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Thread: Top quality pasta

  1. #1
    DavidW Guest

    Default Top quality pasta

    Hello,

    For those who are very particular about their pasta, I'd like to know some good
    brands. I use La Molisana (imported from Italy), which is the best I know by
    quite a margin (I boil their no. 15, which is spaghetti, for 18 minutes and
    it's still firm). However. it's not widely available in Australia. A mid-sized
    local supermarket has it, but I haven't seen it in the major chains, so I'd like
    a fallback for the day when I can't get it any more. If you are a pasta
    connoisseur anywhere in the world please suggest a brand or two.



  2. #2
    ViLco Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    DavidW wrote:

    > For those who are very particular about their pasta, I'd like to know
    > some good brands. I use La Molisana (imported from Italy), which is
    > the best I know by quite a margin (I boil their no. 15, which is
    > spaghetti, for 18 minutes and it's still firm). However. it's not
    > widely available in Australia. A mid-sized local supermarket has it,
    > but I haven't seen it in the major chains, so I'd like a fallback for
    > the day when I can't get it any more. If you are a pasta connoisseur
    > anywhere in the world please suggest a brand or two.


    La Molisana is a very good brand. IIRC, here in Italy it's about 1.50 euros
    for a 1/2Kg box, while other brands are about .90 euros, with the lesser
    brands around .80 and the superior ones around 1 - 1.20.
    Another good brand which is widely distributed is Garofalo, very nice
    texture, i love theyr linguine and penne. Liguori, also from Gragnano area
    as Garofalo, is another good brand.
    Barilla, once the symbol of low quality industrial pasta, has improved much
    over the years and is nowadays an average quality product, IOW it so no more
    the worst pasta you can find. It's reasonably priced and, probably, the most
    widespread italian pasta on the globe.
    --
    Vilco
    Mai guardare Trailer park Boys senza
    qualcosa da bere a portata di mano



  3. #3
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta



    "ViLco" <[email protected]> ha scritto nel messaggio
    > DavidW wrote:
    >
    >> For those who are very particular about their pasta, I'd like to know>>
    >> some good brands.


    > La Molisana is a very good brand. IIRC, here in Italy it's about 1.50
    > euros > for a 1/2Kg box, while other brands are about .90 euros, with the
    > lesser > brands around .80 and the superior ones around 1 - 1.20.> Another
    > good brand which is widely distributed is Garofalo, very nice > texture, i
    > love theyr linguine and penne. Liguori, also from Gragnano area > as
    > Garofalo, is another good brand.
    > Vilco


    With 18 minutes of cooking, I think firm means something different to OP
    than it would to us.
    Garofolo is on sale at Conad this week for .79 per 500g!
    I would go out on a limb and say that any pasta made in Gragnano is apt to
    be the best. The entire community of pasta manufacturers seems to have
    decided to stick with the old extruders and air drying and it makes an
    incredible difference. I haven't tried a single brand name of it that
    wasn't superb.



  4. #4
    bulka Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    On Oct 22, 11:39 pm, "DavidW" <n...@email.provided> wrote:
    > Hello,
    >
    > For those who are very particular about their pasta, I'd like to know some good
    > brands. I use La Molisana (imported from Italy), which is the best I know by
    > quite a margin (I boil their no. 15, which is spaghetti, for 18 minutes and
    > it's still firm). However. it's not widely available in Australia. A mid-sized
    > local supermarket has it, but I haven't seen it in the major chains, so I'd like
    > a fallback for the day when I can't get it any more. If you are a pasta
    > connoisseur anywhere in the world please suggest a brand or two.


    OK, I am an idiot but willing to learn. Enlighten me.

    I've always thought of all pasta as the same flour in different
    shapes, just a starch base for my sauces.

