Dry Versus Fresh Pasta

In recent years there has come into being the idea that fresh pasta is superior to dry pasta. This is not true. It is not true at all.  Both dry and fresh pasta are great choices. They both have their place in the culinary world.  It depends on what you feel like eating for dinner on any given night.  For that matter, it depends on what you feel like eating for lunch too. Now, there are more and more companies like Gigi’s Pasta that deliver fresh pasta to your doorstep and the trend is definitely on the rise.

Dry and fresh pasta are different in several ways.  While dry pasta is made with semolina flour and no eggs, eggs are the ingredient that gives fresh pasta its silky texture.  Hurray for the addition of eggs.  That doesn’t make fresh pasta superior.  It makes it different and gives you even more delicious choices.

Dry pasta is more convenient, and it has an extensive shelf life.  The price is also lower than fresh pasta.  The texture of dry pasta when cooked is chewy or al dente, or “to the teeth”.  Be careful not to overcook dry pasta.  Be careful not to overcook any kind of pasta, for that matter.  By the way, throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it sticks to test for doneness is not a good method.  Also, you then have to clean the wall.

 Fresh pasta can be stored in the refrigerator for two or three days only.  However, if you freeze fresh pasta, it can be stored for a few weeks.  When you remove it from the freezer, do not thaw it.  Just throw it in boiling water.

Fresh pasta has a lovely, delicate flavor.  The texture is smooth and velvety.  Fresh pasta requires less cooking time than dry pasta.  It needs only two to four minutes of cooking time in boiling water.  Dry pasta requires 15 to 20 minutes of cooking time.  

The texture of fresh pasta is tender and velvety because it is made with eggs, as mentioned above.  Fresh Pasta is great with light sauces, such as olive oil, lemon, and basil.   Adding a few shrimp will bring it to the next level.  Creamy sauces, such as wild mushroom sauce, also combine well with fresh pasta.  Save some of the more robust and hardy sauces for dry pasta.  Celebrate the delicate flavor and silky texture with light sauces that complement.

Dry pasta and robust sauces are happy friends when you put them together.  Dry pasta can hold its own with a rich Bolognese sauce.  Because of its texture, the sauce can cling to the pasta well, and the pasta absorbs the flavor.  If linguine with white sauce appeals to you, dry pasta is your “man”.  So to speak.

So, whether your choice is dry pasta or fresh pasta, enjoy all the possibilities for all the wonderful meals you can create.  Dry or fresh, pasta comes in so many shapes and sizes, and widths.   What better comfort is there than a big serving of spaghetti or a nice dinner of fettuccini alfredo.  Don’t forget the garlic bread!

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