While making fresh pasta is always worth it, it can be a bit time consuming and not something most people can manage to make after a long day at the office. But going to the grocery store and picking out a box from the various brands offered is no easy task either. So as someone who has made fresh pasta, traveled to Italy and sampled Italian pasta, and loves pasta, I am here to steer you in the right direction.
De Cecco: always a great choice. Ina Garten loves this brand of pasta so why shouldn’t you? De Cecco is pricier than the store brand pasta or common brands like Barilla, but the taste makes up for the difference. It tastes authentic, unlike other brands where the pasta lacks flavor. If purchasing De Cecco: cavatappi, orecchiette, rigatoni, and linguine are always winner.
Alma’s: my personal favorite. Luckily the grocery store I go to happens to carry it. It is similar in taste and texture to De Cecco, as well as price. It is honestly so delicious and goes well with everything. If purchasing Alma’s: bucatini, cavatappi, and spaghetti. (Alma’s comes in a yellow box with “product of Italy” written right underneath the brand name)
DaVinci: delicious but I really only prefer this brand when it comes to their orzo.
While those are my top three, they are not always readily available so Barilla is always a decent backup if you cannot find a really good brand. Barilla offers a wide variety at a low price and is stocked in a wide variety of stores.
But if you want great pasta but would prefer it not to come straight out of a box, look for fresh pasta in your grocers refrigerated aisle. Stores such as Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and Eataly. Fresh pasta is delicious and requires less work than making it on your own. It has the homemade taste without the time.