HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
What's your latest food project? Get great advice
TELL US

The Best Dried Pasta.

f
FAL Jan 7, 2007 08:28 PM

These are my Favorites
De Cecco
DI Martino
Puglisi, a/k/a Rienzi Pasta
La Bottega della Pasta
Del Verde
Rummo Lenta Lavorazione
What do the Chowhounds cook with.

  1. MaspethMaven Jan 7, 2007 10:43 PM

    DeCecco absolutely, but I like Barilla,too. Depends on what I'm having. I prefer DeCecco
    for macaroni, Barillla for anything else.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MaspethMaven
      prunefeet Feb 9, 2007 09:21 AM

      These are my two brands too. Esp Barilla, I find that it is never gummy and somehow more al dente when cooked properly than other brands.

    2. m
      markabauman Jan 7, 2007 10:46 PM

      DeCecco, Rustichella, Barilla, Pasta Setaro, Martinelli, DelVerde

      1. operagirl Jan 7, 2007 10:47 PM

        Has anyone tried Latini pasta? I just buy whatever Italian brand they're currently selling at Costco.

        1 Reply
        1. re: operagirl
          roxlet May 13, 2011 04:30 AM

          Latini is good but verrrry expensive.

        2. PastaFace123 Jan 7, 2007 10:47 PM

          WOW, looks like I need to explore the world of dry pasta more. I usually use DeCecco & Barilla too.

          1. m
            markabauman Jan 7, 2007 10:55 PM

            Latini is excellent as well; forgot about them.

            1. c
              cheapertrick Jan 7, 2007 11:00 PM

              My current favorite is Cavaliere Giuseppe Cocco. It's a fantastic pasta if you can find it.

              1. m
                markabauman Jan 7, 2007 11:06 PM

                Fairly widely available, esp. in Italian delis in the Northeast. Great stuff.

                1. spigot Jan 7, 2007 11:10 PM

                  Cook's Illustrated recommends Mueller's, DeCecco, Ronzoni, Barilla - in that order.

                  IIRC they made the point that very high-end rarefied dried pastas often sit on the shelf for a long time, and the more "basic" pastas are often fresher and more consistent batch-to-batch.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: spigot
                    f
                    FAL Jan 7, 2007 11:32 PM

                    Coco is great as well. As for the high end pasta it depends where and when you buy them. Growing up in Brooklyn De Cecco never sat long.

                    1. re: spigot
                      ChowFun_derek Jan 9, 2007 02:54 PM

                      From Cook's Illustrated......
                      Just as in 1994, Ronzoni was the tasters' favorite, followed by De Cecco, Mueller's, and Barilla. The two most expensive, imported brands in the tasting, Martelli and Delverde, came in last.

                      1. re: spigot
                        prunefeet Feb 9, 2007 09:22 AM

                        Funny, I grew up on ronzoni, but now I find it too gummy.

                        1. re: prunefeet
                          r
                          RGC1982 May 28, 2009 01:28 PM

                          Lately, we have decided that DeCecco is too gummy and that it actually absorbs too much sauce. Perhaps it is old, or we have forgotten how to cook it properly. BTW, we are not al dente fans in my family, and that goes back several Italian generations, so that may be the problem, but I don't remember this consistency and have noticed only of late. Ronzoni was considered the best for many years by my relatives.

                          1. re: RGC1982
                            RShea78 May 29, 2009 05:06 PM

                            RGC- Unfortunately there is a small curve from undercooked - al dente - overcooked. Then there is salt and the rolling boil that seems to be a must in cooking any pasta. When my grandma and step-mom got on the salt free band wagon, just don't eat their pasta... I mean, their pasta went from out of this world (great), to the world's nastiest slop.

                            BTW- I refuse to buy pasta or noodles (or almost anything) without some "date" on the package. That is the one of the best indicators of a products freshness. Coded items have my permission rot right on the shelf.

                            1. re: RShea78
                              r
                              RGC1982 May 29, 2009 07:20 PM

                              I think it is a dating issue, because I have been cooking pasta the same way for 35 years, and the last few batches from the same store were gummy. We have also been cooking just past al dente for my whole life (this is how we do it my Italian family), and I tend to stand over the pot tasting until it is where I want it to be -- little chance of overcooking.

                              I haven't noticed dating on pasta. What brands do you recommend?

                          2. re: prunefeet
                            roxlet May 13, 2011 04:33 AM

                            I really like Ronzoni, which is certainly not an artisinal brand. Last week, my stop and shop had a sale -- 10 boxes for $10. It is the pasta I grew up with, but the key to any pasta is watching the pot and tasting, tasting, tasting. Any pasta -- even that $8 a pound brand -- will taste gummy if cooked for too long.

                            1. re: roxlet
                              m
                              MacGuffin May 13, 2011 08:39 AM

                              That's true but I think it's more complicated than that. I've always found Ronzoni patent-leather slick right out of the box and regardless of how long it's cooked.

                        2. jenniebnyc Jan 7, 2007 11:57 PM

                          Hands down, these are my favorites:

                          Setaro
                          bionaturae - for Whole Wheat

                          1. p
                            Peter Cherches Jan 8, 2007 12:46 PM

                            De Cecco mostly. I find Barilla to have a too slippery consistency when cooked. I think the price difference between the two accurately reflects the quality.

                            1. RShea78 Jan 8, 2007 01:44 PM

                              About the only thing decent in stores here is Barilla.

                              Anyone hear of Rossi? About all I know is that a good T-Bone would run about the same price per pound.

                              1. k
                                Kelli2006 Jan 8, 2007 07:05 PM

                                Barilla or DeCecco. Ronzoni is also good at a lower price point.

