While some may argue over whether fresh pasta or artisan dried pasta is better, it is more important to consider the overall quality of the pasta and how it can affect your menu. It is best if your restaurant offers a variety of fresh pasta and artisan dried pasta, but only if the difference between the two is well understood.
For instance, knowing what shape and type of pasta to pair with what kind of sauce is vital for producing a tasty, balanced dish. By better understanding these two types of pastas, you can deliver a meal whose flavor and quality will be noticeably better.
On Fresh Pasta
When crafted by an artisan through the time-tested method of extrusion with bronze dies, fresh pasta has a defined, coarse texture. Due to the nature of this texture, fresh pasta is more susceptible to absorbing sauces, as opposed to a pasta that has a smoother texture. When fresh pasta is cooked al dente, sauces can cling to the pasta even more, making for a fuller and richer meal.
These fresh pastas can be made with differing flavors, depending on the specific dish that the chef may be preparing. Generally, these flavors further enhance the natural taste of the pasta. By doing so, when paired with the right sauce, these flavors can marry in an extraordinary way to make an unbelievable meal.
Fresh Pasta and Sauce
Of course, in order to achieve this amazingly tasty dish, you have to pair the right shape of fresh pasta with the right sauce. Because fresh pasta is able to absorb sauce, it is best to pair it with sauces that are quick pan sauces or even bolognese, but not chunky sauces. With these kinds of sauces, opting for a shape like spaghetti or tagliatelle would be the best choice.
On Artisan Dried Pasta
Though many are lead to believe that fresh pasta is better than artisan dried pasta, this is not necessarily true. Fresh pasta plays its own role in the pasta-world, as does artisan dried pasta. Through a low-heat drying technique, used when the pasta is artisan-made, the quality of the pasta is vastly improved than that of a mass-produced, industrial machine-made boxed pasta.
Like the fresh pasta, artisan dried pasta can be made through the extrusion of bronze dies, which gives the pasta a coarse texture as well. This provides the pasta with true wheat flavor profile compared to the typical boxed pasta.
Dried Artisan Pasta and Sauce
Though artisan dried pasta has the same coarse texture as fresh pasta, this pasta tends to be stronger due to the specific drying process it goes through. Because of this, pairing dried pasta with denser, meatier sauces is a good choice. These thicker sauces go best with pastas like penne or fusilli, as the texture and the shape of the pasta is able to hold a heavier sauce.
Most restaurants make the mistake of offering high quality homemade fresh pasta and cheap box pasta to save money. This causes a divide of quality, which the customers will notice. Do your restaurant a huge favor and offer quality for fresh and dry pasta.
If you are interested in learning more about serving artisan pasta in your restaurant, please visit our website to learn more about our wholesale offerings.