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Your favorite brand of pasta

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66 replies to this topic

#1 ghostrider

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 12:44 PM

For me, it's De Cecco. The flavor, the way it seems to retain its texture, make it the clear standout. Of course, at $1.99 - $2.19 lb, it better be! :raz:

Torino (aka Real Torino, they seem to have changed the name on the label recently) is pretty good; at $.99 lb, definitely best in class. I think I've tried everything available in the northeast at least once.

This thread is partially occasioned by the fact that Barilla has taken over my local ShopRite, and a comment from another thread that the US is prone to being flooded with imported stuff that is considered to be mediocre in its country of origin. I'm wondering if Barilla falls into this category. To me the pasta has the distinctive aroma of paint, which carries over into the flavor. Has anyone else noticed this?

Someone on a cooking show (might have been America's Test Kitchen but can't swear to it) claimed that Ronzoni is as good as anything imported. Last time I tried it, which is approaching 20 years ago, it seemed utterly bland & characterless. Has it improved somehow?

Ronzoni has just come out with a new variety, Tradizione d'Italia, in packaging that tries to look imported, talks about "old world tradition" and the like. It's also priced identically with De Cecco. Is this an acknowledgment that the regular stuff wasn't that good after all, or just another marketing ploy?

I don't think of myself as a pasta snob, I'd really like to like the home-grown stuff, but I have to go with my sense of taste. Life's too short. Anyway my crank theory is that it comes down to the soil in which the wheat is grown & that's why De Cecco tastes best to me.

Which brand(s) do you prefer? Am I missing any?
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#2 Bernaise

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 01:05 PM

I have not been unhappy with Barilla, however I a also a fan of "La Molisana" I am not sure if it is available in the US.

Rustichella d'Abruzzo makes the fabulous spaghetti alla ghittara I adore this pasta but none of the others that they make.

I've also had huge success with the Del Verde particularly their no cook lazagna sheets which look a lot like rice paper for salad rolls.

edited because english seems to be becoming a second language for me these days!

Edited by Bernaise, 17 January 2005 - 01:07 PM.

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#3 jgarner53

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 01:07 PM

Um, there might be a very good chance that wherever your pasta was made, the soil that the durum wheat was grown in was here in the US. We produce a good hunk of it. I seem to remember Alton Brown saying something to that effect on one of his shows.

So, does pasta made in Italy with American wheat still count as Italian pasta?
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#4 ghostrider

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 01:20 PM

Um, there might be a very good chance that wherever your pasta was made, the soil that the durum wheat was grown in was here in the US. We produce a good hunk of it. I seem to remember Alton Brown saying something to that effect on one of his shows.

So, does pasta made in Italy with American wheat still count as Italian pasta?

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Then it must be the water! :raz:

Actually that's an interesting point, I hadn't considered that before. Thanks.

Edit: From the De Cecco website, under "Wheat Soloction" (sic :biggrin: ):

Passion for quality is a tangible factor for De Cecco, therefore experts go in person to the harvest fields and see "for themselves" the quality of the wheat bound for the mill, the Molino, located in Fara San Martino. De Cecco uses only pale yellow grains (at De Cecco they are called "coloured grains"), the same one which falls into your plate thanks to patient work in each phase.

Once the wheat arrives in De Cecco, it is analysed in the laboratory where the cutting edge technologies are used and the most advanced equipment guarantees the most accurate and rigorous testing possible. Both the shape and the look of the grains are carefully analysed: the surface must be regular, without stains nor imperfections and the colour must be pale yellow.

De Cecco pasta, has yet another secret that makes it unique: the final gluten control, which is carried out by an original system, "the owner's bare hands". This is a ritual that has been running in the family for generations and it is one of the company assets, which permits the choice of the most suitable grains. After selection, the different grains are blended. Even this procedure is personally followed by the owners. This is the only possible way to determine the typical taste, colour and fragrance of the De Cecco pasta.

Thus if it is true that all the pasta stories begin in a wheat field, it cannot be said that the De Cecco pasta story begins in just any wheat field. Besides, to serve a pasta preserving all the sweet taste and essence of wheat, it must be taken good care of from the beginning.


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Further edit: damn, it is the water!

