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Here Are Ina Garten's 2 Favorite Brands Of Dried Pasta

Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten
Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten - Brad Barket/Getty Images

Memoirist and "Barefoot Contessa" host Ina Garten has a solid fan base for a reason. The serene purveyor of home entertaining and cooking effortlessly in a Nancy Meyers-style kitchen can whip up easy and accessible dishes for pretty much any situation. The ingredients she usually specifies aren't the kind you need to spend a bunch of time and gas money finding. A prime example is her preference for dried pasta brands that you can easily find on your supermarket shelves. And, honestly, if dried pasta is good enough for the Barefoot Contessa, it's good enough for all home cooks.

Something Garten has become known for is her repertoire of easy everyday pastas featuring shapes like bucatini, rigatoni, and penne. For these simple meals where getting dinner on the table is the main goal, she often suggests using grocery store mainstay De Cecco. It happens to be one of two pasta companies recommended on her website's shop; the other, Cipriani, makes a slightly more specialized and expensive product that is richer in more ways than one.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

De Cecco Has A Leg Up On The Competition

Bags of De Cecco pasta
Bags of De Cecco pasta - Bloomberg/Getty Images

De Cecco is an ideal brand of pasta for casual dishes because it's a high-quality product that doesn't cost a lot. Even Italians prefer it over its competitors. The pantry staple, which has been made in Italy since before pizza's alleged invention, is also Ina Garten's go-to for many of her humbler pastas, including the roasted vegetable lasagna from "Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook."

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De Cecco uses bronze dies to cut its pasta shapes, which gives the pasta a few superpowers some other supermarket brands lack. Pasta cut this way has a coarse exterior -- the next time you're perusing the pasta aisle at your local supermarket, look at a box of De Cecco and you'll notice that the noodles have an almost fuzzy appearance. This is from the bronze die plates used to extrude the pasta, which rough up the surface of the noodles a bit. The cruder texture helps sauces stick to the pasta shapes instead of pooling into a puddle at the bottom of the plate. It's also useful when making sauces that require pasta water, such as carbonara or aglio e oglio; the coarse layer will cook off, giving you liquid gold in the form of extra starchy pasta water. In fact, Garten uses that enriched water to bind sauces in her own dishes, such as the spring green spaghetti carbonara from her book "Modern Comfort Food."

Cipriani Pasta Pairs Well With Luxurious Ingredients

ciprianifood/Instagram
ciprianifood/Instagram - Kcline/Getty Images

For pasta dishes that call for a little more pizzazz, Ina Garten opts for Cipriani, an artisanal pasta brand that was founded at a restaurant in Venice in the 1930s. Her preferred shape, tagliarelle, is made using semolina flour and egg and cooks in the time it takes to set the table -- a mere three minutes for perfect al dente pasta. It cooks up like a handmade, fresh pasta that pairs well with luxurious ingredients like sea urchin or truffles.

For a touch of extravagance, Garten pairs Cipriani pasta with white truffle butter from Urbani (a product she admits she can't stop using). To make the delicious sauce, she combines reserved pasta water with cream and truffle butter, which combine to form a creamy, clingy, truly decadent pasta sauce. Chopped chives add a pop of color and grassy sharpness to the gem of a dish, which -- despite its luxuriousness -- is featured in Garten's 2008 book "Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics."

Read the original article on Daily Meal.