    Tell me why and how I should be particular.

    peacelovedove

    bulka

  5. #5
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    "bulka"
    > On Oct 22, 11:39 pm, "DavidW"
    >> For those who are very particular about their pasta, I'd like to know
    >> some good
    >> brands. I use La Molisana (imported from Italy), which is the best I know
    >> by
    >> quite a margin (I boil their no. 15, which is spaghetti, for 18 minutes
    >> and
    >> it's still firm). However. it's not widely available in Australia. A
    >> mid-sized
    >> local supermarket has it, but I haven't seen it in the major chains, so
    >> I'd like
    >> a fallback for the day when I can't get it any more. If you are a pasta
    >> connoisseur anywhere in the world please suggest a brand or two.

    >
    > OK, I am an idiot but willing to learn. Enlighten me.
    >
    > I've always thought of all pasta as the same flour in different
    > shapes, just a starch base for my sauces.
    >
    > Tell me why and how I should be particular.
    > bulka


    That info is all over every kind of media. Just buy one of the brands
    recommended and a crap brand and cook them and serve them the same,
    correctly, of course. If you can't tell the difference, then you can save a
    lot of money buying whatever is at the Dollar Store or whatever.



  6. #6
    Lynn from Fargo Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    There are (believe it or not) at least 2 pasta brands made in North
    Dakota (superior durum wheat source). The best is called "Dakota
    Growers" - manufactured by a "co-op" of family farmers. These folks
    also make "Dreamfields"- a whole wheat kind. They are marketed
    nationwide in USA - I will ask the CEO's wife if they are in OZ &
    Italy too,

    Lynn in Fargo (ND)
    (shameless namedropper) ;-)

  7. #7
    Rheilly Phoull Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    DavidW wrote:
    > Hello,
    >
    > For those who are very particular about their pasta, I'd like to know some good
    > brands. I use La Molisana (imported from Italy), which is the best I know by
    > quite a margin (I boil their no. 15, which is spaghetti, for 18 minutes and
    > it's still firm). However. it's not widely available in Australia. A mid-sized
    > local supermarket has it, but I haven't seen it in the major chains, so I'd like
    > a fallback for the day when I can't get it any more. If you are a pasta
    > connoisseur anywhere in the world please suggest a brand or two.
    >
    >

    If you are so fussy why not make your own ?
    Could you identify brands in a blind tasting?

    Rheilly P

  8. #8
    ViLco Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    Lynn from Fargo wrote:

    > There are (believe it or not) at least 2 pasta brands made in North
    > Dakota (superior durum wheat source). The best is called "Dakota
    > Growers" - manufactured by a "co-op" of family farmers. These folks
    > also make "Dreamfields"- a whole wheat kind. They are marketed
    > nationwide in USA - I will ask the CEO's wife if they are in OZ &
    > Italy too,


    Maybe theyr pasta is not available here in Italy, but surely a lot of durum
    wheat comes here from north USA and Canada, and gets used to make pasta.
    --
    Vilco
    Mai guardare Trailer park Boys senza
    qualcosa da bere a portata di mano



  9. #9
    cookingpatty Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta


    I agree Garofalo is an excellent brand we use it often. As well and old
    standby is De Cecco.

    'Giusi[_2_ Wrote:
    > ;1208802']"ViLco" [email protected]lid ha scritto nel messaggio-
    > DavidW wrote:
    > -
    > For those who are very particular about their pasta, I'd like to know
    >
    > some good brands.--
    > -
    > La Molisana is a very good brand. IIRC, here in Italy it's about 1.50
    >
    > euros for a 1/2Kg box, while other brands are about .90 euros, with
    > the
    > lesser brands around .80 and the superior ones around 1 - 1.20.
    > Another
    > good brand which is widely distributed is Garofalo, very nice
    > texture, i
    > love theyr linguine and penne. Liguori, also from Gragnano area as
    > Garofalo, is another good brand.
    > Vilco-
    >
    > With 18 minutes of cooking, I think firm means something different to
    > OP
    > than it would to us.
    > Garofolo is on sale at Conad this week for .79 per 500g!
    > I would go out on a limb and say that any pasta made in Gragnano is apt
    > to
    > be the best. The entire community of pasta manufacturers seems to have
    >
    > decided to stick with the old extruders and air drying and it makes an
    >
    > incredible difference. I haven't tried a single brand name of it that
    >
    > wasn't superb.