                                1. b
                                  BellaDonna Jan 8, 2007 07:20 PM

                                  DeCecco
                                  Trader Joes

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: BellaDonna
                                    alanbarnes May 28, 2009 01:46 PM

                                    Second Trader Joe's. Don't know who makes it for them, but it's high-quality stuff that costs a fraction of what other imported Italian pastas do.

                                    1. re: alanbarnes
                                      cgfan May 28, 2009 06:44 PM

                                      Well it's just not any Trader Joe's brand, but the one under the Trader Giotto's brand in the kraft paper packages. I've been buying this one for years at Trader Joe's before they started to private label it under their own name. It's gone through at least 2-3 shape/packaging/price reincarnations, each time dropping in quality little by little.

                                      The biggest quality drop was with their second private label incarnation. Their first private label attempt was still very clearly an artisan pasta comparable to Latini. Now it is a pasta that still holds its own against any pasta sold in the major supers, but is a far cry from what it used to be. However at all times it was well worth its price.

                                      Unfortunately I haven't seen it at TJ's in quite a while - I hope they haven't abandoned it altogether!

                                      So upon their first private label package it was called Trader Giotto's 1860 bronze-die pasta. Prior to the private labelling it was under the name of a Tuscan pasta maker named Conforti. http://www.pastaconforti.it/

                                      (Those who have been buying this excellent pasta as long as I have will reconize the distinctive packaging of the pastas on Conforti's website...

                                      )

                                      Since the relabelling they've changed the shapes a bit and have steadily brought down the price. Currently it's no comparison to the original and the 1st private label versions, which had more of the pronounced nutty sweet taste of the grain. Though when compared against Latini or similar pastas at $4-6/pkg. vs. Trader Joe's at around $1.50/pkg., it's a real steal!

                                      I hope I didn't jinx it, but ever since I've seen it in at TJ's (under the original brand name) I would horde it upon every sighting, confidently believing that at one point it would no longer be carried. Because of that with every downgrade in quality I would still be able to enjoy out of my pantry/stash the previous incarnation of the pasta. Now I find myself with none, either in the pantry or during furtive shopping trips to TJ's.

                                      Let's all hope it will make a triumphant comeback soon!

                                      (BTW did I miss it? I"m surprised noone has mentioned Latini... It's the best, but it's hard to always justify the cost...)

                                      1. re: cgfan
                                        alanbarnes May 28, 2009 07:40 PM

                                        Latini makes a great bronze-die pasta, no dispute about that. And I don't know that i've ever seen the TJ's product you describe.

                                        I was talking about the TJ's cello-wrapped dry pastas. They're clearly extruded through a steel (ceramic? teflon?) die, and don't have the texture or the sauce-holding ability of a bronze-die artisan pasta. But they taste great.

                                        For me, $8 a pound dry pasta is reserved for special occasions; I don't buy it often enough to make a fair comparison as to flavor. And I'll readily admit that flavor is only one component of artisan pasta; the texture is as important or more so.

                                        But compared to other mass-produced pastas like Barilla or DeCecco, TJ's seems to me to be significantly better. And at $0.69 a pound, how can you not love that?

                                  2. coll Jan 8, 2007 07:22 PM

                                    Lately all I use is Barilla Plus, because I don't feel so guilty eating it.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: coll
                                      thegolferbitch Mar 27, 2007 05:25 AM

                                      I just tried the Barilla Plus thin spaghetti last night and LOVED it. I like a nice al dente texture and it had more "body" than even the regular Barilla (which I love).

                                    2. wyf4lyf Jan 8, 2007 10:52 PM

                                      I like Barilla for white and Bionaturae for whole wheat.

                                      1. s
                                        scrapple Jan 9, 2007 02:23 AM

                                        Barilla and Decicco. Even though Decicco costs a little bit more, I think Barilla tastes better.

                                        1. mrsleny Jan 9, 2007 04:24 AM

                                          I like Misura whole wheat fettuccine. It does not taste like whole grain at all.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: mrsleny
                                            wyf4lyf Jan 9, 2007 02:15 PM

                                            Where do you get Misura pasta? Bionaturae doesn't taste like whole grain either, which is why I buy it because my family will eat it. :) And I like it too. But I'm always interested in trying other things.

                                            1. re: wyf4lyf
                                              mrsleny Jan 10, 2007 03:08 AM

                                              I live in a suburb on the outskirts of Toronto and get it at an Italian grocer's. I'm not sure where you are.

                                              1. re: mrsleny
                                                BamiaWruz Jun 11, 2010 05:12 PM

                                                I'm pretty sure I spotted it at JohnVince bulk and groceries today, in Toronto!

                                            2. re: mrsleny
                                              f
                                              FAL Jan 9, 2007 07:19 PM

                                              Ditto on Misura for whole wheat.

                                              1. re: FAL
                                                BamiaWruz Apr 30, 2010 07:36 PM

                                                I actually bought this brand from a loblaws real canadian superstore on clearance, didn't really like it that much but it's better than whole wheat (which does not appeal to me) my SO wanted to try it and we picked it up.
                                                Not sure if it's always available there and in what section.

                                                My regular brand is Molisana (carried by loblaws and no frills) I actually really like it!! Also I love lancia, carried by walmart now but used to be at grocery stores in the 90s.

                                                1. re: FAL
                                                  BamiaWruz May 19, 2010 12:09 PM

                                                  Metro @ cloverdale mall has a variety of this pasta!

                                              2. Cheese Boy Jan 9, 2007 04:40 AM

                                                Favorite non-gourmet [read as, not ridiculously overpriced] brands:

                                                DeCecco: http://italian.dececco-pasta.com/

                                                Barilla: http://www.barillaus.com/Barilla_America.aspx
                                                (Note only lasagna and filled pasta is actually imported folks - the rest is from Iowa).

                                                Del Verde: http://www.delverde.it/page/eng/f_ita...

