Pasta: Fresh Vs. Dried

I have some pasta issues....  for years and years I bought my own pasta, that is, until I learned just how easy it was to make my own. Then I was sort of on a kick about making my own pasta. Why in the world would I pay for something that I could make myself? I felt like I was superior because I could whip up my own batch of pasta.

Then, I was having this huge dinner for my friends and family when my sister-in-law was in town for the weekend... and I was making meatballs. Well, the meatballs were the highlight, I should say. I also made my own pasta sauce and my own salad. But I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if I made my own pasta, I wouldn't have a second to socialize--and I wanted to socialize.

So I did what any normal person would do: I bought pasta. From the store. But I felt so guilty about it. I am Italian... this kind of behavior was unacceptable... what would my guests say? Would they judge me for not making my own pasta? I swear, I was worried, and as each guest came in, I humbly confessed my sin to which each one had the same incredulous reaction.

No one expected me to make my own pasta except for me!

Everyone was raving about the meatballs, the salad, the sauce, the homemade dessert... no one was worried about whether or not the pasta was made from flour and eggs. It was only me. And then, several weeks later, I was watching "Everyday Italian" with Giada de Laurentiis, and she laid it on the line: in Italy, she says, dried pasta and homemade pasta are equals. I breathed a sigh of relief.

The thing is, as a home chef, you have to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. If the two are equal, then you have to toggle. I have to toggle. Sure, if I want ravioli, it's homemade pasta! That would be the star of the dish, right? But f the meatballs are supposed to take center stage, let the dried pasta out of the box!

And in fact, there can be some really great dried pastas! I like the more expensive, handmade pastas, or the imported pastas... though I know that most pastas can be cheap, I opt not to go for those as much unless I am buying the classic "spaghetti."

So now you know what a Bossy Italian Wife prefers: there are times when each pasta (homemade or dried) is appropriate! They are both equally good in their own right, especially if you want your pasta al dente! 

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