Now it is time to consider another important ingredient: the pure and cold De Cecco® spring water.

To own a mountain spring is a De Cecco exclusivity. If each pasta factory owned its own spring water, not many would knead at a temperature of about 10° Celsius.


Edited by ghostrider, 17 January 2005 - 02:25 PM.

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#5 wattacetti

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 02:29 PM

Del Verde and Barilla would be the two you'd find in my pantry.

The people around me prefer Lancia and Catelli, with one particular mug saying "whatever's on sale".

#6 chow guy

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 02:32 PM

Barilla for me.

#7 Pitter

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 02:59 PM

Barilla is now made in the United States (as of more than five years ago.)

For every day, I like DeCecco, though I know it is more expensive because of importers taking an unreasonable percentage which is passed on to the distributor, then you and I.

For special meals, I like Martinelli, though it is not as good as it was 20 years ago. If you can find access to an article about pasta from the Atlantic Monthly, written by Corby Kummer about 18 years ago, it is a very fascinating look into the Italian pasta industry.

#8 Safran

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 03:40 PM

Barilla :wub:

#9 chefzadi

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 03:43 PM

Barilla :wub:

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Barilla is the brand I grew up with as a kid in France. So I'm partial to it also.
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#10 arjay

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 04:27 PM

Some pastas are made in America. I like Muellers.
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#11 ghostrider

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 04:57 PM

There's been some good discussion on this topic before.

What is your favorite brand of dry pasta?
Dried pasta. Care to weigh in?
Dried pasta. Best available brands in the USA?

And an entertaining thread about whether pasta is overrated.  :biggrin:

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Thanks for those links! I can't believe that I neglected to search eG before starting a new thread. Mea culpa, mea culpa. As penance I will finish that box of the vile Barilla that is languishing in my cupboard. :biggrin:

I thought DelVerde was pretty good too, in the same league with Torino.

Several brands mentioned that I haven't seen before & clearly need to try, though it looks like I'll have to cross the Hudson to find them.

There used to be an artisanal pasta shop on Houston St. when I lived in the area. This dates back to a time before I had really gotten into Italian pasta & before any of us had heard the term "artisanal." Ah those young & innocent days. I'll have to see if it's still there next time I'm in that neighborhood.
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#12 pam claughton

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 05:19 PM

As long as it's cooked al dente, I'm happy with just about any dried pasta. I haven't found a real difference in taste among them. I usually just notice the taste of whatever is on the pasta itself.

Pam

#13 Taboni

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 03:22 AM

Barilla, although I probably have to do a wide tasting now to see if the others are that much better. (I'm guessing marginal at best)
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#14 bleachboy

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 07:34 AM

I use De Cecco, too. However, I was raised in Texas and therefore oversauce the hell out of my pasta like a good American, so I can't really tell much difference between the brands. I mostly buy De Cecco because they sell it in bulk at Costco.
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#15 bloviatrix

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 09:31 AM

We mostly use Barilla, although we've had quite a number of Italian imports -- I just can't remember their names.

The one brand I refuse to use is Ronzoni. There's something about the glue they use in contructing their boxes that attracts roaches. In the past, whenever I used the brand I always found roach shells in the box. So the whole thing got tossed.
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#16 Elizabeth Clauser

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 09:39 AM

We mostly use Barilla, although we've had quite a number of Italian imports -- I just can't remember their names.

The one brand I refuse to use is Ronzoni.  There's something about the glue they use in contructing their boxes that attracts roaches.  In the past, whenever I used the brand I always found roach shells in the box.  So the whole thing got tossed.

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Uggh. I wish I had read that before last night. I made lasagna and unfortunately, had to go with Ronzoni. I always use De Cecco for lasagna, but my store was out and all the other available brands were no-boil. Hence, my only choice was Ronzoni. I even briefly considered just making my own, but having never used fresh for lasagna (and feeling just a little bit lazy), I sucked it up and bought Ronzoni. I didn't find any bugs in the box, but next time I'll make do a penne pasta bake before I buy Ronzoni :sad:

#17 merrybaker

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 09:57 AM

Another vote for de Cecco, but it's getting less and less shelf-space. I'll admit that when Barilla goes on sale at 5 for $4.00, it's hard to resist. Ronzoni? Never!! It's made by Hershey, for heaven's sake!