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                  coll Jan 9, 2007 11:27 AM

                                                  I heard that Barilla is made in Iowa, but with wheat grown in Mexico! But I heard this from the owner of another pasta company, so I can't confirm. I don't know if they really grow wheat in Mexico myself. Doesn't stop me from eating it.

                                                  1. re: coll
                                                    RShea78 Jan 10, 2007 10:48 AM

                                                    I do not think Mexico could grow a decent "hard winter wheat" needed to make a decent pasta. I found an interesting tidbit of info at the link below. Flour is less expensive than the labor, so perhaps they could still make it in that respect.

                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_w...

                                                    .....

                                                    1. re: RShea78
                                                      coll Jan 10, 2007 10:58 AM

                                                      Thanks, I always wondered if I got it right. Then again, he may have said they grow the wheat in Iowa and make the pasta in Mexico. Well whatever, I still like Barilla, especially the Plus right now. Wish I could eat pasta as much as in my younger days!

                                                      1. re: coll
                                                        r
                                                        robt5265 Jan 11, 2007 03:38 AM

                                                        I live in Mexico and the Barilla brand here is made in Mexico. There are many other really cheap brands of pasta used here that are all made here too. Fortuantely we do have deCecco also.

                                                      2. re: RShea78
                                                        m
                                                        MacGuffin Jan 3, 2010 06:54 PM

                                                        Isn't pasta made from durum wheat? It grows in North Africa and the Middle East; it's certainly "hard" but I don't think it's "winter."

                                                  2. r
                                                    rockykay Jan 9, 2007 04:41 PM

                                                    DeCecco for strand pasta, especially their Angel Hair which I think is the best ever, or shapes; Barilla for shapes, Ronzoni for their awesome Perciatelli.

                                                    1. o
                                                      obob96 Jan 9, 2007 07:04 PM

                                                      DeCecco, Delverde, Setaro for everyday. Occasionally worth a slight splurge for Latini or Cuocco or Rustichella, but given that the difference is, say, about $2-$3/lb spread over five or so servings, not such a great deal more for a whiff of that great boiling wheat aroma. I find Barilla more and more slickly fabricated.

                                                      1. h
                                                        hangdoggie Jan 9, 2007 07:09 PM

                                                        On the West Coast there is Golden Grain. I like their
                                                        pasta, but they don't have the exotic shapes found for
                                                        DeCecco.
                                                        I also like their spaghetti sauce and egg noodles.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: hangdoggie
                                                          Cheese Boy Jan 12, 2007 04:23 AM

                                                          DeCecco egg noodles are fantastic! Absolutely delicious. I second that.

                                                        2. Snackish Jan 9, 2007 10:14 PM

                                                          Mr Snackish loves the Latini. I don't notice the difference so much, but he always remarks on the pasta when it is Latini. So I bite the bullet and pay the extra.

                                                          1. c
                                                            cap Jan 10, 2007 03:04 AM

                                                            La Molisana is, IMO, easily the best. But its very hard to find. So then I use De Cecco.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: cap
                                                              Cheese Boy Jan 12, 2007 04:31 AM

                                                              If you think La Molisana is good now, you should have seen them years ago. They were *great*. I've found their quality to have slipped somewhat. They are still good -- don't be mislead. They're probably just not using as good a durum wheat (semola/semolina) as
                                                              they were using years ago. My point? They were once better. : )

                                                              1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                coll Jan 12, 2007 11:55 AM

                                                                Is that the one that comes in a clamshell box with tissue paper inside? I used to drive an hour just to get me some. I found it once at Arthur Ave for $2 a box, must have been a mistake but I did take advantage. I can never remember the name.

                                                                1. re: coll
                                                                  Cheese Boy Jan 13, 2007 12:33 AM

                                                                  This is what their packaging looks like: http://translate.google.com/translate...

                                                                  I've never seen their pasta in a clamshell...most of their cuts are bagged. Calabria Pork Store (on Arthur Avenue) used to carry La Molisana, and they suddenly stopped. They had it for .99c a bag too!

                                                                  1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                    coll Jan 13, 2007 11:43 AM

                                                                    Oh well that's not it. It used to go for over $5 and I'm not even sure it was a full pound, but it was as good as homemade. Had lots of egg in it. If I ever see it again, I'm going to write down the name (or buy a box or 2). I used to get it at an Italian market on Willis Ave. Who knows if they even still import it.

                                                                    1. re: coll
                                                                      coll May 28, 2009 02:38 AM

                                                                      Saw it a couple of months ago, it's named Spinosi, so I was able to google it.
                                                                      http://www.olioeolivestore.com/spinos...
                                                                      I get the one in the blue clamshell box, wrapped in tissue paper. Here's what it looks like, if you see it, try it! You won't be disappointed, despite the high price.

                                                                    2. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                      BamiaWruz Apr 30, 2010 07:42 PM

                                                                      Love la molisana and glad no frills and loblaws carry it here in canada.

                                                              2. f
                                                                Fleur Jan 10, 2007 09:22 AM

                                                                In the Cook's Illustrated blind tasting, Ronzoni always comes out on top.

                                                                I use Ronzoni, or de Cecco. Otherwise, home made fresh pasta.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: Fleur
                                                                  m
                                                                  MarcoSardo Feb 9, 2007 09:12 AM

                                                                  This is great news, I love Garofalo!! That is what my gf and I buy all the time in Italy. Do they sell Garofalo in all Costcos nationwide? Is it italian imported or made locally?
                                                                  I just got here a few days ago and am still shocked at the prices of 1LB of dried pasta like Barilla or DeCecco. Oh well,

                                                                  1. re: MarcoSardo
                                                                    franfajr Dec 19, 2009 02:01 PM

                                                                    I've looked for Garofalo pasta at Costco's to no avail... :(( According to their website, it's only sold on the west coast. Go figure! But you can get Garofalo mozzarella di bufala there--a tip from a friend who used to work at the Italian embassy.
                                                                    And apparently you can get a limited variety of Garofalo pasta at Harris Tweeter stores.

