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What kind of pasta do you buy/like?

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  1. I think you are asking about a brand? I buy Barilla. It cooks up very reliably with a nice bite. It also fits my budget. I might chose differently, though, if my store had different options. I've had other brands that are more, oh, wheaty tasting. I like Barilla, though. My favorite choice for a long pasta to keep around is linguine.

    1. There is a local pasta company in the Ann Arbor area, Al Dente Pasta. It's egg noodles and very good ones.

      I also buy Barilla when I am looking for something that the kids will eat too. It's reliable, as saltwater says, and tastes good.

      I also buy and use Martelli. It's imported from Italy and it's delicious.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nliedel

        I agree about Al Dente. I especially like the spinach , the sesame, and the garlic fettucines. The only one I really didnt enjoy was the squid ink.

        1. re: nliedel

          Mamma Mucci pasta made in Canton, MI. is an excellent product if you can find it. I'm lucky in that I know the owners and can usually scam some fresh when I want something special. Many of the higher end resturants in the area use their product.
          Bob

        2. Barilla is okay for dried, but homemade is sooo much better and is easy to make. If you love pasta, then you really should buy a simple Atlas hand crank pasta maker and dive in. As a bonus, it is a fun activity for a casual dinner party.

          8 Replies
          1. re: chrisinroch

            But isn't home made "fresh" pasta just different from dried - rather than necessarily "better"? I had thought that certain sauces are meant to go with dried pasta, and others with fresh, egg based pasta.

            I use DeCecco, and also recently discovered La Nonna del Monello, a pugliese brand that I like.

            1. re: MMRuth

              I think I made my own pasta with my very expensive pasta machine about half a dozen times before it was jailed in a box and banned to the garage. If you want any sort of tooth to your pasta, you won't get it from home made unless you air dry it for a couple of weeks. When you have to do that (and it's still not as firm as store-bought), then why bother?

              I agree that Barilla is good. I tend to avoid exotic pastas. By the time I get a sauce on them, they don't taste any better than plain-old plain-old. My taste buds may be on the decline, but I honestly can't tast that much difference between a tomato or spinach pasta and regular pasta, but they are pretty. Robe them in Alfredo sauce, marinara, or even butter or olive oil and they all taste pretty much the same to me. So unless I want red and green pasta for Christmas, what's the point?

              1. re: Caroline1

                I love homemade pasta, with a little butter and a touch of galic, maybe a nice hard grating cheese, the more expensive Parm cheese I pick up, once in a while from Zingerman's, but if it's getting sauced, the subtle flavor of my homemade is lost in translation. Then, it's boxed for me.

                1. re: Caroline1

                  I'm guessing that you had a pasta extruder that squeezes fairly soft dough through a die. I got one as a gift from well meaning inlaws, and after a few messy failures, mine too is in a box in the garage.

                  Al dente is very easy to achieve with the atlas. You can do it by increasing the semolina, not cranking the thinness down past the 5th setting, or by letting your noodles dry a bit for an hour. And of course not overcooking them

                  My homemade pasta has much more taste than any of the mass produced pastas that i use. It's not a super powerful flavor though. If you plan on dressing your pasta in a more american style than an italian style (lots of sauce), then you will not taste any difference. We tend to think of pasta as a delivery vehicle for sauce, rather than an important flavor component.

                  One thing, you said that you air dried pasta for a couple of weeks with your extruder to get them dried? With the hand crank pasta doughs, the noodles are totally dry in a few hours.

                  1. re: chrisinroch

                    Mine was an Italian made electric pasta machine that you put the flour and egg or whatever liquid you preferred into and mixed until you were happy with the consistency, then attached the bronze dies to the front of the machine and extruded whatever shape you preferred from angel hair to lasanga, tubes, rough exteriors and everything but bows that you had to do by hand. It was a long time ago when $300.00 was a large chunk of change. I tried imported semolinas, special pasta flours, whole wheat pasta. I think I went the distance with the thing.

                    I did live on the beach in California at the time, so there is some chance that the ambient humidity was a factor. I have humidity issues here in the Dallas area that I didn't have to deal with in El Paso's arid desert climate. I've lived in desert climates about half of my adult life, first in Las Vegas, then in El Paso, and there were a lot of things I could do in both of those places that don't work in more humid climates. Elaborately decorated gingerbread men for the tree and gingerbread houses that lasted Christmas to Chirstmas in Las Vegas, but collapse into heaps of crumbs in higher humitidy. Pressed sugar Easter eggs with scenes inside and gum paste lilies and orchids on top that held up beautifully in El Paso, but I don't even dare think about them here. I brought some gum paste flowers with me, and even sealed in zip lock bags they crumbled. I suspect that's what my problem was with making pasta on the beach... Maybe someday in the far distant future an archaelogist will discovcer my pasta machine and spend the rest of his life trying to figure out what it was... '-)

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      From my experience I dont think that your humidity was the factor, i just think that extruders are messy and hard to use. God bless ron popiel and his ability to sell crap, but I can't get the thing to make decent pasta and I've made pasta for years. The Atlas with the optional motor attachment is easy, reliable and consistant.

                2. re: MMRuth

                  MMRuth, I agree...fresh pasta is VERY different from dried and cannot be used interchangably in most recipes. The first time I had fresh spaghetti, it had a texture that was more similar to lo mein than any dried spaghetti.
                  I think when using fresh pasta the shape of the pasta is important. I had a fresh cavatelli at Po on Cornelia St that was divine.

                  1. re: moymoy

                    Fresh pasta made with 00 flour has a silky quality though one must be vigilant when cooking it because the frontier to goop takes no time to cross.

                    I like to blend my flours when rolling my own: 1 part semola duro to 3 parts tipo 00 seems to work best for me.

                1. re: link_930

                  I prefer Barilla, and Ronzoni whole wheat pastas, but I prefer the Barilla regular pasta. I have tried DeCecco, but I wasn't overly impressed with it, considering the price difference.

                  I only use my pasta maker when I want to experiment with filled pasta.

                2. I used to buy whatever was on sale thinking it all tastes the same...how wrong I was.
                  DeCecco is my favorite.

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