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Dec 28, 2009 10:38 AM

best dried pasta?

Happy holidays board!

I had been accustomed to buying the dried pasta ($5/lb) from SPQR, but they no longer offer it due to the chef change. I am now horribly spoiled, because De Cecco, Barilla, and many of the other large brands just won't do. Does anyone have any suggestions for a replacement? The pasta at SPQR was dried, but I would call it freshly dried, if there is such a thing.

Thanks for your help! I expect to try a few different brands or stores, but with your suggestions I hope I can narrow the list of candidates to a handful.

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  1. Have you tried any of the pastas available at the AG Ferrari shops?

    3 Replies
    1. re: DavidT

      In addition to their house brand, AG Ferrari carries Latini and Pasta di Gragnano, among others.

      1. re: DavidT

        Thanks David! I haven't tried any of the AG Ferrari pastas. Which of the three brands do you like best? I'll start with AGF, and next time I'm in the East Bay I'll stop by The Pasta Shop.

        If there are any more suggestions for SF, that would be helpful. I live in SF and already have too many foods that require more than 1 hour to obtain. It is getting ridiculous.

        1. re: felice

          I have been happy eating the likes of Dececco & Barilla, so I have not been willing to pay a premium for any of the upscale brands Ferrari sells. I know Latini is very highly regarded.

    2. My favorite is Rustichella.d'Abruzzo. The Pasta Shop in Oakland has a big selection.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Rainbow Grocery carries a lot of Rustichella...angel hair, spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni, and maybe 2 other more eccentric shapes. They also have very nice tender dried egg noodles from Edward's, and a few other high end Italian brands.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          If I'm remembering correctly, this is the pasta they use at Ad Hoc. I've bought it at Andronico and Rainbow and like it, don't know if it's worth the extra $$. I usually buy DeCecco.

        2. ditto what Robert said. I would only add that Pasta Shop also sells their pastas in bulk as well as the package.

          1. Selezioni Monograno made by Valentino Felicetti.


            Rainbow has it. Some Whole Foods do, too, though less stores than before. Not cheap, it's in the same price range as the SPQR pasta you mentioned and Rustichella d'Abruzzo (which I also like.


            They've got two families of grains, farro (spelt) and kamut, in various cuts, all with great flavor and texture. The website shows durum wheat and egg pasta, too, but I've never seen those in any store, locally. To me, it feels good to ea, better than the usual semolina, etc. That may be my own personal thing, though, kind of like finding pizza made with "00" flour to be more satisfying than the more bready tasting version made with more standard flours.

            1. I grew up eating Eduardo's pasta, and it is still my favorite when I want to splurge (8oz packages are usually around $4). It's available in bulk at Rainbow Grocery for a slight savings, and in packages at Whole Foods and other grocery stores.


              3 Replies
              1. re: operagirl

                Eduardo's makes egg pasta. I'm pretty sure SPQR was selling 100% semolina.

                Rustichella makes both kinds. Of their egg pastas, I particularly like the garganelli.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  This has been very helpful. I think I'll make a trip to Rainbow and pick up the Valentino Felicetti and Rusticella. To me, it's worth the extra money to be excited about the meal I'm having at home, since I'd be eating out otherwise...

                  1. re: felice

                    Make sure to report back and let us know what you think.