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When I make pasta I usually try to finish it by mixing the freshly drained pasta with sauce in my saucepan, adjusting the thickness a little bit with pasta water etc. The problem is with pasta sauces that have larger chunks of something - be it meatballs, shrimps or pieces of sausage. No matter how hard I mix the pasta with the sauce they usually don't distribute evenly and make it difficult to plate uniform portions. I suppose I could take the shrimps or whatever out and top the plates with it when finishing, but that seems like too much of a hassle. Is there a better way of doing it?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Don't put the shrimp etc in the sauce in the first place and cook it separately, that way you don't have to take it out. Then just top your pasta with it and if say you are cooking meatballs and want a little sauce on them mix a little sauce in with your meatballs and then put them on top. If you want that mixed in with the pasta look then do the same thing I said above and mix the pasta in your individual serving bowls or plates if you are using one after you have dressed your pasta.

Your just not going to get an even distribution with random variables, all you can do is pick and count if you want everything evens.

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I agree. Large chunky ingredients do not lend themselves to even mixing. Sorry! –  Mrs. Garden Dec 4 '10 at 21:16
    
Here's a nice bit about the physics behind that effect: boingboing.net/2010/11/29/brazil-nut-effect-wh.html –  TJ Ellis Dec 6 '10 at 22:16
    
That video was awesome. Thanks for posting it. –  Varuuknahl Dec 6 '10 at 22:44
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It's going to be hard to evenly serve the food but if you're just trying to mix the whole thing thoroughly maybe try two pans - put everything in one, mix about a bit, then tip it into the other and mix about a bit. This method has the advantage of mixing in the bits at the bottom with those at the top.

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