capellini, linguini), waiter's equipment (cavatappi), murder implements (strozzapreti) and animals (vermicelli, farfalle). It's about more than the taste of the pasta itself, although that is important. Greater significance attaches to how the shape carries its sauce or accompanying ingredients.  Such as the following recipe, which pairs cavatelli with smoked salmon pieces cut into a similar size and paired with sour cream and salty capers.  The recipe explains itself. It's merely an assembly job. Cook the cavatelli and toss in a little olive oil, slice the smoked salmon into pieces as described above and sear it for a few seconds in a non-stick pan and immediately toss through the pasta.  Top with sour cream and scatter capers over the lot. Chopped dill or
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