    --
    cookingpatty

  10. #10
    Hoges in WA Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta


    "Rheilly Phoull" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > DavidW wrote:
    >> Hello,
    >>
    >> For those who are very particular about their pasta, I'd like to know
    >> some good brands. I use La Molisana (imported from Italy), which is the
    >> best I know by quite a margin (I boil their no. 15, which is spaghetti,
    >> for 18 minutes and it's still firm). However. it's not widely available
    >> in Australia. A mid-sized local supermarket has it, but I haven't seen it
    >> in the major chains, so I'd like a fallback for the day when I can't get
    >> it any more. If you are a pasta connoisseur anywhere in the world please
    >> suggest a brand or two.
    >>
    >>

    > If you are so fussy why not make your own ?
    > Could you identify brands in a blind tasting?
    >
    > Rheilly P


    It certainly is possible to tell the difference between Coles Home crap and
    anything else. My daughter complained about it and after I tasted the stuff
    I was forced to agree with her. Serves me right for buying house garbage.
    hoges in WA



  11. #11
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    "Rheilly Phoull"
    > DavidW wrote:
    >> Hello,
    >>
    >> For those who are very particular about their pasta, I'd like to know
    >> some good brands. I use La Molisana (imported from Italy), which is the
    >> best I know by quite a margin (I boil their no. 15, which is spaghetti,
    >> for 18 minutes and it's still firm). However. it's not widely available
    >> in Australia. A mid-sized local supermarket has it, but I haven't seen it
    >> in the major chains,


    > If you are so fussy why not make your own ?
    > Could you identify brands in a blind tasting?
    >
    > Rheilly P


    You mistake egg pasta made at home for the hard wheat pasta he's talking
    about. One does not stand in for the other, they are totally different
    things.

    It is not important to know one brand from the other blind folded. It is
    important to educate your taste buds and teeth to quality, so that cheap or
    costly, you get the quality that matters to you. To you, not to me.



  12. #12
    Goomba Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    Hoges in WA wrote:

    >> If you are so fussy why not make your own ?
    >> Could you identify brands in a blind tasting?
    >>
    >> Rheilly P

    >
    > It certainly is possible to tell the difference between Coles Home crap and
    > anything else. My daughter complained about it and after I tasted the stuff
    > I was forced to agree with her. Serves me right for buying house garbage.
    > hoges in WA
    >

    I once bought Skinner brand pasta. Never again. 'nuff said. Ugh!

  13. #13
    Sheldon Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    bulka wrote:
    > "DavidW" wrote:
    >
    > > For those who are very particular about their pasta, I'd like to know some good
    > > brands. I use La Molisana (imported from Italy), which is the best I know by
    > > quite a margin (I boil their no. 15, which is spaghetti, �for 18 minutes and
    > > it's still firm). However. it's not widely available in Australia. A mid-sized
    > > local supermarket has it, but I haven't seen it in the major chains, soI'd like
    > > a fallback for the day when I can't get it any more. If you are a pasta
    > > connoisseur anywhere in the world please suggest a brand or two.

    >
    > OK, I am an idiot but willing to learn. �Enlighten me.
    >
    > I've always thought of all pasta as the same flour in different
    > shapes, just a starch base for my sauces.
    >
    > Tell me why and how I should be particular.


    You're partially correct. The quality of the ingredients are pretty
    much universally identical regardless of whose pasta, as unless one
    has an "in" with Mother Nature there is little control of each
    season's wheat crop. Wheat has a rather short shelf life so it can't
    be stored very long lest it go rancid and so except for very small
    cottage industry style operations who grow their own wheat (and that
    has no guarantee of superiority) all major pasta manufacturers buy on
    the open market from the same sources.