                                                                    A pretty good variety is available on amazon.com:
                                                                    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_1_4...

                                                                    If you find any other outlets, do post!

                                                                    1. re: franfajr
                                                                      mbfant Dec 19, 2009 03:11 PM

                                                                      I saw Garofalo at D'Agostino's in NYC yesterday.

                                                                  2. re: Fleur
                                                                    Tartinet Feb 9, 2007 09:23 AM

                                                                    I switched to Ronzoni when I read that in CI, and it's our everyday white pasta around here, but I must say I occasionally splurge on De Cecco, and I always like it better. I really should switch, I just have a mental block (leftover from my broke days) about paying that much for dry pasta (it makes me chuckle that some posters think of De Cecco as their "bargain pasta").

                                                                    1. re: Tartinet
                                                                      f
                                                                      FAL Feb 11, 2007 03:46 AM

                                                                      Hey if you live in Brooklyn . Try Coluchio's DeCecco pasta is a 1.05 a pound . They have every shape .

                                                                  3. Vexorg Jan 10, 2007 07:02 PM

                                                                    I also happen to like the Garofalo pasta that Costco sells. It takea s bit longer to cook, and has a somewhat different texture from most other stuff (not quite so smooth), but it turns out better than most of the other ones.

                                                                    1. b
                                                                      bogie Jan 11, 2007 04:33 PM

                                                                      Rusticella D'Abruzzo, without a doubt. That's the one in the brown paper bag. Their Trenne pasta (triangular penne) is amazing with my arrabiata sauce.

                                                                      1. CindyJ Jan 11, 2007 08:27 PM

                                                                        Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but the truth is, once it's cooked properly and sauced, I can't tell the difference. So I guess my favorite brand is the one that's on sale. All other things being equal, I generally choose Barilla.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: CindyJ
                                                                          b
                                                                          BellaDonna Jan 12, 2007 02:43 AM

                                                                          You can tell when you don't sauce it...boil the pasta, toss with EVOO and parmesean or pecorino...you will be able to know which one is better

                                                                        2. IndyGirl Jan 12, 2007 02:54 AM

                                                                          Trader Joe's whole-wheat penne.

                                                                          1. OCAnn Jan 12, 2007 04:15 PM

                                                                            DeCecco.

                                                                            1. LJNew Jan 13, 2007 02:03 AM

                                                                              I just tried the Dececco whole wheat pasta last night and I have to say it is the best WW pasta I have ever had. It was great.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: LJNew
                                                                                jenniebnyc Jan 13, 2007 02:51 AM

                                                                                try bionaturae. this is the best WW i have found.

                                                                                1. re: jenniebnyc
                                                                                  LJNew Jan 13, 2007 02:40 PM

                                                                                  I have heard that it is good but so far I have not found it. Where do you buy it? I am upstate, but I see you are in NY.

                                                                              2. SungSook Feb 11, 2007 03:07 PM

                                                                                I really like Barilla's spaghetti rigati. It's like square spaghetti with ridges so it holds the sauce so much better.

                                                                                1. o
                                                                                  O22039 Feb 20, 2007 10:20 AM

                                                                                  I tried Rustichella this weekend and am not sure it was worth the $4,99 price (17,5 oz). We had the Bucatini which was hard to eat (fork). Perhaps I'd find it worthwhile in another shape.

                                                                                  1. e
                                                                                    eatzlady Mar 26, 2007 01:08 PM

                                                                                    My current favorite is the Rummo Organic Whole Wheat pasta, which I picked up @ Costco. Perfect al dente texture when cooked properly and wonderful flavor.

                                                                                    1. ChefJune Mar 26, 2007 01:13 PM

                                                                                      De Cecco and Barilla are good for mass produced pasta, but I really prefer Rustichella d'Abruzzo.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                        f
                                                                                        fauchon Mar 26, 2007 01:15 PM

                                                                                        Are there any shapes you prefer in particular?

                                                                                      2. r
                                                                                        richdibo May 27, 2009 11:32 PM

                                                                                        The best is Voiello, from Naples. Unfortunately its not exported.

                                                                                        1. Striver May 28, 2009 08:14 AM

                                                                                          According to this recent blind tasting of imported spaghetti by a group of NYC chefs and an actor, the favorite was Trader Joe's! Rustichella came in a very close second, at a significantly higher price. YMMV, of course. :)

                                                                                          http://nymag.com/restaurants/features...

                                                                                          1. b
                                                                                            beachmouse May 28, 2009 07:51 PM

                                                                                            Target's Archer Famrs bronze cut pasta.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: beachmouse
                                                                                              Cheese Boy May 28, 2009 08:11 PM

                                                                                              Beachmouse, I've never been to a Target ever. I will now go.

                                                                                              1. re: Cheese Boy
                                                                                                johannabanana Oct 27, 2009 10:43 AM

                                                                                                The Latini in the red packaging always seem best to me. Great texture and the pasta water is so starchy afterwards, perfect for working into sauces. The Latini pastas also come in a variety of even pricier grades that I can't afford. (I'm not counting whole wheat pastas, which are their own thing.) I wouldn't go with the Cook's Illustrated ratings myself or indeed many of the other taste-tests that often seem inclined to choose the cheapest as best. Like most foodstuffs, I try to favour the less industrially produced alternatives of which Latini, Setaro, Rustichella and Garofalo would be examples.

