Whether you prefer a classic tomato sauce, pesto or a simple topping of butter and cheese, pasta is one of the tastiest and most versatile Italian dishes. From penne and spaghetti to ravioli and gnocchi, there is a cornucopia of pasta to choose from when going to an Italian restaurant. Pasta is a convenient, cheap and delicious meal that can be dressed up or dressed down depending on your mood, budget and taste. But when it comes to dry pasta and fresh pasta, which is better?
Dry pasta is generally about half the price of fresh pasta, although this of course varies from store to store. However, because pasta is already such a cheap food staple, this slightly higher price may not be a deal-breaker when it comes to fresh pasta. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for the cheapest possible pasta option, then it is best to stick to the dry stuff.
But does the difference in price indicate a difference in quality and taste? Fresh pasta has a softer, creamier texture and is generally made with higher quality ingredients when compared to fresh pasta. And, of course, fresh pasta tastes, well, fresher! But dry pasta is still widely used, even in Italy, and tastes good in its own right.
Pasta is a dietary staple for many people, not least because of its convenience. It is often far easier to find dry pasta in stores – you can find fresh pasta from most grocery stores in the refrigerated section, but it is not always readily available.
Fresh pasta does have the advantage that it can be made at home using just eggs and flour. However, it is a time-consuming process that requires kneading the dough in order to achieve a smooth texture, and the dough often needs to be left to rest before cooking. While it is possible to make fresh pasta at home without having to go out and buy a pasta machine, the alternative method is to roll the dough out with a rolling pin, which can be a bit of an arm workout!
Because of the egg content, fresh pasta needs to be stored in the fridge and consumed fairly soon after purchasing. This also has an impact on price: you are more likely to end up throwing away fresh pasta if it goes off before you can use it up, leading to a waste of food and money. Dry pasta, on the other hand, keeps almost indefinitely. While fresh pasta requires some planning ahead, dry pasta can simply sit at the back of your cupboard, ready to be eaten whenever it rolls around to dinner time and you are stuck for ideas.
Dry pasta is also egg-free, making it a vegan-friendly option that is also suitable for those with egg allergies – perfect for when you’re cooking for a vegan or egg-intolerant friend!
Overall, dry pasta wins on price and convenience, but fresh pasta isn’t too far behind and, some might argue, has a superior taste. Either way, at the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with a pasta dinner!