The Differences Between Fresh and Dried Pasta

Fresh pasta isn’t better or worse than dried pasta; it’s simply a different thing.

Published June 15, 2021.

We love making fresh pasta when we can, but many of our recipes are designed with dried pasta in mind. We don't prefer one over the other; they're just different. Fresh pasta is often made with eggs because the fat from the egg yolks helps fortify the dough and makes it richer. When fresh pasta is cooked, its texture becomes softer and more delicate than that of dried pasta cooked al dente. For that reason, it doesn’t hold up well in dishes—such as cacio e pepe—that depend on vigorous stirring to extract starch and thicken the sauce. Fresh pasta pairs well with light oil- or butter-based sauces; dairy-thickened sauces such as Alfredo; and even Bolognese, which is traditionally made with milk. We don’t usually recommend substituting fresh pasta for dried or vice versa, since recipes are developed with the specific qualities of one or the other in mind. For the best results when making a recipe that calls for fresh pasta, look for products made with a simple list of ingredients—flour, water, and sometimes eggs—and cook the pasta within a few days of purchasing it. 


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