There’s no more beloved and universal dish than pasta. Commonly featured in family dinners and a go-to date meal, pasta boasts both popularity and variety. Its origins can be traced back to the 13th century when Marco Polo brought it from Italy from China, setting in motion its growing popularity. Over the years, pasta quickly became an accessible and sought after dish with different variations in several countries. There are now many companies like Gigi’s Pasta that deliver fresh pasta right to your doorstep at a very affordable price.
With its popularity, it’s hard to avoid the comparison: which one is better, fresh or dry pasta?
Despite the world’s current obsession with freshness, fresh pasta seems like a foreign concept to many – pasta rolling machines are more of a curiosity nowadays than a match for a dry pasta sitting on our kitchen counter. While some cuisine connoisseurs might argue there’s nothing like freshly rolled pasta, it’s hard to deny the luxury of a quick, cheap meal. If you struggle with time or money, dry pasta is always the obvious winner.
But let’s put this debate aside and look at the differences between fresh and dry pasta.
The key to a good pasta dish is to match the shape of pasta to the type of sauce. Fresh pasta is made of eggs and additional water which gives it a tender texture that can only be used with creamy, dairy-based sauces. The only exception is ragu bolognese that can get away with using fresh pasta due to the incorporation of simmered whole milk.
Since fresh pasta contains eggs, after the dough is cut into shapes, it has to be used immediately or refrigerated that might not be very practical unless you’re planning a big family dinner.
While some people might believe dry pasta is a fresh pasta that was left to dry or expired, that’s not the case. It’s simply pasta that has a slightly different purpose than fresh pasta. Made of semolina flour, water, salt and often with an extra addition of herbs or spices, its firm texture is designed to better handle heavier sauces. Additionally, it doubles in size when cooked and never expires at room temperature (although it might lose quality over time). If you’re a fan of pasta (especially with meaty sauces) and include it in daily meals, dry pasta is a great option for you.
But what about the differences in nutrition?
Since fresh pasta is made of eggs, it contains more cholesterol, fat and sodium. In contrast, dry pasta has more carbohydrates and calories content. In other words, dry pasta is a better option if you have to monitor your cholesterol and sodium intake, while fresh pasta is a healthier option for diabetic people or those watching their calories intake.
While fresh and dry pasta might be a flavour preference for some, it mainly dictates the kind of sauce you should use. Of course, rules aren’t always meant to be followed. Whether you decide to stick to the guidelines or think a little outside of the box, we are sure you will enjoy your pasta in all shapes and variations.