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ISO Fresh or Frozen Pasta

scubahood10 Aug 18, 2011 08:10 AM

Looking for some help finding good fresh or frozen pasta. Specifically looking for ravioli or tortellini (or anything stuffed that I might not even know about) but any pasta recs are appreciated. I am on the South Shore but I am willing to travel.

I did try searching and most posts were about pasta at restaurants though I did find a couple about Bella's and Dave's north of the city. Again, I don't mind driving but would prefer frozen if it is far away since I wouldn't normally have it that night. Didn't see if Bella's even had frozen and it looked like the consensus was that Dave's frozen was not as good as fresh.

I did try a couple things from Alfredo's store in Quincy a few years ago and wasn't really impressed. Not sure the opinion of that place; did I not try the right stuff?

Is there anything at the typical grocery stores that stand out to people too?

Thanks a lot!

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  1. j
    Jenny Ondioline RE: scubahood10 Aug 18, 2011 08:29 AM

    Have you tried Capone's in Union Square Somerville? Been our go-to for filled pasta for years.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jenny Ondioline
      scubahood10 RE: Jenny Ondioline Aug 18, 2011 08:35 AM

      I have not. Do they have frozen and how does that stack up to the fresh? What do you normally go with there?

      1. re: scubahood10
        j
        Jenny Ondioline RE: scubahood10 Aug 18, 2011 09:41 AM

        They have frozen, which is what we usually go for because we usually buy several types to freeze for quick weeknight meals, and I find no difference in quality between the frozen and fresh.

        I've never been disappointed by any of their filled pastas, either of the ravioli or tortellini variety, but a particular favorite are the sweet potato ravs, which are particularly lovely in a brown butter and sage sauce.

        1. re: scubahood10
          BobB RE: scubahood10 Aug 18, 2011 09:41 AM

          They have some very good filled pastas frozen, and will make any flat shape in any of a dozen flavors fresh to order. They also sell pre-made sauces frozen, but I like their pastas better than their sauces, and I have no problem making my own sauce where I don't have the patience or experience to make my own pasta.

          http://caponefoods.com/default.aspx

          Be sure you go to the original Union Square shop, not the branch on Mass Ave in No. Cambridge. The latter has only pre-packaged goods, nothing made to order.

          1. re: BobB
            b
            bella_sarda RE: BobB Aug 19, 2011 01:37 PM

            I would say the Capone's frozen ravioli (I've never bought it fresh from them) is just so-so. The fresh ravioli from Dave's is far superior. Have not tried Dave's frozen, but I would imagine it's got to be almost as good as the fresh stuff, and therefore better than Capone's frozen. One key difference between Dave's and Capone's ravioli is that Dave's are truly handmade and the pasta sheets are much thinner and the amount of filling greater. In contrast, Capone's are machine-made, with thicker pasta and less filling. Mr. Capone himself even admitted to me that he wishes they were better, but that to be able to spit out the quantity they sell they have to use the machine.

            1. re: bella_sarda
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              Fort Point RE: bella_sarda Aug 20, 2011 06:31 AM

              Agree with you about Capones. Bought some tortellini recently at Verrill farm and the pasta was too thick and there was almost no filling. In fact you could not taste the filling at all. Would not buy it again.

      2. trufflehound RE: scubahood10 Aug 18, 2011 08:51 AM

        Scuba, you'll usually find stuffed pastas frozen. The fillings are moist and make them gummy. Second Capones.

        1. mjg0725 RE: scubahood10 Aug 18, 2011 09:23 AM

          Fior D'Italia has some of the best frozen gourmet ravioli I have ever had. They sell in a few select gourmet food stores around town, but it is best to check them out at a local Farmers Market (Most are North of Boston, but they come down as far as Dedham). They bring about 15 types of Ravioli's and pastas to the markets they attend. They also constantly update their Facebook site, so you can find more info there.

          http://www.thepastaman.com/wheretobuy...

          2 Replies
          1. re: mjg0725
            scubahood10 RE: mjg0725 Aug 19, 2011 04:38 AM

            What is the name of their facebook page?

            1. re: scubahood10
              mjg0725 RE: scubahood10 Aug 20, 2011 04:08 AM

              https://www.facebook.com/fiorditalia

          2. itaunas RE: scubahood10 Aug 18, 2011 09:52 AM

            Basically all of Bella Ravioli's pastas are stored frozen, particularly the stuffed pastas. They are pretty easy to park and access from 93, plus at Bob's up the street you have a few more frozen ravioli options (all at a higher pricepoint) including lobster, etc. You also can shop for Italian oriented greens and goods at Roberto's Fruit on your way back to the highway. Capone's is equally good and you will spend the same amount of time getting there even though its a touch South. For more basic stuffed pastas there used to be Dean's Pasticio in East Somerville near Assembly Sq, but you should look for a number and call because they may have closed and kept factory hours.

