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Favorite brand of store bought pasta/noodles?

So I had a simple spaghetti dish with the sauce and meat balls served over rigatoni made from corn. It was the best pasta I've ever had, including fresh-made pasta from Italian restaurants.
It's also about $16 a pound, something too expensive for anything but extra special meals.
But it dawned on me that maybe there's widely available pasta out there better than American Beauty and Barilla.
What are people's favorite pasta/noodles that is widely distributed?

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    1. re: FoodWacky

      I like De Cecco. Even their whole wheat spaghetti is good.

      1. re: grayelf

        And, of course, *I'm* never eating Barilla again :) But honestly nothing's going to compare to fresh pasta. And that can be bought. Not as good as just made but better than dried.

        1. re: c oliver

          Well, I have to disagree with you there. Dried pasta and fresh pasta are two entirely different animals with entirely different uses, and it's really not a good idea to substitute one for the other.

          In general, fresh pasta contains eggs while dried pasta does not. I can't imagine making puttanesca with fresh pasta.

          That said, I like DeCecco for dried pasta. It's reliably good IMO.

          1. re: JonParker

            And I'll disagree (but only a little!) with you :) Take lasagna for example. I will know longer make it unless I'm willing to make the pasta but plenty of people do and are as satisfied as I was 'before.' Fettucine and spaghetti are two others that I WILL and usually DO use dried but when I make my own there's just no comparison.

            1. re: c oliver

              Here's a link to an article fresh vs. dried pasta: http://www.thekitchn.com/dry-pasta-vs...

              They really do have different uses.

              1. re: JonParker

                I hear you but in a perfect world, I'd still opt for fresh. Our favorite restaurant makes all their pastas (rolled and extruded) in house. And their boar Bolognese over papparadelle is amazing.

          2. re: c oliver

            I think it depends on how 'fresh' the bought stuff is. There are places near me where I can buy fresh, made in house pasta, and it's probably better than when I make it myself. But if I'm comparing the "fresh" pasta that's sold in regular grocery stores in those little air tight packages in the refrigerated displays, then I'd really rather have dried for most things.

            I mostly buy whatever's on sale, but if I'm doing something special, then I agree that De Cecco is excellent for dried. Plus, Costco carries it, so it's not outrageously priced.

            1. re: Jacquilynne

              I don't have the option of buying particularly fresh, just those little packages and I agree I'd just as soon go with dried. In NYC a few years ago I was able to buy made in house and, oh yeah, what a treat.

              I've not seen De Cecco at Costco so I need to look more carefully. Thanks for the headsup.

              1. re: c oliver

                If you haven't seen it there, it may not just be that you missed it. I'm in Canada and our Costcos sometimes carry different things than the US ones.

                1. re: Jacquilynne

                  Not just Canada/US but it's always fun looking.

          3. re: grayelf

            Funny, I went to Whole Paycheck a couple of days ago to see what kind of pasta they carry and they've got half a shelf of De Cecco. Not only that, they were on sale. Just begging me to buy them.
            So I bought three boxes.
            The recipe for a tomato and pasta dish on the back of the rigatoni looks delicious.

        2. Al Dente for dried pasta--their spinach fettuccini and linguini are the best I've found.

          1. Here in New England my favorite store bought dried pasta is Pastene brand...imported from Italy

            http://www.pastene.com/

            1. Since I, too have taken the "no Barilla" pledge I have been sampling others. For a longer noodle I really like Delverde bucatini, a lot.

              1. For dried, Rustichella D'abruzzo is my favorite. It's also expensive and can be tough to find, so De Cecco is my mass market go-to.

                I don't buy fresh, I make my own.

                1. Trader joe's corn pasta is surprisingly good- and about $2 a bag.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                    I had a friend recommend Whole Paycheck's house 365 brand, which he said is about $1 a pound.

                  2. Another vote for De Cecco here. I've been using it for years.