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Is the basic material in various pastas all the same?

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I'm not sure where else to turn to in order to ask this question.

Today I was to pick up some whole wheat penne for making an Italian dish tonight.  I was bewildered by all the various forms of shells, tubes, with and without ridges and sizes, 90 vs. 45 degree cuts of those tubes.

Shells are one thing, as are the folded over sometimes cheese filled things that some people make.

But if you went to the pasta section in the store and other than whole wheat vs. white pasta, is there any difference in the base material that say penne, mostachholi, rigotoni, and every other hollow round thing is made of?  Are they all the same dough, just extruded differently to hold onto the sauce differently, or be stuffed if the hole is big enough?

Just curious.

Flour and eggs, a bit of water and salt is the basic recipe. You can read the ingredients list to see what else a particular manufacturer uses.

You're talking about "pasta secca" or dried pasta.  Two ingredients: water, flour.
Can add things like spinach, carrot, squid ink, tomato, ... to get the colored varieties.  All extruded through dies.  Key to quality is the die material - bronze provides better surface texture with less wear.  The semolina flour comes from durum wheat - source, extraction, processing, ... and specific protein level are critical.

Pasta fresca or fresh pasta has eggs, flour.

 Goodness, I had no idea!

I see these cool looking machines that you run pasta dough through to make flat noodles, and wondered if the result, being non-dried, would cook faster and if there is a difference in taste?

I have been amazed at how little changes in the way things are done can have a marked effect on the end product.

Thanks for the information.  I apparently have reading to do, but with your replies I have more key words to put into DuckDuckGo.

Yes, fresh will cook much faster, and will taste different -- especially if you add eggs.
And unless you do a lot of flour research and go to a specialty mill, you won't be able to get the same flour.  Even the typical "all purpose" you get in the store and any semolina flour will be much different in fresh pasta.


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