                                                                                            2. EWSflash Dec 19, 2009 02:54 PM

                                                                                              I recently tried branching out a little bit, and have always really liked Del Verde (which I haven't found in years, sadly), De Cecco, Rummo and usually Creamettes, but I decided to start looking at the pasta itself in the box, as long as it was made from durum semolina. I was looking for the right golden color and a certain translucence that the best stuff tends to have. lt's have been interesting.

                                                                                              my mother was a pasta snob, and would turn up her nose at Barilla, which I've so far found to be quite good (she never tasted it personally) when I've tried it. I've also had pretty good results with American Beauty and a couple of other brands, but not always.

                                                                                              Trader joe's quality varies quite a bit. Sometimes it's perfect and sometimes it keeps kind of continuously dissolving on the outside, like it's shedding starch continuously. I don't know how else to explain it. When it's good, it's good, but if it looks diferent than the last time you bought it, be aware that it can cook up differently too. And whoever mentioned the price point is right on.

                                                                                              Wow, does anybod know where I can get Rummo pasta these days? It was always, always excellent and they had all the different shapes.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                Cheese Boy Dec 19, 2009 07:56 PM

                                                                                                Here's a thread that *might* be of some help --> --> --> ... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/511761 <-- <-- <-- <-- <-- ...

                                                                                                Pasta to the N-th degree --> http://www.ernestklein.net/kleinprodu...

                                                                                              2. Perilagu Khan Dec 19, 2009 03:49 PM

                                                                                                Latini in the red box, but in order to buy my last shipment I had to sell my Caddy.

                                                                                                1. RetiredChef Dec 20, 2009 07:32 AM

                                                                                                  Many years ago at a restaurant convention there was a blind pasta taste test. Anyone could taste and vote for the pasts they thought was the best. IIRC it was only penne that was served and only about 6 brands. The results were mailed out in the newsletter.

                                                                                                  All I remember was that Barilla was #1 and Ronzoni came in the last, the other 4 names and rankings I don’t recall.

                                                                                                  An Italian chef/friend of mine couldn’t believe it so we performed the test again at one of our homes using Linguini (he chose that) and once again Barilla was preferred by everyone, even over the very expensive brands.

                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: RetiredChef
                                                                                                    coll Dec 20, 2009 07:49 AM

                                                                                                    Barilla IS the best, at least for supermarket brands. They have a gourmet line called Academia Barilla that has some of the best DOP olive oils, balsamics and cheeses I've ever tasted in my life. Their Academia proscuitto is like I died and went to heaven, but can't find it locally, I think it's sold more in Jersey. Barilla pasta is number one in Italy too, by the way. Anyone who looks down on them, I guess it's obvious they've never had it. And their Barilla Plus line makes pasta a little less of a guilt trip. There are a few better pastas out there, artisian ones at $20 a pound, but I'm sticking with Barilla for everyday.

                                                                                                    1. re: coll
                                                                                                      i
                                                                                                      ionico Aug 4, 2010 10:27 AM

                                                                                                      The Barilla pasta sold in Italy is far superior to the US marketed Barilla pasta. It seems better to look for pasta that is actually Made in Italy, (as the Barilla pasta is made elsewhere and tastes like it.) Garofalo and De Cecco are better quality pastas in my opinion and according to my Italian friends. I just don't get the Ronzoni hype, but then again I am doubtful of Cook's Illustrated's so-called scientific approach to food.

                                                                                                      1. re: ionico
                                                                                                        BubblyOne Aug 5, 2010 01:53 PM

                                                                                                        After reading on one of these threads about Ronzoni (actually, maybe this one) and the CI test, I bought a couple boxes. I usually buy DeCecco or Latini. First thing my SO said when I cooked with the Ronzoni was "What brand of pasta is this?"-and not in a good way. Neither one of us liked the texture/flavor.

                                                                                                        1. re: BubblyOne
                                                                                                          coll Oct 20, 2010 01:09 PM

                                                                                                          I just made some Ronzoni the other day, because it was on sale 3 or 4 for $1. It was a little mushy but reminded me of being a kid again. If you grew up with it, it's comfort food compared to the more chewy brands.

                                                                                                          1. re: coll
                                                                                                            BubblyOne Oct 20, 2010 08:55 PM

                                                                                                            Well, you can't beat 33 or 25 cents for a box. Still not for me.

                                                                                                        2. re: ionico
                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                          bob96 Aug 7, 2010 10:40 PM

                                                                                                          And if you saw their episodes on ragu or meatballs with pasta--dumping a ton of sauce on a plate of plain drained spaghetti. I love watching the show, but they miss the boat here by not mixing the cooked pasta with at least some sauce in the pot. Their crock pot [ oops, slow cooker] ragu, by the way, seemed very odd--an overcooked, shredded mess of good meats.

                                                                                                    2. s
                                                                                                      sisterfunkhaus Jan 3, 2010 07:09 PM

                                                                                                      Barilla hands down, especially for the price difference. I've tried DeCecco in the mass market brands and was not impressed. It's far more expensive than Barilla here. I'm not paying 3x the price for pasta that does not impress me when Barilla is better than any I've ever tried. I've also tried an artisan brand or ten but was not impressed enought to remember the names.

                                                                                                      1. cheereeo Jan 6, 2010 08:23 AM

                                                                                                        Seems like it is most sold in the Metropolitan area, but am I the only one who adores SAN GIORGIO pasta? Starchiest taste, 100% Durum Wheat, Pricier but worth it. I love their Rotini (holds it shape and is nice and large) and Spaghetti. All taste so good. I try Barilla and others, but none compare.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: cheereeo
                                                                                                          Striver Jan 7, 2010 09:50 AM

                                                                                                          San Giorgio is one of the brands under the New World Pasta umbrella (which includes Ronzoni, Creamettes, etc). When I last tried it, many years ago, I did so because it was actually cheaper than Ronzoni (wasn't much selection back then in the pre-"pasta" days).

