The Real Reason Expensive Pasta Tastes Better Than Cheap Pasta

There are so many pasta-bilities when it comes to our favorite Italian meal. Whether it is homemade or store-bought, pasta is an easy go-to dinner that can be thrown into almost any recipe. Chickpea pasta is the way to our hearts right now (shoutout to a low-carb, high-protein meal!).

Yet, have you ever wondered why expensive pasta has a better taste than cheaper ones? The obvious answer is that, yes, it is fresher. But, it is the texture of the product that makes all of the difference when it comes to cuisine. According to HuffPost, cheap pasta boxes have the same ingredients as more expensive brands consisting of semolina and water.

If your favorite box of spaghetti is $1, it is likely that the brand wanted to produce more of the item in less time. This means that this dried pasta is extruded from Teflon dies (shiny devices that cut the noodles). The product makes factories more efficient in that more dough is pushed through the die faster.

This is it how the production process affects the taste of pasta

Due to the fact that a Teflon die results in shiny and smooth pasta, this is a sign that it is cheaply produced. The pasta is then dried for a short period of time and then packaged. This method greatly affects the texture of pasta, as it is unable to absorb sauce well and requires a fast cook time. A faster cooking time means that perfect al dente noodles are unlikely. 

In our opinion, expensive pasta is worth the extra few dollars. These brands require a low-temperature, slow drying process, and a bronze die that is the key to quality macaroni. Bon Appetit claims that this process forces the structure of the pasta to stay relaxed, leaving small breathable holes in the noodle. This allows your favorite Alfredo or marinara sauce to soak in with extra flavor.

Expensive pasta does have a longer cooking time, although the extra flavor offsets this minor inconvenience. Next time you are at the grocery store in the pasta aisle, check for the phrase "slow-dried." If the food looks a bit chalky or rough, that is a sign that it is high-quality. We are so in for some penne alla vodka tonight.