    But the manufacturing nuances of extruded pasta is something only an
    experienced tool and diemaker can truly understand, and there is where
    the real differences in pastas lie, their price spreads between
    labels, and why one configuration costs differently from another...
    the better quality the extrusion equipment the better quality the
    pasta... when you buy extruded pasta far more of the price is
    representive of the extrusion equipment than the wheat. And try to
    remmember that there aren't all that many major pasta manufacturers
    (high volume production equipment is far too costly). Many of the
    different labels are made in the same plants, as are the store brands,
    and many have no brand, they're sold in bulk by the tons to other food
    manufactureres who use pasta in their products (mac n' cheese, etc.)
    and so are the same product in a different package. When you see some
    odd named pasta at an unusually low price (and sometimes a higher
    price as a marketing ploy) it's usually an end of run batch...
    extrusion dies wear and it's costly to shut down a line for a complete
    change over so they continue production but at the sacrifice of some
    quality while getting the last miles out of the dies. I don't really
    care to go into a lesson on extruding here so I will impart just one
    bit of advice; those who like to make their own pasta at home should
    continue so they know what/who's in it, but stick to non-extruded
    shapes, no home style pasta extruder is capable of producing quality
    pasta, and actually ruins your ingredients.




  14. #14
    PeterLucas Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    "Hoges in WA" <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:b7_Lk.7980$[email protected]:

    >
    > "Rheilly Phoull" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]..
    >> DavidW wrote:
    >>> Hello,
    >>>
    >>> For those who are very particular about their pasta, I'd like to
    >>> know some good brands. I use La Molisana (imported from Italy),
    >>> which is the best I know by quite a margin (I boil their no. 15,
    >>> which is spaghetti, for 18 minutes and it's still firm). However.
    >>> it's not widely available in Australia. A mid-sized local
    >>> supermarket has it, but I haven't seen it in the major chains, so
    >>> I'd like a fallback for the day when I can't get it any more. If you
    >>> are a pasta connoisseur anywhere in the world please suggest a brand
    >>> or two.
    >>>
    >>>

    >> If you are so fussy why not make your own ?
    >> Could you identify brands in a blind tasting?
    >>
    >> Rheilly P

    >
    > It certainly is possible to tell the difference between Coles Home
    > crap and anything else. My daughter complained about it and after I
    > tasted the stuff I was forced to agree with her. Serves me right for
    > buying house garbage. hoges in WA
    >
    >



    Awhile back, I went on a bit of a shopping spree....

    http://s199.photobucket.com/albums/a...pping%20spree/


    I then got a copy of Jamie Olivers Pasta dough recipe.....

    http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/p...ic-recipe-for-
    fresh-egg-pasta

    The end result..........

    http://s199.photobucket.com/albums/a...emade%20pasta/

    I don't remember what the sauce was that I made to go on it, but I sure do
    remember what the pasta was like. Which is why (even though it's a PITA)
    I'm still making my own pasta dough.

    Try it........ you won't go back to pre-packaged (unless it's an absolute
    emergency!!).


    --
    Peter Lucas
    Brisbane
    Australia


    If we are not meant to eat animals,
    why are they made of meat?

  15. #15
    SebNoker Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta


    > GUEST wrote:
    > Hello,
    >
    > For those who are very particular about their pasta, I'd like to

    know some good
    > brands. I use La Molisana (imported from Italy), which is the best

    I know by
    > quite a margin (I boil their no. 15, which is spaghetti, for 18

    minutes and
    > it's still firm). However. it's not widely available in Australia.

    A mid-sized
    > local supermarket has it, but I haven't seen it in the major

    chains, so I'd like
    > a fallback for the day when I can't get it any more. If you are a

    pasta
    > connoisseur anywhere in the world please suggest a brand or

    two.

