When To Use Dried Vs. Fresh Pasta

When To Use Dried Vs. Fresh Pasta

If you’re obsessed with pasta (I am!), then you know there’s a marked difference in texture and taste between fresh and dried noodles. But while I’d always assumed that fresh was better than dried, it turns out that isn’t the case, and sometimes shelling out for fresh pasta isn’t worth it — which is very good news for us budget-minded carbo-loaders.

Image from nebulux.

Unsurprisingly, which pasta you should use all comes down to the sauce. Thick, hearty, oil based sauces (such as ragu) need the structure that dried pasta provides. Lighter, creamy sauces with a dairy base (such as alfredo or carbonara) pair best with a fresh pasta. One sauce that seems to go against this is bolognese, because it has milk in it, so you should serve it with fresh pasta. Now that you know when fresh pasta will make a difference, you only have to spring for it when it matters.

The Simple Rule of Thumb for When to Use Fresh or Dry Pasta [Epicurious]


  • Bolognese is a ragu. Ask for Spagetti Bolognese in Bologna and you will get looked at with confused stares.

    • Don’t waste your breath. You might as well explain that a Carbonara isn’t actually a cream based sauce either.

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