                                                                                                          At that time it wasn't as good as Ronzoni. Maybe they've improved. Personally, I like De Cecco and Barilla for everyday use - and occasionally an imported bronze die cut brand for special shapes and/or sizes.

                                                                                                        2. woodleyparkhound Jan 7, 2010 10:13 AM

                                                                                                          I always use DeCecco, as I can get it to the exact stage of al dente that I like.

                                                                                                          I switched from DeCecco to Ronzoni a few years back when I lived in VT as I thought it was fine, especially given the price difference, but the store where I bought it stopped carrying it so I switched back to DeCecco. Now I live in DC and have never seen Ronzoni in a store here. I've used DeCecco for years now. I tried Barilla once years ago and didn't like it. After reading through this thread, I think I need to try it again. I'd love to find a cheaper brand that was just as good.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: woodleyparkhound
                                                                                                            woodleyparkhound Jan 26, 2010 11:17 AM

                                                                                                            I tried Barilla again this week. It's not quite as good as DeCecco, but I think it's fine for everyday use - I'm going to start buying it, say, every other time.

                                                                                                          2. k
                                                                                                            KristieB Jan 27, 2010 02:22 PM

                                                                                                            De Cecco and Barilla are my favorites. Though I was raised on Creamettes so that's what I grab for certain dishes.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: KristieB
                                                                                                              Benedetto Nov 21, 2010 05:48 AM

                                                                                                              best I've ever had is Gragnano. Expensive but delish!!!!! You can find it at Eataly in NYC.

                                                                                                            2. BratleFoodie Feb 28, 2010 01:39 PM

                                                                                                              I love DeCecco! Their small shells and penette are total favorite shapes for me. I also like their whole wheat penne.

                                                                                                              But, for lasagne, I use Brailla no-boil noodles, or Hanafords no-boil (New England company) but I have heard that you can actually use regular lasagne noodles in a no-boil method too, so then It would be looking at Bionaturae, DeCecco.

                                                                                                              I am so boring, I should experiment more and start finding those bronze-cut items. A great thread here!

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: BratleFoodie
                                                                                                                m
                                                                                                                MacGuffin Feb 28, 2010 03:21 PM

                                                                                                                DeCecco IS bronze-extruded. That's probably why you like it. :)

                                                                                                                1. re: MacGuffin
                                                                                                                  cgfan Mar 1, 2010 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                  Very little in the DeCecco line is actually bronze extruded.

                                                                                                                  However the good part of their packaging is that it is relatively easy to tell which processing steps each pasta gets, though you have to look carefully. Note that they'll only code what steps are included with the packaged pasta; omission of a code implies that that step is not used in the production of that specific product.

                                                                                                                  Through these codes you will know which ones are bronze-die extruded, which receives a low temperature drying time, etc. I don't have a package with me so I can't tell you the specifics, but it is only clear when you see a box of their pasta that receives many of their more artisan treatments.

                                                                                                                  It is only to a very few products in their line that gets the full treatment. From recollection the full treatment was confined to only a very select couple of their long, extruded shapes.

                                                                                                                  1. re: cgfan
                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                    MacGuffin Mar 1, 2010 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                    Well, everything I've bought from them has been identified as bronze-extruded but I tend to favor long shapes so perhaps that would explain it.

                                                                                                              2. a
                                                                                                                aventinus Jun 13, 2010 09:34 PM

                                                                                                                I cook with Latini (ordinary red box) and Rustichella. I've tried the single varietal blue box Latini and found it a little slimy. De Cecco and Barilla are good, but they don't have the same texture and heartiness as Latini and Rustichella, which really have an artisanal feel -- especially Latini.

                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: aventinus
                                                                                                                  erica Jun 15, 2010 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                  Have you tired Martelli in the yellow bag? This is the best dried pasta I've ever tried.

                                                                                                                  1. re: erica
                                                                                                                    o
                                                                                                                    ospreycove Aug 5, 2010 05:41 AM

                                                                                                                    Without question Setaro is the best pasta overall. Having said that; it is almost impossible to find in the U.S.
                                                                                                                    http://www.coolhunting.com/food-drink/pasta-setaro-sp.php

                                                                                                                    http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2007/10...

                                                                                                                    1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                      MacGuffin Aug 5, 2010 05:43 AM

                                                                                                                      Great pasta but you can certainly find it in NYC.

                                                                                                                      1. re: MacGuffin
                                                                                                                        o
                                                                                                                        ospreycove Aug 5, 2010 06:25 AM

                                                                                                                        Correct, Now that I live in Florida, I have it shipped from Buon Italia, or load up a suitcase when I am in NYC. Only problem is Chelsea Pier.......a loathsome place!!!

                                                                                                                        1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                          fauchon Aug 6, 2010 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                          Grace's Marketplace on Third Ave & 71st Street has Setaro's...

                                                                                                                          1. re: fauchon
                                                                                                                            o
                                                                                                                            ospreycove Aug 7, 2010 05:08 PM

                                                                                                                            Fauchon....Good info. Thanks

                                                                                                                            1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                              f
                                                                                                                              fauchon Aug 8, 2010 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                              Ospreycove...:-) What are your favorite shapes? How long cooking time? (no hint on the label)....thanks

                                                                                                                              1. re: fauchon
                                                                                                                                o
                                                                                                                                ospreycove Aug 8, 2010 01:29 PM

                                                                                                                                Fauchon, I find the cooking time is about 9-10 minutes, but I always taste.
                                                                                                                                As far as types, the "Fettucce " is a meaty, wide noodle,pappardelle, is very wide but good for ragu, (with a lot of meat pieces), spaghetti chitarra, (very nice), zitoni (large ziti), calamarata, linguini and one that I hear a lot of hype about is spaghetti limone. Truthfully, I do not get what is so special about it. The times I tried it without any additional lemon rind or juice in the sauce,I thought it was no big deal.

