I believe that dry narrow gauge pasta (capellini, spaghetti and spaghettini) is superior to fresh. It is difficult to arrive at the perfect consistency with fresh..a few seconds too long in the pot and all is lost.
We are awash in well produced artisanal pastas from Italy so I will mention the one I enjoy the most, Martelli artigiani pastai. It comes packaged in a bright yellow paper bag that tells the tale of the Martelli family business. Produced by hand since 1926, using duram wheat semolina and cut by rough bronze dyes, they are kind enough to explain in detail the precise preparation techniques to optmize your noodling experience.
I first found this product in Boston's Little Italy and to my delight found it at Williams-Sonoma in Los Gatos selling a not unreasonable $5.00 for a little over 2 pound package.
And the pasta? Firm, sturdy, quite delicious absolutely plain, magnificent with olive oil and a dusting of parmesan, a pesto magnet...there isn't a thing I cannot imagine not enjoying it with.
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