The best dry pastas share characteristics that are easy to see, says moto. Good pasta is rough-textured, compared to the commercially produced mass-market stuff. It’s also not homogeneous or monotone in color, probably because it has been allowed to dry slowly, and because the rougher texture allows for variation.

While some people enjoy pasta made from farro and whole wheat, these don’t cook in the same way as traditional pasta made from semolina flour, which is prized for “al dente” cooking, says VanessaItalyinSF. “Semolina flour has specific characteristics to maintain the cooking. Once it’s drained, it doesn’t overcook too fast and spoil your dish.”

Board Link: Pastahounds! Premium Pastas in the Bay Area

See more articles