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Which brand pasta to buy now?

I'm no longer patronizing Barilla, which I've used for years and years. Which brand do I want to buy now? I seem to remember buying DeCecco once and it broke up when boiling, so I don't want that. I use a lot of large shells (not the stuffing kind), bowties, fettucine, linguine, spaghetti. Any recommendations? Thanks.

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  1. In our area DeCecco seems to be prone to having bugs, (weevils), I guess it is the warm weather. I buy Barilla for the quality of the product, not the philosophy of an individual. Since Barilla is made in the U.S. under license, with Italian specs. it is superior to other supermarket brands, when available I prefer Setaro from Pastificio F.II Setaro, Torre Annunziata, Napoli. Having said that it is not easy to find.

      1. I too buy Barilla for the quality of the product, an "eat local" when possible philosophy (to me it does not make sense to eat pasta that's not made in USA), and in support of USA Midwestern farmers and jobs.

        1. I find De Cecco to be solid.

          Mueller's is a very good American brand. I got a great deal on a bunch of Delallo organic pasta, and that stuff's very good so far (I got many shapes).

          1. From my regular grocery I buy DeCecco. I've never had a quality issue with it (or bugs, yuck).

            1. If you have access to a Safeway their select brand spaghetti was surprisingly good IMO. It had a nice tooth.

              1. Barilla. A consistently good product. I enjoy the flavor as well as the availability.

                The boutique pastas I find in my boutique markets are obscenely priced and with little or no taste difference once sauced.

                1. Barilla was my favorite as well, but I'm also not going to be buying it in the future. I like DaVinci, but it's not easy to find. They don't carry it in my hometown, but I stock up when I make a big grocery run to Cincinnati. It's got a little more bite than Barilla, and the price point is similar. I will use the store brands too, but they aren't as good.

                  1. Why are two people in this thread changing from Barilla? Has it changed?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Bada Bing

                      Hop on over to the FM&N board -- if you can stomach it.

                      There's a lengthy (and, of course, now locked) discussion about the Barilla CEO's ideas of what constitutes a "traditional family".

                      Hint: LGBT people apparently do not.

                      1. re: linguafood

                        Here is the thread to which Linguafood is referring, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9182...
                        regarding the homophobic comments of its CEO.

                        1. re: masha

                          Thanks, linguafood and masha, for the clarification. Barilla's not my thing in general, but I do hope that they atone for this stance.

                      2. re: Bada Bing

                        I'll just say that it's a brand I no longer feel comfortable giving my business to. Personal choice.

                      3. Over the past few years, I've noticed that I have a bad reaction after eating pasta. I felt bloated and tired and was uncomfortable. After doing some research on line and talking with my doctor, it turns out that many people are starting to have bad reactions to the GMO wheat in American food.

                        I tried switching to organic pasta and the problem was greatly reduced. I buy Delallo Organic pasta at my local supermarket or at Whole Foods. It's made in Italy and it's organic, so no GMO. Besides that, it tastes good, has good texture and flavor.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: mwk

                          The likelihood of encountering GMO wheat in the US is extremely remote. GM wheat has never been approved for growing in the US, except for field trials that were halted several years ago (2004). Except for a small (about 1 acre), mysterious "outbreak" of Monsanto MON71800 GM wheat discovered growing in a field in Oregon, there hasn't been any GM wheat confirmed in the US.

                          There were samples of the GM wheat being preserved at the USDA's National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in Colorado, but they have since been destroyed.

                        2. Lidia’s pasta and Del Verde pasta are both good substitutes for Barilla.

                          1. You should give DeCecco another try. I think it's a lot better than Barilla. Others have also recommended it. Never had a bug problem reported by another.

                            1. I don't know why no one has mentioned Ronzoni... perhaps it's just unfashionable.

                              But it's widely available, comes up #1 in national taste tests, was recently rated tops by CI, is cheap and frequently on sale in most of the US and is ridiculously cheap in the NE, where it's made (as low as .40 a pound when I lived there) and has as many shapes, colors and sizes as anyone could want (including several "healthy" brand extensions, including gluten free, whole grain, high fiber, etc.), for a flour and water product that will likely kill you no matter what the brand.

                              1. I usually buy Dreamfields for the reduced carbness... but if I can't get it I go for whichever whole wheat pasta is the cheapest. There really doesn't seem to be much difference between store brand and the fanciest stuff on the shelf except the cheap pasta comes in less shapes.