Daily Tips

Tip #16: There is such a thing as great dried pasta

Last week we were in NYC briefly to celebrate some good work on the Pizza Book and had a late snack at Eataly. I was reminded about a mind-blowing discovery I had there a couple of years ago: there is a really big difference between the $2 box of pasta you can get at your grocery store and a $5+ bag you have to seek out. At first I was really skeptical - could it really be more than twice as good? I can’t say its true for every dried pasta, but with many things, if hunt down the good stuff, you will be rewarded. The good stuff in this case is dried pasta, made in Italy, has two ingredients (Durum Flour and Water) and is extruded with bronze dies. The texture of these noodles (as long as you don’t over cook them!) is incomparable and with the thicker and more rough dough, sauce actually wants to hold them. If you have a good gourmet or Italian grocery near you, try all the brands until you find your favorite. Fresh pasta is great, too, but as this gem of an old Times article describes:

Italian cooks rely on the stuff in the box. And they don’t apologize for it, either.

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