                                                                                                                                Hope you like it!!!!!

                                                                                                                                1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                                  o
                                                                                                                                  ospreycove Aug 8, 2010 01:46 PM

                                                                                                                                  Fauchon,
                                                                                                                                  Here is a poster listing of all their shapes,(from Buon Italia site), Setaro has a site but it is in Italian and it is very basic.

                                                                                                                                  http://www.buonitalia.com/default.aspx?act=catalog.aspx&Category=Pasta%20Setaro&browse=&MenuGroup=Home

                                                                                                                                  www.setaro.it/vera.htm

                                                                                                                        2. re: MacGuffin
                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                          MacGuffin May 12, 2011 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                          I have to say that Setaro edges out Martelli for me. They're both good but I think I'll be sticking with Setaro unless something else turns up.

                                                                                                                  2. Sandwich_Sister Aug 5, 2010 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                    I'm really surprised no one has said Pappardelles dried pasta.

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Sandwich_Sister
                                                                                                                      Gastro1 May 12, 2011 07:52 AM

                                                                                                                      I have done considerable research in this area and have found http://www.pastificiodeicampi.it/ to be head and shoulders the finest dried pasta made by Di Martino family of Gragnano - it's the Ferrari in Abruzzo there are also 3-4 amazing artisan makers.

                                                                                                                      I'm afraid Barilla is a no no for me mass produced and poor quality - the fact it's number 1 seller does not mean it's any good - just well distributed around the world by a huge player in the business - in the UK many supermarket own brands are vastly superior and cheaper than Barilla

                                                                                                                      1. re: Gastro1
                                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                                        bob96 May 12, 2011 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                        Can't argue about Barilla (except maybe about there being loads of better pastas at cheaper prices, at least in the US), but for the record Il Pastificio del Campo is made in Gragnano, near Naples, one of the traditional homes of dried pasta making. Don' know if the DiMartino family is the same one that makes another Gragnano pasta under the Di Martino name, but this latter brand is a fine product readily available in the US. There are some of those other small Gragnano pastifici also available here.

                                                                                                                        1. re: bob96
                                                                                                                          Gastro1 May 12, 2011 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                          I can confirm that Pastificio dei Campi is made by Giuseppe Di Martino and his sister - the longstanding family business is indeed Di Martino .

                                                                                                                    2. Pedr0 Oct 20, 2010 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                      Mancini. http://www.pastamancini.it

                                                                                                                      Available in New York at Eli's and Brooklyn Larder or on line from Primizie: http://primiziefinefoods.myshopify.com/

                                                                                                                      Not cheap stuff but well worth the money. Converted me from Setaro.

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Pedr0
                                                                                                                        f
                                                                                                                        fauchon Oct 20, 2010 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                        Grace's Marketplace at Third Avenue & 71st Street also has Mancini...

                                                                                                                        1. re: fauchon
                                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                                          bob96 Oct 20, 2010 08:18 PM

                                                                                                                          At $10/lb or so, I'll pass.

                                                                                                                          1. re: bob96
                                                                                                                            w
                                                                                                                            whynokey Nov 22, 2010 02:32 PM

                                                                                                                            trader joe's is pretty good

                                                                                                                            http://nymag.com/restaurants/features...

                                                                                                                      2. huiray May 12, 2011 06:46 PM

                                                                                                                        Cipriani

                                                                                                                        1. d
                                                                                                                          dlsinchi Mar 10, 2012 06:42 PM

                                                                                                                          I've never been a fan or noodles or pasta. However, I was cooking for those who do and found this brand in an international foods store called Granoro. It's the best. The texture is chewier than those I've had before and it's reasonably priced.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: dlsinchi
                                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                                            MarciC Mar 23, 2012 01:31 PM

                                                                                                                            What is the name and location of the store? I've been desperately searching for Pasta Granoro...any help would be greatly appreciated. IMHO...it's the best.

                                                                                                                            1. re: MarciC
                                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                                              dlsinchi Mar 24, 2012 06:07 AM

                                                                                                                              I got the Granoro pasta here:

                                                                                                                              http://www.valliproduce.com/

                                                                                                                              I've since tried it again and still think it's the best. It has actually turned me into a pasta fan. Good luck with your search! This is in Illinois by the way. In a suburb outside of Chicago.

                                                                                                                          2. fldhkybnva Dec 30, 2012 11:55 AM

                                                                                                                            I am resurrecting a very old thread, but it's most appropriate to my question so I figured I wouldn't start a new thread.

                                                                                                                            I just purchased DeCecco for the first time given the positive reviews on this site and it seems the cooking time is very short compared to other brands. Is there some reason for this based on differences in how it's made etc?

                                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                              coll Dec 30, 2012 12:02 PM

                                                                                                                              It's a little different texture, but also maybe they're going for al dente, rather than typical fully cooked American style? Most Italian imports don't even give you a time, they figure you'll know when it's done yourself. So just keep tasting until it's to your liking.

                                                                                                                              1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                fldhkybnva Dec 30, 2012 01:55 PM

                                                                                                                                Well, I plan to use it in macaroni and cheese and usually undercook the pasta a few minutes but with a 4 minute total cooking time recommendation that doesn't leave much time for undercooking.

