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Which Dried Pasta Reigns Supreme?

pastaA couple of months ago I had a crisis of faith.

Staring at my plate of spaghetti and meatballs I realized that I had overlooked one of my favourite staples, pasta.

I always have put the utmost care and consideration into even the most minute aspects of my tomato sauce, but little thought ever went into the selection of dried pasta. I had always thought of the pasta as a delivery method- a medium through which I could receive the higher pleasures of meats, vegetable and sauces.

Sitting there in front of my dinner, I pledged to venture forth and change the starchy foundations of my pasta dishes forevermore.

My goal was to find a reliable brand which was both readily available(in most supermarkets) and  better tasting than its noodley peers.

Bring forth the contenders!

  1. Barilla
  2. De Cecco
  3. Delverde
  4. Primo
  5. Lancia

Barilla

Truly a classic. Barilla has been a centre-piece of family dinners since the 1800’s and there’s a reason why. Dependable, versatile, and an absolute knockout when it comes to short pasta, Barilla is always a solid choice for your after-work pasta fix.

De Cecco 

After a few dinners back and forth between our two heavy-weights, De Cecco and Barilla, it became very clear that the former was far superior when it comes to spaghetti. The texture and mouthfeel of the De Cecco brand seems to be cleaner and less gritty.

A side by side taste comparison confirms that De Cecco has what it takes to rule the long-pasta category. Never a bad choice.

Delverde

Here’s where it gets interesting.

When I brought home my packages of Delverde spagetti and fusilli, I expected a similar taste and quality to the two previous brands I had experimented with. I was blown away,

Delverde not only beats out it’s larger comercial competitors in texture, but it adds a depth of flavour to my pasta dishes that I have never experienced. This is what I was looking for when I started out, something to prove to me that dried pasta could be just as interesting as its accoutrements.

Primo

Before I began my pasta adventure, Primo had always been my go-to brand. Why? Mostly because it’s sometimes on promotion and it’s what my mum used to get when I was a child(she’s since switched to barilla).

I expected Primo to land somewhere in the middle of the pack. I was used to the flavour(or so I thought) and I never really saw it as something either amazing or dreadful. However, now that my observance of what makes good dried pasta has sharpened, Primo is rather awful.

Overly-starchy and a little grey in colour, Primo is the least impressive dried pasta brand I have tried to-date.

Lancia

Another solid choice. I couldn’t find to much wrong with Lancia pasta- both taste and texture didn’t disappoint, and the noodles looked fresh and delicious when cooked.

It is also worth mentioning that Lancia’s egg noodles are far superior to its competitors. Not something I personally cook with too often, but worth a special mention for all you eggheads out there.

Conclusion

Out of the brands that I sampled, Delverde was best in almost every category. Of course it is a little bit more pricy, but certainly not in the range of specialty artisan brands. As a readily available everyday go-to pasta, Delverde takes the cake.

It’s worth mentioning that although dried pasta is convenient, it simply can not compare to fresh. So if you’re into pasta in a big way, I urge you to shed your fears and try pressing some yourself!

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