The Best Dried Pasta Brands

Real Simple staffers used their noodles to find the best dried pastas among 80 different varieties. Ciao down!

Best Semolina
When in Rome, go for handmade noodles. When at home, opt for this most common store-bought pasta variety, made with semolina flour (similar to coarse white flour). These winners boast a sandy exterior with tiny crevices that help sauce stick. Plus, they're sturdy enough to pair with Grandma's Bolognese.
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RS long pick
: Barilla Thick Spaghetti, $1.70 for 16 ounces, at supermarkets.
RS short pick: De Cecco Penne Rigate, $2.30 for 16 ounces, at supermarkets.

Also See: How To: Cook Pasta


Best Whole-Grain
Made from whole wheat, rye, or a combination of grains, these noodles are more nutritious than their semolina cousins. Whole-grain varieties can have an earthy taste and a rubbery texture, but these winners are slightly sweet and toothsome. Their mild flavor pairs nicely with garlic and olive oil or roasted vegetables.

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RS long pick
: Racconto 8 Whole Grain Spaghetti, $3 for 16 ounces, at supermarkets.
RS short pick: 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Wheat Penne Rigate, $2 for 16 ounces, Whole Foods Markets.

Also See: 40 Perfect Pasta Dishes


Best Gluten-Free
If you're allergic to gluten (a protein found in wheat), there's no need to give the boot to your favorite Italian dishes. Gluten-free pastas, usually made from corn or rice, are easy to find. And although some kinds turn gummy, these favorites stayed firm. The penne tastes faintly like popcorn; try it with ham, peas, and Parmesan. The spaghetti has a subtle rice flavor that goes with everything.
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RS long pick: Lundberg Family Farms Organic Brown Rice Spaghetti Pasta, $4 for 10 ounces, at supermarkets.
RS short pick: Trader Joe's Corn Pasta Penne, $1.40 for 16 ounces, Trader Joe's.

Also See: The Best Gluten-Free Food at Your Grocery Store


See More Real Simple Pasta Picks Here


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