Glorious Pasta, Dry vs. Fresh
Fresh pasta vs. dry pasta – which one to purchase (or make)? Many local Italian food specialty markets and farmers markets offer both types. Be sure to check out this website for the resources in your community.
There are many amazing varieties of pasta, sizes, shapes and flavors. Then there’s the question of which type to use, dry or fresh pasta? Like which pasta shape and size to use, the answer is determined by (a) what is your preference and (b) what type of sauce will you use? Your preference might be based on taste and convenience.
In a nutshell, dry pasta is made with flour, salt and water. Once the dough is made and cut into the shape and size for its end purpose (e.g., linguini vs. lasagna), it is dried on racks and this drying process removes the moisture which helps to reduce spoilage. Fresh pasta, on the other hand, uses eggs, not water, to make the dough. Once fresh pasta dough is made, sized and shaped, it is best to refrigerate or cook soon, it is not a staple food for the cupboard.
Although both types work with many different sauces, generally speaking, dry pasta can take a heavier and more complex sauce. If you are making a lighter sauce, consider fresh pasta. Dry pasta is an excellent staple to keep in the pantry, whereas fresh pasta must be used within a certain date of purchase. Either way, when you use the best and freshest ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator for the pasta and sauce you’ll be serving your family a delicious meal.
Sauce ideas to use with dry pasta:
- extra virgin olive oil, sautéed garlic and sage
- half-and-half with grated Parmesan cheese
- cooked tomatoes with garlic, onions and anchovies
- cooked veggies such as cabbage and carrots
- Parmesan cheese with cooked onions and toasted walnuts
Sauce ideas to use with fresh pasta:
- drizzle of extra virgin olive oil with diced olives or capers
- diced fresh tomatoes garnished with basil
- sprinkle of Parmesan cheese garnished with fresh oregano
- sautéed garlic + olive oil and asparagus
- half+half and sautéed garlic
- toasted bread crumbs, olive oil and garlic
- fresh goat cheese or farmer’s cheese