Best Pasta Brand in Italy: Our Picks!

We’ve tried a lot of pasta brands—both in Italy and abroad! So, what’s the best pasta brand in Italy? It’s a toss-up between a few brands. But first, let’s talk about our criteria!

A macro look at the external texture of La Molisana pasta compared to an average commercial Barilla pasta.


When talking about dry pasta, the best products are made with durum wheat semolina.


Pasta in Italy is always cooked to al dente — which literally means ‘to the teeth’ in Italian! So, pasta is expected to have a tiny bit of a bite to it—and not to be mushy.

As with rice, the quality of the pasta and its texture determine if the pasta can maintain this desired texture after cooking and soaking in sauce.

As we discuss in our best Spaghetti Aglio Olio recipe, the highest quality pasta is ‘bronze drawn’ (trafilato al bronzo). This means what it says: the pasta has literally been cut with a bronze pasta stamp or cutter. This creates pasta with a more porous texture. A porous texture…

  • creates a more interesting mouth feel
  • allows the pasta to release more starch (for all those recipes that depend on that)
  • helps the pasta to ‘grab’ the sauce better


Many, many authentic Italian pasta recipes depend on the starch from the pasta in order to create a little cremina and to thicken the sauce. This is true of the authentic Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe recipe, any traditional Spaghetti Carbonara recipe— really any recipe that requires creating an emulsion with cheese to create a creamy sauce.

Outside of Italy, recipes often rely on heavy cream to create the emulsion that make a creamy sauce. But in Italy, heavy cream is almost never used with cheese to create sauces. Instead, recipes rely on the starch that the quality pasta releases into the hot water as a thickener. In Italian cuisine, it’s considered a sign of poor cooking technique to add cream as a thickener as it adds unnecessary fat and changes the flavor of the final dish.

So, it’s clear why one criteria for a quality pasta would be the ability of that pasta to release starch into the water as it cooks! Pasta that is bronze drawn can release more starch due to its texture.

Creamy Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with a sauce thickened only with the starch from the pasta!

Integrity During Long Cook Time

A quality pasta (like a quality rice) should be able to stand up to a long cooking time for those recipes that require that.

In some Italian pasta recipes, the pasta is cooked mostly in a skillet like a risotto, slowly adding hot pasta water or broth to cook the pasta. Usually the total cook time is a bit longer, and so the pasta needs to be able to maintain its al dente texture at the end of this process.

Another consideration is simply if the pasta will be edible the next day. Italians prefer to eat pasta freshly cooked. However, even in Italy there are sometimes leftovers. Once a pasta has been in sauce, it can get so mushy that it is practically inedible. By choosing a quality pasta with a great texture, pasta leftovers are more likely to be still edible the next day.

The famous ‘Killer Pasta’ of Bari (Pasta all’Assassina) is slowly cooked like a risotto—requiring a pasta that can hold its integrity during the cook!

Best Pasta Brand in Italy: Our Top 3

From spaghetti to rigatoni, these pasta brands deliver!

La Molisana Pasta

Meet La Molisana (Amazon affiliate link)! This pasta is delicious, made in Italy and meets all of our criteria for a quality pasta:

  • Trafilato al Bronzo – cut with bronze stamps
  • Ingredients: Made with quality durum wheat semolina flour
  • Taste: Great!
  • Texture: Fantastic and holds integrity even during a long cook (protein content over 14%)
  • Starch: Releases plenty of starch

Rummo Pasta

Meet Rummo Pasta (Amazon affiliate link)! Another delicious Durum Wheat Semolina pasta that is Trafilato al Bronzo!

  • Trafilato al Bronzo – cut with bronze stamps
  • Ingredients: Made with quality durum wheat semolina flour
  • Taste: Great!
  • Texture: Fantastic and holds integrity even during a long cook
  • Starch: Releases plenty of starch

Garofalo Pasta

Meet Garofalo Pasta (Amazon Affiliate link).

  • Trafilato al Bronzo – most products are cut with bronze stamps
  • Ingredients: 100% durum wheat semolina flour
  • Taste: Great!
  • Texture: Fantastic and holds integrity even during a long cook
  • Starch: Releases plenty of starch

Decent Pasta Brands (Easily Found Abroad)

Now you are probably thinking: “What about De Cecco and Barilla?” These are probably the pasta brands sold in Italy that are most easily found abroad.

These pasta brands are not bad by any means, and they are popular in Italy as well. We think of them as the ‘Starbucks’ of Pasta. They aren’t great, but if you are outside of Italy, they may be your best choice since the product is consistent and you know what you are getting. When we are shopping for pasta outside Italy, we sometimes reach for these brands as well. We personally prefer De Cecco over Barilla.

Is Barilla pasta made in Italy?

Barilla is currently engaged in a lawsuit over allegedly falsely advertising that its pasta products sold in the United States are made in Italy when they are not. Instead “the majority of the company’s products sold in the U.S. are produced in Iowa and New York and are not made with ingredients sourced from Italy.”

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PIATTO™ Recipes bring traditional Italian food recipes to your table with our tested, step-by-step recipes and videos. You'll find the best Italian recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Always tested, always delicious.

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