The word “pasta” is an umbrella term for many things. However, most people associate it with noodles of myriad shapes, sizes, and even colors. And, as it turns out, this is the pasta that’s better suited for a drying process. When you browse to find out Sweetalyfood selection of dried pasta, you’ll come upon many of these variants, opening up a world of possibilities for your kitchen.
In this article, we’ll delve deep into some of the best dried pastas in Italy, with top picks from different regions. We’ll also discuss the process behind the production of dried pasta and its importance.
Why Dried Pasta?
Italian food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world, if not the most. A big part of its success is that anyone can enjoy a delicious dish of tagliatelle, spaghetti, or other specialties at home, quickly and easily.
One of the main reasons for this is the drying process. It is done in several ways, but the principles are generally the same: a mix is extruded with industrial machines, with a moisture of about 31%. This is reduced to around 12% via different processes.
Dry pasta, therefore, has two crucial advantages. First, it absorbs sauces better than fresh pasta. Second, it allows for more accessible storage, transportation, and conservation. It’s no wonder that this vital process has gone a long way into making Italian pasta so famous worldwide.
Let’s look at some of the best dried pastas in Italy that are popular worldwide.
Without a doubt, spaghetti is one of the most recognizable and beloved types of pasta anywhere. It also has no boundaries in Italy, where it’s enjoyed no matter the region. It’s a long and thin variant, cylindrical in shape.
It’s versatile and goes well with many sauces, including classic tomato-based ones like bolognese or cream-based ones like Alfredo. It’s one of the most significant symbols of Italian cuisine.
Tagliatelle is another top choice in Italy. Coming from Emilia-Romagna, these are long ribbons that are perfectly apt for thick, meaty sauces such as pork ragu, chicken, and other meats.
Another similar but different variant is the fettuccine. While they might look identical to the untrained eye, there are subtle differences. For instance, tagliatelle is wider and thinner.
So far, we’ve covered long pasta. Now it’s the turn of the farfalle, the bow-tie-shaped pasta which, in reality, should resemble butterflies since it’s the Italian word for it.
This short pasta is prevalent in many dishes, from soup to tomato-based and creamy sauces. Some variants include farfalloni, which is bigger, and farfalline, the smallest.
Another popular variant of dried pasta is penne. This is the typical cylinder-like pasta which looks hollowed out and is cut short. The name comes from the Latin penna, meaning “quill.” This is why it resembles a fountain pen.
Because of the hole in the center, it’s perfect for sauce-heavy dishes since it gets filled up with them easily.
This Is Just the Beginning
There are many more options such as fusilli, vermicelli, conchiglie, orecchiette, and more. Any of them will make for an exciting Italian meal, so don’t be afraid to experiment and enjoy them all.