Dry Pasta vs Fresh Pasta: What’s the Difference
If you’re into pasta dishes and enjoy revelling in Italian cuisine, it’s a good idea to know about the differences between fresh pasta and dry pasta. While many might assume that dry pasta is just fresh pasta that has been dried, they are in fact made using different ingredients and both have different advantages.
Dry pasta is created with different dough to fresh pasta and is usually made without eggs. This makes dry pasta different to fresh pasta and it has a diverse texture and taste. Dry pasta can also be turned into a myriad of shapes, including the classic bow, shells, cylinders, and more. Dry pasta is historically more common in the South of Italy, whereas fresh pasta is more prominent in the North. This is perhaps because the Duram wheat that is used to make dry pasta is more accessible in the South and the dryer air enabled easy drying.
While there are many myths around the superiority of fresh pasta, it all boils down to preference. It is estimated that Italians eat around 60 pounds of delicious pasta a year and a lot of this is of the dried variety. Thus, dry pasta isn’t necessarily better or worse, and each pasta variety has its own set of pros and cons. So let’s take a look at their differences and look at what type of pasta is best for what kind of dish.
Fresh pasta is made with dough, eggs, and extra water. It is naturally more tender than dry pasta varieties and is a brilliant pick if you want to make lighter sauces. Fresh pasta goes well with oil, cream, tomato, or herbed butter, and cooks in about half the time of dried pasta. It is cut into different sized strips depending on the style of pasta that is going to be served, including lasagne, fettuccine, and pappardelle.
It can usually be stored in the fridge for about two days and it can be a fun activity to make with family or friends. However, you can of course buy fresh pasta from local stores too.
Advantages of Fresh Pasta
- Delicate and tender. Perfectly suited to lighter creamy sauces.
- Cooks in half the time that dry pasta does and is thus super quick.
- Loads of fun to make with family or friends, but can be easily bought.
Disadvantages of Fresh Pasta
- Takes longer to make (unless you buy store bought)
- Can only be stored for 2 days in the refrigerator and thus needs to be bought or made when needed.
While there are myths abound about dry pasta being inferior to its fresh pasta counterpart, this is simply not the case. Dry pasta is popular across the globe and because it has a lovely firm texture it can handle thick pasta sauces with lots of delicious ingredients. It is usually made with Duram wheat and takes several dries to properly dry. It needs to be dried at a low temperature and is usually shipped all across the world. It’s a great pick in casseroles, ragu sauces, and soups as it can hold it’s shape and consistency well and won’t fall apart.
Advantages of Dry Pasta
- It can be easily stored in your cupboard and won’t go off. It’s thus a great pick to keep around the house and doesn’t take any prep.
- Comes in diverse shapes and thus you can choose what style of pasta you want. It also usually doubles in size when you’ve boiled it and thus it can go a long way in feeding a big bunch of people.
- The pasta shells are more robust and can thus withstand heavier pasta sauces.
- You can get Italian imported dry pasta across the world. It’s also a great pick for camping trips as it doesn’t need to be stored in a fridge.
Disadvantages of Dry Pasta
- Takes a little longer to cook than fresh pasta.
- Can’t be made at home if you want to have an authentic pasta making evening with family or friends.
Thus, both dry pasta and fresh pasta have a myriad of benefits and both are perfectly suited to an array of diverse dishes. If you have the fridge space, time, and want to make a lighter or creamier sauce, fresh pasta is a brilliant pick and has the added bonus of cooking quicker than dry varieties. If you want to make a thicker pasta sauce, opt for a dry pasta that will hold the thickness of the sauce and maintain its shape. Both types of pasta are delicious and will make for a wonderful Italian meal.
- Is fresh pasta better than dried? – The Guardian