#18 andiesenji

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 08:06 PM

I like Barilla okay. For some recipes I like Creamettes. I also like the bulk pasta available at many Italian grocers, can't recall the name at the moment, the ziti is particularly nice.
I recently tried Trader Joe's brand "Florentine" and I really like it. The shape is interesting and the tiny ridges on the pasta really holds onto sauce.
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#19 stephenc

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 11:23 PM

I use Barilla pasta.

Their sauce is good too.

#20 FabulousFoodBabe

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Posted 19 January 2005 - 07:33 AM

The more expensive a dried pasta is, the better the product. Regrind is used for most of the cheaper brands, and that makes the water foam and the pasta can gum up quickly. (Regrind is made from the stuff left over in the extrusion machines -- it's removed, dried, and pulverized and used in another batch.)

Barilla and DeCecco are favorites favorite among national brands -- but I like the little cello bags with Italian names and plain labels, that I get at the local market, too.
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#21 SushiCat

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Posted 19 January 2005 - 05:02 PM

I agree with FabulousFoodBabe, our local stores have a wonderful brand of 'artisanal' pasta from Italy, I particularly like the fettuccine which is better than homemade. I'll have to go buy a package and fill you in on the name, it is worth seeking out!

#22 thj

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 04:00 AM

I'm looking into different pasta brands, trying to find a personal favorite for dried pastas. I was searching eGullet to find your opinions on the subject and thought that we needed a dedicated thread. So here it is.

 

Please share your personal favorites and experiences. Why is it your favorite brand, and for what types of dried pastas?



#23 Paul Bacino

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 04:54 AM

I like the artesian
Extruded pasta..like Latini or Rustica...if it is extruded by old die pressing technique..it creates an exterior texture..which if good for adhesion of sauce.

Most of the time..regular ole Brialla.. Works for me too. I can pick it up for less than 1 dollar for a 16 oz box..comes in a lot of styles. When you feed 20 plus people on Sundays..regularly..it becomes economic.

Garofalo from Costco works too..

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#24 gfweb

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 04:58 AM

Dececco.



#25 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 05:17 AM

La Molisanna or Dececco. Of course, if it's a work night and I finish after my local Italian deli has closed I defualt to what's avaliable at the supermarket: Barilla.


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#26 Shel_B

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 05:37 AM

Rustichella d’Abruzzo - http://www.rustichel...h/home_eng.html - is one of my favorites.

Bigoli Nobili is another.

Try the multi-colored Pastificio Pozzo del Re ... beautiful and delicious.

Overall, any of the "rustic," Italian-made pastas that have been extruded through brass dies and which are slow dried do it for me.

.... Shel


#27 Shel_B

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 05:44 AM

Most of the time..regular ole Brialla.. Works for me too. I can pick it up for less than 1 dollar for a 16 oz box..comes in a lot of styles. When you feed 20 plus people on Sundays..regularly..it becomes economic.

Can you still buy Barilla in 1-lb boxes?

Edited by Shel_B, 14 August 2013 - 05:44 AM.

.... Shel


#28 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 06:21 AM

Barilla, Unico, and Yamancay are my three faves.


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#29 Ttogull

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 06:30 AM

If you have access to it, Heston Blumenthal's "in Search of Perfection" book (and show with less detail) discusses what he finds important in good pasta. I learned a lot reading it. Bronze extrusion was a consideration. Of the mass market brands, my recollection is that Barilla was one he liked. His highest remmendation went toa brand that I cannot find in the US at a reasonable price.

I used to choose Barilla. But after reading HB I switched to the Fresh Market-branded pasta. I am probably in the minority and do not like Rustichella d'Abruzzo. I can't explain why, but preferences are sometimes like that.

#30 Paul Bacino

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 06:46 AM

You know  I'll  double ck!!  I have about 20-25 box's

+

Most of the time..regular ole Brialla.. Works for me too. I can pick it up for less than 1 dollar for a 16 oz box..comes in a lot of styles. When you feed 20 plus people on Sundays..regularly..it becomes economic.

Can you still buy Barilla in 1-lb boxes?

Its good to have Morels





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