Dried vs. Fresh Pasta: What's the Difference?

There’s more to dried macaroni than the childhood craft staple you remember. And no, dried pasta isn't fresh pasta gone old. Here's how they compare.

Dried Pasta

Made of little more than semolina flour, water, and salt, dried pasta can be stored at room temperature (almost)t indefinitely. Many varieties, especially those from Italy, have the flavor and consistency you would find in a great trattoria. Imported pasta can usually be enjoyed for only a few cents more than domestic ones. This pantry staple is great for kid-friendly spaghetti recipes, as the dried pasta's texture means it can hold up to even the heartiest sauce.

Remember: Most shapes double in size when cooked. One pound of dried pasta serves four people generously.

Fresh Pasta

Since fresh pasta contains raw eggs and additional water, it is more tender than its dried counterpart and takes about half the time to cook. Because of fresh pasta's delicate texture, it is best served with light sauces made with tomatoes, cream, oil, or butter flavored with herbs.

Remember: One-and-a-half pounds of fresh pasta serves four people generously.

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