The Top 11 Italian Pasta Brands to Buy at the Store in 2024

11 Best Italian Pasta Brands to Buy in 2024

When it comes to pasta, Italians are considered the experts, as Italy is the home of this beloved staple. With such a wide variety of Italian pasta available in stores, it can be overwhelming to choose the right brand for your recipe. In this article, we will explore the best Italian pasta brands you can buy in the store in 2023. These brands are known for their high-quality ingredients, minimal additives, perfect shapes for holding and carrying sauce, and a consistent “al dente” texture when cooked.

How to choose the best Italian pasta brands

With the vast selection of Italian pasta available, it can be difficult to make a decision. When looking for a good Italian pasta brand in the store, there are a few factors to consider.

What is pasta?

Pasta is a familiar cupboard staple, made from a mixture of durum wheat flour and either water or egg. The dough is rolled out and cut into various shapes. Pasta can be cooked fresh or dried and cooked later. When cooked, pasta should be soft but retain its shape and texture, with a slight “bite” in the middle, known as al dente.

Essential Ingredients

The quality of the ingredients used in pasta is critical to achieving the desired texture. The best pasta usually contains only flour and water, with the finest pasta made from extremely fine flour. Italian pasta is typically made with semolina flour, which is derived from durum wheat, or semolina flour, which comes from the intermediate milling of durum wheat and is coarser and more flavorful. Another option is 00 flour, a traditional wheat flour ground into finer particles, perfect for making filled pasta.

Pressing techniques

Pasta can be made using different pressing techniques that affect the texture and appearance of the final product. Teflon pasta presses produce a smooth and shiny finish, while bronze-cut pasta, the more traditional method, produces a rougher and less dense texture. The choice between the two depends on personal preference and the desired result.

Pasta shapes

Italian pasta comes in a variety of shapes, each with a specific purpose. Understanding the different shapes of pasta can help you choose the right one for your recipe.

  • Tagliatelle: Tagliatelle, lasagna, pappardelle, mafaldine. Ribbon pasta pairs well with pesto, fresh tomatoes, and wine or butter-based sauces.
  • String pasta: Bigoli, spaghetti, vermicelli, angel hair. These fine strands of pasta are best mixed into the dish, such as spaghetti bolognese.
  • Tubular pasta: Penne, rigatoni, cannelloni, macaroni. Tubular pasta is used in dishes where the sauce does not adhere well to the pasta, and the inside of the tube serves as a carrier for the sauce.
  • Shaped pasta: Conchigle, Casarecce, Farfalle, Cavatelli. These pasta shapes are designed to hold sauces, with slightly concave or shell-like shapes.
  • Soup pasta: Orzo, Fregula, Ditalini, Israeli Couscous. These dense pasta shapes are ideal for soups because they hold their shape and absorb flavors well.
  • Filled pasta: Ravioli, tortelloni, cappelletti, maultasche. Stuffed pasta should be mild and easy to shape to allow the filling to shine.

The 11 Best Italian Pasta Brands You Can Buy in a Store

Here are our top picks for the 11 best Italian pasta brands you can buy in 2024:

1. De Cecco

– Best Feature: Best overall pasta brand
– Shape: Fettuccine – an extra thin ribbon pasta
– Ingredients: Eggs, durum wheat semolina
– Features: GMO free, free from colorants, bronze cut
– Serving suggestion: Egg fettuccine with mussels, clams, yellow peppers, garlic and olive oil.
De Cecco is highly regarded as the best brand of store-bought Italian pasta. It is bronze-pressed to create a textured surface that holds sauces well. The pasta is slow-dried to preserve its flavor and texture, resulting in a perfect al dente consistency, even in thin ribbons like fettuccine.

2. Barilla

– Best feature: GMO free
– Shape: Angel hair – a very fine strand of pasta
– Ingredients: Semolina flour
– Features: GMO free
– Serving suggestions: Perfect with light sauces such as garlic and herbs.
Barilla is a widely available and affordable pasta brand known for its high quality. It offers a variety of pasta shapes to match different dishes. Barilla’s angel hair pasta is delicate and cooks quickly, making it an excellent choice for light sauces and seafood dishes.

3. Rustichella d’Abruzzo

– Best feature: Wide variety of shapes
– Shape: Farfalle – bow-shaped pasta
– Ingredients: Durum wheat semolina, water
– Features: Slow dried, traditional bronze cut
– Serving suggestions: Farfalle with peas, pancetta and cream sauce
Rustichella d’Abruzzo is known for its wide range of pasta shapes, offering options for every culinary creation. Their Farfalle pasta is beautifully shaped and retains its texture when cooked. Made with high quality semolina and water, Rustichella d’Abruzzo pasta has a delicious bite and holds sauces well.

