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Old 01-16-2019, 10:20 PM   #1
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Dried pasta

Our local supermarket sells 4 brands of dried pasta. I usually go for the cheapest, but always wondered if that was a mistake. Is there a difference between the brands? Does one taste better than the other?

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Old 01-16-2019, 10:53 PM   #2
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My favourite brand is Bionaturae. It's from Italy and it's so good that I have to stop myself from munching too much of it while it's draining in the colander.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:58 PM   #3
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I buy whatever brand is on sale at Kroger, and sometimes the store brand. I also occasionally buy unusual shapes imported from Italy at TJ Maxx. I've never noticed a difference in flavor, except that the different shapes have a different mouth feel.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:16 PM   #4
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I've never noticed any difference in dried pasta brands. I made spaghetti today and had Barilla brand in the pantry, so that's what I used. I've also used store brands. IMO, dried pasta is dried pasta and it's more about the sauce.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:11 AM   #5
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I asked this a few days ago, heheh. Is pasta not pasta? Some say to try each and decide for yourself.

Question: Can one cook up a batch of spaghetti just right for freezing and store it?
I only ask this for convenience sakes. I have frozen meat sauce. Can spaghetti be cooked up and frozen up too, just for convenience sakes ? I have the perfect flat round Rubbermaid containers to put it in.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:58 AM   #6
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I asked this a few days ago, heheh. Is pasta not pasta? Some say to try each and decide for yourself.

Question: Can one cook up a batch of spaghetti just right for freezing and store it?
I only ask this for convenience sakes. I have frozen meat sauce. Can spaghetti be cooked up and frozen up too, just for convenience sakes ? I have the perfect flat round Rubbermaid containers to put it in.
Good question, Caslon! I’m really bad at judging how much pasta to make and often end up with too much. I’ve refrigerated pasta, but it’s usually sauced. It heats up really well.

Perhaps if you vacuum packed it, it would freeze well? Anybody?
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cheryl J View Post
I've never noticed any difference in dried pasta brands. I made spaghetti today and had Barilla brand in the pantry, so that's what I used. I've also used store brands. IMO, dried pasta is dried pasta and it's more about the sauce.
That’s pretty much how I feel, Cheryl. I’ve never made pasta and thought “Wow! This is lots better than the pasta I usually use,” or “Yuch, I’m never buying THIS pasta again!”
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I buy whatever brand is on sale at Kroger, and sometimes the store brand. I also occasionally buy unusual shapes imported from Italy at TJ Maxx. I've never noticed a difference in flavor, except that the different shapes have a different mouth feel.
The shape is certainly important, GG. Some shapes hold the sauce better. And Mark doesn’t like spaghetti, fettuccine, or any other “long” pasta; he claims it’s hard to eat! I read an article just the other day about matching the pasta to the sauce.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
My favourite brand is Bionaturae. It's from Italy and it's so good that I have to stop myself from munching too much of it while it's draining in the colander.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen that brand at Smith’s or Albertsons. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it!
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:48 AM   #10
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I have only ever bought the whole grain Bionaturae, but they do make white flour pasta. I started buying imported Italian pasta because so much domestic whole grain pasta is unpleasant. I have always had good luck with the imported Italian stuff, but the Bionaturae is my favourite.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:11 AM   #11
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I'm another that gets what's on sale, and sometimes generic brands. However, years ago, I found that San Giorgio pasta would soften much faster than others - around 5 min, compared to 7-9 min for other brands. No difference in flavor, except with egg noodles, but I rarely buy them - cheaper to make, and definitely better!
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:32 AM   #12
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I'm gonna try and boil up spaghetti and freeze it. See how it thaws out. Maybe undercook it so that when I microwave it back up with a splash of water, it microwaves up okay. Into flat RubberMaid storage containers with lids.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:06 AM   #13
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We prefer Barilla and stock up when BoGo. I really like the spaghetti ragetti.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:54 PM   #14
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I never notices much ( if any) difference in taste, but as far as consistency when cooking, Barilla seems to be the most fool proof. That doesn't mean other varieties can't be equaly ( if not better) as good. I just remember an Italian friend saying it was the only brand he used, due to its nailing al dente every time. I didn't believe him, and kinda shrugged it off, until I tried it. Could have just been a good day for me, but I've been consistent ever since. All that being said, if there is a good deal on Ronzoni or another notable brand, I have no problems switching teams for a bargain, But, don't try cooking two different brands at the same time in the same pot, its more than likely they have different cooking qualities and could possible end in disaster.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:29 PM   #15
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I read a few ratings on the Internet. According to those sites, the best nationally available pasta brand is De Cecco. Too bad my local Smith’s doesn’t carry it! And the difference between different brands seems to boil down to how well the pasta holds sauce and the al dente texture of the pasta. Apparently unless you use imported pasta that can cost as much as $20 a pound, you won’t notice too much difference between brands.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:37 AM   #16
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We buy several brands: DeCecco, Barilla, Ronzoni, DelAllo, Rusticella, and Colavita.

I'm surprised everyone just seems to buy whatever is on sale. In years past, there were some strong opinions about this.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:35 AM   #17
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I was grocery shopping at Kroger yesterday and noticed that their premium store brand is on sale. I checked the label and it's imported from Italy. I often use this brand because they are bronze cut and Serious Eats says bronze cut is more desirable because it holds the sauce better. $1.89 BOGO.

Quote:
"Soft metal dies like gold or bronze," Mantuano points out, "create more grooves and grain along the pasta edges that allows for the sauce to grasp onto the pasta and create a wonderful flavor." Pasta made this way is more expensive, because the tough dough breaks down the pricey extruders over time, but the gain is well worth it—a pasta that clings more tightly to its sauce.
https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/pasta-pairing.htmlClick image for larger version

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Old 01-18-2019, 09:57 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I was grocery shopping at Kroger yesterday and noticed that their premium store brand is on sale. I checked the label and it's imported from Italy. I often use this brand because they are bronze cut and Serious Eats says bronze cut is more desirable because it holds the sauce better. $1.89 BOGO.



https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/pasta-pairing.htmlAttachment 33139
The same store brand - Private Selection - is on sale at the local Smith’s here 10 for $10. (Smith’s is a Kroger store.)

Gonna stock up today!
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:52 AM   #19
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I'm an outlier, I guess because I think there is a noticeable difference in taste and texture between brands.

I usually buy DeCecco, which, to me, is hands down the best I can buy in my grocery store. I also buy Barilla when its on sale.
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:15 PM   #20
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I think there is a noticeable difference in taste and texture between brands.
I absolutely agree. We eat pasta at least once a week, both at home and in restaurants. We often comment if a restaurant has particularly good pasta and will ask the waitstaff if they know the brand (unless, of course, it's fresh pasta that they made).
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