            J Pace in the North End is closer to you and should have a decent variety of stuffed pastas (they have a good variety in Saugus and used to in the NE). If you go park in the Parcel 7 garage and get a validation to save some time, but it may still be timewise more efficient to head North.

            The tortellini from Maria's Gourmet Pasta in Malden are nice, but the only grocery store outlet I can think for them is Market Basket in Chelsea, which also offers basic ravioli flavors (not the selection of Bella or Capone's). Its another pretty easy trip up Rt 1 or you can go direct to Maria's (unfortunately Pasta D'Oro in Everett near Maria's, I believe closed last year) but there is at least one other option in Revere at the same exit off Rt 1.

            Tony's Market in Roslindale is worth a visit in general, although I believe they only offer dried pastas. And if you want to make the trip to Providence there are some good options too, but your profile said Weymouth so the North of Boston 93 options are probably the easiest.

            Update: I have only had their basic extruded pasta, but it looks like Serino's in Roslindale offers a lot more than that and they have a list of markets including a number on the south shore, but your mileage will vary as to what is carried.

            http://serinos.com/frestpasta_wholesa...
            http://serinos.com/map.htm

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            Bella Ravioli
            369 Main St, Medford, MA 02155

            Tony's Market
            4253 Washington St, Boston, MA 02131

            1 Reply
            1. re: itaunas
              scubahood10 RE: itaunas Aug 22, 2011 05:32 AM

              Thanks for all the recs everyone. I went with some of the serino's frozen ravioli last week because it is sold right down the street from where I work. It was better than any of the standard supermarket pasta we used to get and stopped getting because of the quality. At the very least I have something close and good for dinner and I really look forward to heading North to stock up on some of the other suggestions.

            2. galangatron RE: scubahood10 Aug 18, 2011 11:51 AM

              sabella's ravioli on broadway in revere

              1 Reply
              1. re: galangatron
                itaunas RE: galangatron Aug 19, 2011 01:44 PM

                Thanks for posting this because I have tried to point folks there in the past and never knew the name. This is the Revere place I mentioned above which can be reached off the same exit along with Pasta Market (Sabella's is a lot closer to the hwy, though, as is Market Basket). New Deal Fruit is also worth a stop for other Italian goods (they do have some frozen pasta too, but sabella's is right there). Hilltop can have super cheap sales on Mama Rosie's products but those are pretty blah so Pace is about the only other idea up there.

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                Pasta Market Cafe
                237 Ferry St, Malden, MA 02148

                New Deal Fruit
                920 Broadway, Revere, MA

              2. lipoff RE: scubahood10 Aug 19, 2011 01:58 PM

                Capone's has been my consistent favorite for frozen pasta, particularly their gnocchi. I usually go to the North Cambridge store, which has a full array of their frozen pastas. I was very impressed with the breadth of the selection at J. Pace in Saugus, although I didn't try any. I was not impressed with the frozen pasta I've bought at Bob's Italian Food Store in Medford, or at Dave's Fresh Pasta (other things I've had at both those stores are quite good, and maybe there are varieties of pasta that are good there, just I had not great experiences with their ravioli and gnocchi, both of which are outstanding at Capone's). If you're on the South Shore though, maybe there's something closer that's worth a shot. The freezer case at your nearest Whole Foods would probably be my first stop.

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                Dave's Fresh Pasta
                81 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144

                1. l
                  lergnom RE: scubahood10 Aug 20, 2011 07:19 AM

                  There's a Capone's location in Cambridge if that's more convenient.

                  Another option might be DePasquale's on Cross Street - facing Haymarket on the Greenway in the North End. But I don't remember what they have frozen.

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                  Haymarket
                  Blackstone St, Boston, MA

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: lergnom
                    fmcoxe6188 RE: lergnom Aug 22, 2011 08:11 AM

                    DePasquale's definitely has frozen stuffed pastas- I have a package to try but I haven't given them a go yet so I can't speak to their quality

                    1. re: fmcoxe6188
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                      bella_sarda RE: fmcoxe6188 Aug 22, 2011 12:29 PM

                      Speaking of frozen ravioli, has anyone tried the ones by Nella Pasta, which is made locally and sold at Sherman Market and various farmer's markets? I have not tried it. Intrigued by the beet-flavored pasta dough, e.g., but also suspicious of it at the same time.

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                      Sherman Market
                      22 Union Square, Somerville, MA 02143

                      1. re: bella_sarda
                        fmcoxe6188 RE: bella_sarda Aug 22, 2011 12:33 PM

                        I've had several different types of Nella Pasta products and have LOVED every one of them. I haven't tried their beet flavored pastas, but I would be shocked if they were bad.

                        1. re: fmcoxe6188
                          b
                          bella_sarda RE: fmcoxe6188 Aug 23, 2011 02:32 AM

                          Thanks. I'll definitely pick up a box next time I go to Sherman Market.

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                          Sherman Market
                          22 Union Square, Somerville, MA 02143

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