                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                  coll Dec 30, 2012 01:56 PM

                                                                                                                                  So what shape is it. I know cappellini for example only calls for 3 or 4 minutes, and that is totally correct.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                    fldhkybnva Dec 30, 2012 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                    Oh, sorry, whoopsies. It is elbow although I am debating whether to use gemelli or cavatappi which I also have on hand.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                      coll Dec 30, 2012 03:36 PM

                                                                                                                                      I'm going to venture that elbow or gemelli would be 7 to 8 mintes,and cavatappi would be more like 9 minutes? I still would be testing them as the time came along.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                        fldhkybnva Dec 30, 2012 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                        Of course, will check at minute or so intervals. Any thoughts on which shape you'd go with? It's a baked macaroni and cheese and I'm not the biggest fan of elbows but I thought the cavatappi might be too large.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                          coll Dec 30, 2012 03:57 PM

                                                                                                                                          I'd go with campanelle, it's a popular Barilla brand. I am just in love with this shape, for it's ability to hold the sauce. It's like ziti but with a fluted edge just to jazz it up.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                            fldhkybnva Dec 30, 2012 04:17 PM

                                                                                                                                            Wow, what a lovely pasta shape. I've never seen it before. Is it a similar size to ziti or smaller?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                              coll Dec 31, 2012 02:11 AM

                                                                                                                                              About the same size on top, there the flared edge goes way out. I use it for baked ziti, and mac and cheese would look very interesting, dare I say fancy even, if you used it.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: coll
                                                                                                                                              fldhkybnva Dec 31, 2012 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                                              I grabbed a box of this pasta this morning. I think this is the one for tonight's mac and cheese. What a cute pasta shape.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                coll Jan 1, 2013 06:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                It was love at first sight for me!

                                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                  MacGuffin Dec 30, 2012 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                                  It might depend on the actual shape. As I recall, there's usually a three-minute range of suggested cooking times; I always go for the one smack in the middle. Make sure to skim off and save the starchy foam while it cooks and then add it back with the sauce once your pasta's done and drained.

                                                                                                                                3. Bacardi1 Dec 30, 2012 02:44 PM

                                                                                                                                  For me, everyday pasta is definitely Barilla. I probably have a box of all of their pasta shapes in my pantry at the moment.

                                                                                                                                  I also keep a stock of artisinal Rossi pastas on hand. Unlike other "flavored" pastas, Rossi's actually HAS the flavor designated. I particularly LOVE their Devil's Angel Hair - unbelievably hot & spicy for a commercial pasta. Also, their mushroom varieties, their Asian-flavored noodles, their citrus-flavored pastas - heck, I like every one I've tried.

                                                                                                                                  http://www.rossipasta.com/

                                                                                                                                  Third in line is DeCecco - only because it's the only brand around here that offers a good basic spinach pasta.

                                                                                                                                  1. p
                                                                                                                                    Puffin3 Dec 31, 2012 06:59 AM

                                                                                                                                    De Cecco

                                                                                                                                    1. EWSflash Dec 31, 2012 12:14 PM

                                                                                                                                      De Cecco, Barilla, Del Verde and Rummo are my all-time favorites, but i haven't seen Rummo pasta in years.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                                                        bob96 Jan 1, 2013 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                                        Faicco's in NY has usually carried some Rummo cuts, but never the full line.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: bob96
                                                                                                                                          Cheese Boy Jan 1, 2013 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                          Di Palo's had them also (not sure if they still do) ... You could find them on the racks seen here ... http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/di-pal...

                                                                                                                                      2. p
                                                                                                                                        Pookipichu Nov 8, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                                                                                                        Seggiano

                                                                                                                                        1. t
                                                                                                                                          Taffyjer Mar 27, 2014 05:20 PM

                                                                                                                                          Rustichella d'Abruzzo all the way for me.

                                                                                                                                          1. d
                                                                                                                                            dodette Mar 30, 2014 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                                            I recently purchased a great pasta .It must be newly acquired in the metro area. It's called Ciccarelli. It chews nicely, and.....has only 190 calories. Another great feature is the reclosable bag. Unlike many other brands. their Farfalle cook evenly with the center not raw when cooked al dente. My late father was a pasta importer,
                                                                                                                                            so I've tried many brands over the years.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: dodette
                                                                                                                                              kattyeyes Mar 30, 2014 11:12 AM

                                                                                                                                              HA! That's the last name of a dear family friend (Cecc instead of Cicc, though, for him). I've never seen it in a regular grocery store. I would gladly buy it for him just for fun. Where did you find yours? I'm in CT.

                                                                                                                                            2. m
                                                                                                                                              Maeestra Apr 12, 2014 02:31 PM

                                                                                                                                              Ciccarelli is, hands down, far superior to anything else available in the US!

                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Maeestra
                                                                                                                                                kattyeyes Apr 12, 2014 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                Where are you able to find it?
                                                                                                                                                I searched and only found it online:
                                                                                                                                                http://www.bestfromitaly.us/Pastifici...

                                                                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                  roxlet Apr 13, 2014 09:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                  For some reason, I think I've seen this at Fairway, but I'm not 100% sure of that.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                    kattyeyes Apr 13, 2014 09:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I'll look at Whole Foods next time. I tried my usual Stop & Shop, no dice. Haven't seen it in my local Italian mom & pops, either. I wish it would surface--there's no lack of Italian-Americans in my neck of the woods! :D

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                                                      MacGuffin Apr 13, 2014 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Last I saw, Rustichella was available at Whole Foods.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MacGuffin
                                                                                                                                                        kattyeyes Apr 13, 2014 11:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Thank you, anyway, but looking for Ciccarelli.

                                                                                                                                              2. emglow101 Apr 12, 2014 08:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                I am currently the using the Lidia Bastianich brand of pasta. I really like the texture and the toothsome feel it gives. Another brand I would like to try is Voiello.

                                                                                                                                                1. e
                                                                                                                                                  EatFoodGetMoney Apr 13, 2014 10:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Rustichella D'Abruzzo
                                                                                                                                                  Il Corvo
                                                                                                                                                  Homemade w/semolina
                                                                                                                                                  Montebello if I'm in a hurry

                                                                                                                                                  Most all mainstream brands are trash unfortunately.

                                                                                                                                                  Show Hidden Posts