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Pasta 101

Dried Vs. Fresh Pasta

No, dried pasta isn't fresh pasta gone old. Here's how they compare.

By Sara Quessenberry
Pasta Pomodoro with Shrimp and Lemon ZestAnna Williams


  • Made of little more than semolina flour, water, and salt, dried pasta can be stored at room temperature almost indefinitely. Use up this pantry staple with kid-friendly spaghetti recipes.
  • Many varieties, especially those from Italy, have the flavor and consistency you would find in a great trattoria. Imported pasta can usually be had for only a few cents more than domestic ones.
  • Dried pasta's firm texture means it can hold up to even the heartiest sauce.
  • Most shapes double in size when cooked. One pound of dried pasta serves four people generously.


  • Because it contains eggs and additional water, fresh pasta is more tender than dried and takes about half the time to cook.
  • Its delicate texture is best with light sauces made with tomatoes, cream, oil, or butter flavored with herbs.
  • One and a half pounds of fresh pasta serves four people generously.
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Quick Tip


Broccolini is a cross between conventional broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It’s slightly sweeter and more tender than its relatives. If you substitute conventional broccoli in this recipe, cut it into long spears before cooking.