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Your favorite brand of pasta

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phatj   

I appear to be in the minority, but I never really noticed any difference between one brand and another. I just bought whatever was cheapest at the supermarket (I pretty much don't eat pasta at all any more, as I avoid processed carbs).

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It's the air, stupid!

As posted above, I prefer De Cecco. However my market stocks very few shapes of De Cecco -- notably not linguine, which is my favorite shape of dried pasta. Recently I saw a new brand (at least new for me), Delverde.

Since it was on sale I bought a box of Delverde linguine fini to try. It is not a bad pasta and I plan to buy again. The texture is a bit slimier than De Cecco. I don't mean that to be pejorative.

The Delverde box says "artisan made, bronze dies, slow dried, spring water". This is a bit confusing as the Delverde website speaks of water from the Verde river, but never says Verde river water, which river is apparently fed from springs, is what is used to make the pasta. But the quality is attributed to "the purity of the air": "Pasta that breathes deep".

Note, even though I can buy linguini fini, I still can't find linguini!

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Ashen   

I am partial to divella. The red bag is fine by me but bronze die extruded is also available in a green bag.

More important than brand is how it is cooked and sauced imo

A very interesting article about that here

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/17/dining/italy-truth-about-pasta-italians-know-that-less-more-call-for-return-basics.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

I was interested to learn that it is possible to visually spot pasta that is dried at high heat vs low heat drying. The difference is down to Maillard reaction and imparts its own flavour.

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ScoopKW   

I generally use Cav. Giuseppe Cocco pasta when I use store-bought. I like the texture and flavor. I buy it at a local market, where they always seem to have a few boxes in their discount section, marked down from "you've-got-to-be-kidding-me" to "cheaper-than-a-plane-ticket."

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I'm quite partial to the Trader Joe's stuff, regular, whole wheat (the only whole wheat pasta I've actually liked), and of course their organic pasta is excellent as well. Some shapes do (or at least did) use bronze die extrusion as well.

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I used Barilla for years, primarily because I used their sauces (which have much less sugar than other mainstream brands, giving them a more complex flavor), until an Italian friend of mine said Barilla pasta doesn't develop a proper al dente texture. It's either undercooked or slightly mushy.

I started trying other imported brands, and to my surprise the texture was much, much better. I currently use DaVinci. It's priced the same as Barilla.

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Franci   

I like http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=setaro+pasta&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=33127594307&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1234567890&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_16freczrlm_e/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=setaro+pasta&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=33127594307&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1234567890&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_16freczrlm_e&linkCode=as2&tag=egulletcom-20">Setaro brand dried pasta from Naples. Comes in 1 kilo packages for about $7.

Barilla is produced both in Italy and in the U.S. The American product is fortified with niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin and folic acid, whereas the Italian product only lists two ingredients: semolina and durum flours. For the money, they're both pretty reliable.

Now, I'm noticing this more and more, also De Cecco and Garofalo are fortified! Does it mean I need to resort to the artisanal brands for my every day pasta?

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the fortification isn't the problem. It's the use of durum flour instead of only semolina, which makes barilla pasta made in america SUCK.

I use De Cecco and Di Martino Bronzo.


Edited by jmolinari (log)

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Shel_B   

the fortification isn't the problem. It's the use of durum flour instead of only semolina, which makes barilla pasta made in america SUCK.

I use De Cecco and Di Martino Bronzo.

Maybe this is the time and place to ask: What is durum and semolina flours - how are they different?

I have seen one package of pasta recently that was made with "Durum Wheat Semolina" flour. What's that?

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huiray   

My favorite brand of dry "pasta" (note quote marks) is actually Cipriani, with their egg-noodle line. Wonderful stuff, just not exactly a buck for a pound. Actually, quite a bit more.

WRT semolina-type non-eggy dry pasta, I don't have a particular overriding favorite. I buy and eat various brands, both USAmerican and imported, but not the stuff along the lines of Muellers's or equivalent. Brands I frequently buy include De Cecco, Ferrara, Garofalo, etc etc; with clearly artisanal types more infrequently. (I used to buy Barilla's not infrequently but will no longer do so, and have thrown out my remaining Barilla stock) Fresh pasta from local producers, of course, is the best in many (but not all) cases - when I make Pasta Carbonara, for example, IMO fresh pasta is not the best choice and a good DRIED pasta is much, much preferred.

ETA: Would "pasta" include "noodles"? After all, there are a great number of "pasta"/"noodle" products from all over, NOT just Italy - and one could murmur various things about all sorts of wonderful Chinese-type things in this field. ;-)


Edited by huiray (log)

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Franci   

Maybe this is the time and place to ask: What is durum and semolina flours - how are they different?I have seen one package of pasta recently that was made with "Durum Wheat Semolina" flour. What's that?

Durum flour is what is called in Italy semola rimacinata (remilled semolina flour), it's a very fine semolina. I basically use it for bread making and fresh pasta southern style, or to cut white flour for egg pasta. Semolina, farina di semola, is used mainly for dry pasta. Only in Sardinia I believe they use it for fregula and other pastas or breads. It needs much longer kneading.

The coarser semolina, semolino in Italian, is used for gnocchi alla romana, dumplings, for semolina cream. That I know, not for fresh pasta like I've seen here. All of it is of course durum wheat.

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Barrila's OK but I prefer TJ's (organic) even better home made. YMMV.


Edited by 6ppc (log)

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For the past few months I've been using DelVerde, 'cause it's good, and about half the price of DeCecco. Then the other night I cooked some DeCecco and remembered why it is my favorite brand.

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Always use Barilla no idea why, perhaps copying my mom and what I grew up,with other than fresh pasta.

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I prefer Barilla, too. The other pastas available here are American Beauty and the store brands. Yuck.

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