No way, bob96 says on Chowhound. Fresh and dried pastas may have different qualities and represent different food traditions, but they’re equally worthy—dried spaghetti isn’t just some convenient, if inferior, alternative to homemade noodles.

Fresh pasta made with eggs is silky, soft, and absorbent, while dried pasta made from durum wheat has a nutty flavor and sturdy texture. Dried pasta is the most common kind in southern Italy. It’s the best choice with the oil- and tomato-based sauces of those regions. Meanwhile, the dairy-based sauces of northern Italy perfectly enhance delicate fresh pasta.

Deciding whether to use fresh or dried pasta can also depend on the feel or style of a dish. While Marcella Hazan’s lasagna Bolognese is “all about showcasing the fresh pasta,” delicate pasta sheets are probably wasted on an American-style lasagna that’s “all about the filling,” overthinkit says.

When it comes to dried pastas, the best are extruded through bronze dies, which gives them a rougher surface that holds sauce better, chowser explains. Chowhounds tend to prefer Italian artisanal brands like Giuseppe Cocco and Garofalo, as well as the supermarket staple De Cecco.

Discuss: Boxed Pasta vs. Homemade

Photos of CHOW’s Fettuccine Alfredo and Vegan Lasagna by Chris Rochelle /

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