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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.

        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.

                  1 Reply
                  1. I have been using this brand Montebello that I get at Whole Foods. I tried it on a whim and am very happy with it. I thought the whole idea of having bronze die cut pasta didn't make a difference but I think it holds the sauce better. The flavor also seems deeper than other brands like DeCecco (which is also pretty good).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pellegrino31

                      i like montebello too, good stuff and while it costs more than barilla it is not through the roof expensive.

                    2. As I try to avoid gluten, I've found Tinkyada's brown rice pasta to be the best. If eating regular pasta, I've liked DeCecco. And surprisingly, Trader Joe's had the best penne -- cooked perfectly al dente every time.

                      1. De Cecco is our choice also.

                        1. I just bought six pounds of dry pasta from Costco in three different shapes, but for the life of me can't remember the brand. Has anyone else tried this pasta?

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: operagirl

                              Right you are, I used their radiatore last night and enjoyed it very much. At $1.17/lb, it's a steal!

                          1. Archer Farms bronze cut whole wheat. The bronze cut really does let the sauce grip the pasta nicely.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: beachmouse

                              i try to stay away from wheat so I eat Kamut pasta, tastes the same as whole wheat. You cannot over cook it though, or it goes to mush.

                            2. I like gia russa imported. Cheap and tasty.

                              1. I was talking to my Iowa Grandpa and he quite proudly stated that a lot of their wheat flour is exported to Italy so they can make their pasta. That is why I'm a fan of Barilla. Their factory is in Iowa and I figure I'm getting a comparable product without the costs of getting the flour to Italy and then getting the pasta back to the US.

                                1. Usually, I buy whichever wheat pasta is on sale. Barilla is good, and There is one in a brown box, I think its called Healthy Harvest? I buy both, and the only thing that decides for me is which is on sale!

                                  1. In deference to my diagnosed pre-diabetic condition, and to my possibly unreasonable hatred of whole-wheat pasta, I have been buying the Dreamfields low-effective-carbs pasta. My local supes carry only the spaghetti and the penne rigate, but there's an online store where I can get the other forms I crave, most notably the lasagna and the elbow mac, for just a tad more delivered than the local stores charge. It's pretty good stuff, though I much prefer De Cecco, as well as the gigantic no-brand Neopolitan macaroni sticks my around-the-corner Italian deli guy sells. Yes, I used to make my own, too, always from semolina, but except for a few things you just can't buy (such as maltagliati for pasta e fagioli, or homemade-style egg noodles) I keep the Atlas in retirement these days.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Will Owen

                                      I make my own pasta when I want ravioli, gnocchi, agnolotti, papardelle, etc. But when it's rigatoni, penne etc. my favorite is DeCecco, and if that's not available, I go for Barilla.

                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                        I too highly recommend Dreamfields to those who have diabetes/sugar/carb issues. It may not be the best pasta in the world, but it's the best low-carb pasta in the world.

                                      2. We have several:
                                        Barilla Plus angel hair
                                        BioNatura pappardelle and tagliatelle
                                        No-Yolks egg noodles

                                        And then we also make our own pasta...mix the dough in the food processor (saw Jamie Oliver do it and it really is just that easy) and roll it using the attachment for the kitchen aide stand mixer.

                                        1. In NYC... Fuggeddaboudit!.. It's DeCecco...:-}

                                          1. I adore the Spinach and Chive Fetuccini from Trader Joes...I have no idea why I like it so much but they were out of it last week so I bought another....made my sauce...it just wasn't the same...I gotta have that Spinach and Chive one.

                                            1. I've been buying Anna brand pasta for the past 2yrs and am thrilled with it - the orzo in particular is really good.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: missfunkysoul

                                                My number one favorite is Latini. I first tasted it in Italy and got hooked. After that, DeCecco is a not very close second. However, it is much more readily available.

                                              2. Barilla, or if it's not available, DeCecco.

                                                1. I also usually get Barilla -- gemelli, penne, spaghetti, and bucatini. Interesting how bronze dies gives such a different texture, I bought a couple of Rao's and they were very good.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: steinpilz

                                                    I agree about the dies - the "artisanal" pastas I've bought have a lovely "chew" to them, and tend to take longer to cook.

                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                      I used to be a Barilla fan until I came across Dreamfields a low carb pasta.
                                                      Since eating Dreamfields all others are BLECH!

                                                  2. Barilla. I've always been happy with it and I can always find it. I love the Bucatini Rigate.

                                                    1. I am fascinated by how many people posting love Barilla. I have had the worst luck with them! Bad karma or something. My pasta god is named DeCecco. I have a list of my favorite shapes and how long I cook them on my particular equipment, as it can be different from the suggestion on the box.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: BratleFoodie

                                                        I grew up eating Ronzoni -- the pasta of choice in the Italian-American Brooklyn of my childhood, but as I became more "sophisticated" I would buy the expensive, Imported brands from Dean & DeLuca, and other stores close to my long-time West Village apartment. Then I read about a taste test in Cook's Illustrated, and guess what? Ronzoni won. I gave Ronzoni another try, and I have to say that I really like it. Also, their whole wheat pastas are MUCH better than any others I've tried. Ronzoni sono buoni!

                                                      2. I love fresh homemade pasta from my extruding pasta maker. I mix bread flour, semolina and spices. It cooks fast and tastes good enough to eat plain.

                                                        1. Another De Cecco fan here, although will use Barilla at a pinch. It's recently gone up in price by about a third. :-(

                                                          1. If you ever see Spinosa brand, in a clam shell box with paper wrapped pasta inside, try it. Made with lots of egg, and tastes just like homemade (i.e. melts in your mouth). Unfortunately costs $6.99 for a half pound, although that half pound yields as much or more as a lb of dried. I've found it in many different Italian grocery stores.

                                                            For everyday, Barilla Plus is our favorite, as you get lots of healthy ingredients instead of all carbs.

                                                            1. I discovered Barilla five or six years ago and really like it. And I appreciate the fact that I can almost always find it on sale (when I do, I stock up). I used to get De Cecco when I lived in Pennsylvania, but it's nonexistent up here in northern (well Bangor area) Maine. I haven't tried making my own yet, but I've thought about it. Where do I find this Atlas pasta crank a few of you have mentioned? :-)

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: SharaMcG

                                                                I got mine at Macy's years ago, you see it around here at every Italian grocery store though. It's very common and you can find a million places online to get it if you want.


                                                                It's made by Marcato and my husband calls it "The Miracle Marcato Machine" because that's what it says on my box. At first you might need someone to help you with the rolling and catching at the same time, but eventually you will be able to do it by yourself.