4. Garofalo

– Best feature: Durum wheat semolina from North America
– Shape: Penne rigate – ribbed, tubular pasta
– Ingredients: Durum wheat semolina
– Features: Slow dried, extruded through bronze dies
– Serving suggestions: Penne rigate with spicy tomato sauce and Italian sausage
Garofalo pasta stands out for its exceptional quality and taste. The brand uses North American durum wheat semolina, known for its high protein content. The penne rigate pasta, with its ridges and hollow center, captures the sauce and adds texture to every bite.

5. La Molisana

– Best feature: Wide range of organic options
– Shape: Spaghetti – long, thin strand pasta
– Ingredients: Durum wheat semolina, water
– Features: Slow dried, traditional bronze cut
– Serving suggestions: Classic spaghetti aglio e olio (garlic and oil) with chili flakes.
La Molisana offers a wide variety of pasta, including many organic options. Their spaghetti is made using traditional methods, resulting in a pasta that cooks to perfection and has a delicious al dente texture. La Molisana’s commitment to quality and sustainability makes it a popular choice among pasta lovers.

6. Pasta di Gragnano IGP

– Best feature: Protected Geographical Indication (IGP) status
– Shape: Paccheri – large tube-shaped pasta
– Ingredients: Durum wheat semolina, water
– Features: Slow dried, bronze cut
– Serving suggestions: Paccheri with seafood in a rich tomato sauce.
Pasta di Gragnano IGP is a prestigious brand of pasta with Protected Geographical Indication (IGP), which guarantees its authenticity and respect for traditional production methods. Their Paccheri pasta is large and has a texture that perfectly captures and holds sauces. Made with durum wheat semolina and water, it delivers an authentic Italian pasta experience.

7. Martelli

– Best feature: Artisan production process
– Shape: Spaghetti – long, thin strand pasta
– Ingredients: Durum wheat semolina, water
– Features: Slow dried, traditional bronze cut
– Serving suggestions: Spaghetti Carbonara with crispy pancetta and pecorino cheese
Martelli pasta is made using traditional artisanal methods passed down through generations. The slow drying process and bronze cutting technique result in a pasta with a rough, porous surface that enhances sauce adhesion. Martelli’s spaghetti is renowned for its exceptional taste and texture.

8. Giovanni Rana

– Best feature: Fresh pasta options
– Shape: Tortellini – small stuffed pasta
– Ingredients: Durum wheat semolina, eggs, various fillings
– Features: Fresh pasta, variety of fillings
– Serving suggestion: Spinach and ricotta tortellini with sage butter sauce
Giovanni Rana is known for its fresh pasta and offers a range of filled pasta options such as tortellini. Made with high quality ingredients including durum wheat semolina and eggs, Giovanni Rana’s tortellini are a convenient and delicious choice for quick and tasty meals.

9. Le Veneziane

– Best feature: Gluten-free pasta
– Shape: Penne – ribbed, tube-shaped pasta
– Ingredients: Corn flour, rice flour, emulsifier
– Features: Gluten-free, suitable for celiac and gluten-sensitive people
– Serving suggestions: Penne with roasted vegetables in a light olive oil and herb dressing.
Le Veneziane specializes in gluten-free pasta that doesn’t compromise on taste or texture. Their penne pasta, made with a blend of corn and rice flour, is an excellent option for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. It cooks to a perfect al dente consistency and pairs well with a variety of sauces.

10. Rummo

– Best feature: High protein content
– Shape: Fus


What makes Italian pasta brands superior to others?

Italian pasta brands are often considered superior because of their commitment to using high quality ingredients, traditional production methods and a wide variety of pasta shapes to suit different recipes. They prioritise the use of durum wheat semolina or 00 flour, which results in a desirable al dente texture when cooked.

Are these pasta brands suitable for people with dietary restrictions?

Yes, many of these Italian pasta brands offer options to accommodate various dietary restrictions. Some brands offer gluten-free pasta made from alternative flours such as corn or rice flour. In addition, certain brands may have organic or GMO-free options for those who prefer to choose products with specific certifications.

Where can I find these brands of Italian pasta?

These pasta brands are typically found in well-stocked grocery stores, specialty food stores and online retailers. They are often found in the pasta section alongside other international or gourmet foods.

What does bronze cut pasta mean?

Bronze-cut pasta refers to a traditional method of pressing pasta dough through bronze dies, giving the pasta a rougher texture. This texture helps sauces adhere better to the pasta, resulting in a more flavourful and satisfying dish. Many of the Italian pasta brands recommended in this article use the bronze die technique.

Can I use these pasta brands in both traditional and creative recipes?

Absolutely! These Italian pasta brands are versatile and can be used in a wide range of traditional and creative recipes. Whether you’re making classic dishes like spaghetti bolognese or exploring unique combinations, the quality and variety of these pasta brands offer endless culinary possibilities.

Are these pasta brands suitable for professional chefs?

Yes, these Italian pasta brands are highly regarded and trusted by home cooks and professional chefs alike. Their consistent quality, texture and ability to hold sauces make them a preferred choice in both domestic and commercial kitchens.