It is safe to say that most people have got dried pasta as a staple in their home. Dried pasta is known as a convenient meal for when you just don’t want to cook, but is it better than fresh pasta? The competition between fresh and dried pasta is an ongoing and controversial one with many chefs looking down on dried pasta. Is fresh pasta actually better in flavour or is this just an opinion of pasta lovers?
Good pasta meals are now available everywhere. Gigi’s Hoxton, a Hoxton pub also offers tasty and authentic pasta dishes.
Firstly, to clarify a common misconception, dried pasta is not just a dried or dehydrated fresh pasta, it actually has a slightly different recipe. Dried pasta is composed of semolina flour, water and salt, and fresh pasta has additional water and eggs. A common question by those wondering which pasta is better is; ‘which is healthier?’. Both kinds of pasta have their benefits but neither is inherently better, for example, fresh pasta is lower in calories but is also lower in fibre. Fresh pasta is also higher in fat and cholesterol, due to the use of egg. However, the calorie content shouldn’t be the only thing you think about when choosing which type of pasta.
Another consideration when choosing pasta is convenience. Dried pasta seems more convenient due to its easy storage and long shelf life, it also doubles in shape when cooked which provides more compact storage.
Fresh pasta, on the other hand, needs to be refrigerated but only takes half the time to cook so is good for a speedy meal. The cooking time should be considered when choosing fresh or dried pasta, for example, lasagne requires dried pasta so that the pasta does not become overly soft. Not only is dried pasta popular due to its long shelf life, but it is also much cheaper than fresh or homemade pasta, making it a staple in almost every cupboard. Although these are all important points, possibly the most important thing to consider is the flavour. Fresh pasta has a more delicate flavour than dried pasta but still has a gentle bite.
Fresh pasta also has a more smooth and velvety texture making fresh pasta better for butter or milk-based sauces. However, dried pasta is much less likely to tear so is good for heavier meat sauces, and its rough texture provides grip for flavourful sauces. Not only should the type of pasta be considered, you should also consider what shape best suits your sauce or filling, after all, pasta is just the vessel for the flavourful sauce.
In conclusion, neither pasta is better for everything. Both kinds of pasta have a place in your home and before asking which pasta is better to use you need to consider your sauce.