    IIm a bittoni fan, just regular pasta but does the trick
    for me...and now that we are on that, i feel im gonna make me a bowl
    for lunch...sounds nice...


  16. #16
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    Sheldon wrote:

    > I don't really care to go into a lesson on extruding here


    Good. You've fed us enough of your usual BS already.

    -sw

  17. #17
    Dan Abel Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    In article
    <[email protected]>,
    bulka <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On Oct 22, 11:39 pm, "DavidW" <n...@email.provided> wrote:
    > > Hello,
    > >
    > > For those who are very particular about their pasta, I'd like to know some
    > > good
    > > brands. I use La Molisana (imported from Italy), which is the best I know
    > > by
    > > quite a margin (I boil their no. 15, which is spaghetti, for 18 minutes
    > > and
    > > it's still firm). However. it's not widely available in Australia. A
    > > mid-sized
    > > local supermarket has it, but I haven't seen it in the major chains, so I'd
    > > like
    > > a fallback for the day when I can't get it any more. If you are a pasta
    > > connoisseur anywhere in the world please suggest a brand or two.

    >
    > OK, I am an idiot but willing to learn. Enlighten me.
    >
    > I've always thought of all pasta as the same flour in different
    > shapes, just a starch base for my sauces.
    >
    > Tell me why and how I should be particular.


    Depends what you mean by "same flour". To make it simple, flour is made
    from soft wheat or hard wheat. Cake flour is made from soft wheat,
    flour made from hard wheat is called bread flour. Durum wheat, used for
    quality pasta, is made from the hardest of the hard wheat. Hard wheat
    is more expensive. Thus, cheap pasta may be made out of cheap wheat,
    and will not have the same texture as better pasta. If you make mushy
    pasta, it is less important as to what kind of wheat was used to make
    the pasta.

    --
    Dan Abel
    Petaluma, California USA
    [email protected]

  18. #18
    Mark Thorson Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    Sheldon wrote:
    >
    > quality while getting the last miles out of the dies. I don't really
    > care to go into a lesson on extruding here so I will impart just one
    > bit of advice; those who like to make their own pasta at home should
    > continue so they know what/who's in it, but stick to non-extruded
    > shapes, no home style pasta extruder is capable of producing quality
    > pasta, and actually ruins your ingredients.


    Lidia Bastianich made extruded pasta on her cooking show,
    using a meat grinder with a fine plate and the blade removed.

    But what does she know, compared to Sheldon?

  19. #19
    Mark Thorson Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    Dan Abel wrote:
    >
    > Depends what you mean by "same flour". To make it simple, flour is made
    > from soft wheat or hard wheat. Cake flour is made from soft wheat,


    Most flour is made from blends of wheats. Air separators
    separate the heavier protein-rich particles (semolina) from
    near the surface of the wheat berry from the lighter starchy
    particles (dunst) from the core of the wheat berry. Cake flour
    is mostly dunst and intermediate fractions (middlings).

    > flour made from hard wheat is called bread flour. Durum wheat, used for


    Bread flour can be made from any kind of wheat. Air separators
    allow sorting the wheat particles by protein content, and any type
    of flour can be created by suitable blending of these fractions.

    > quality pasta, is made from the hardest of the hard wheat. Hard wheat
    > is more expensive. Thus, cheap pasta may be made out of cheap wheat,
    > and will not have the same texture as better pasta. If you make mushy
    > pasta, it is less important as to what kind of wheat was used to make
    > the pasta.


    You can make high-quality pasta from any kind of wheat,
    just not as much of it as from a protein-rich wheat.
    Even the lowest quality wheat will give you some semolina,
    and you can use that to make high-quality pasta.

  20. #20
    JonquilJan Guest

    Default Re: Top quality pasta

    I've recently tried Ronzoni Smart Taste which I found to be quite good.

    JonquilJan

    Learn something new every day
    As long as you are learning, you are living
    When you stop learning, you start dying



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