How do I choose the best Fusilli pasta?

Fusilli pasta has many uses.

Choosing the best fusilli pasta can depend on whether the recipe calls for fresh or dry pasta, the size and type of fusilli pasta you want, and your budget. Fusilli pasta is shaped like a spiral and can be used alone with sauces, in pasta salads, added to soups or as part of a casserole. Traditionally, the best fusilli pasta is homemade, because the freshest ingredients, family recipes and time-honored production methods tend to create the tastiest and most tender pasta.

Some brands of fusilli pasta are available in the refrigerated section of many supermarkets.

Translated from Italian, fusilli means “small spindles” and is a dough that is instantly recognizable by its corkscrew shape. Fusilli has a few variations, such as the hollow version known as fusilli bucati and a longer variation known as fusilli napoletani. This type of pasta is great when paired with sauces because its tightly rolled shape holds liquids well. Fusilli is also a good choice for fresh pasta salads.

Al dente fusilli can be topped with chopped tomatoes and fresh herbs for a quick bite.

When choosing store-bought fusilli, determine which size and shape best suits your recipes, as well as the cut dies, grains, and brands used to make the fusilli dough. All these factors contribute to the flavor and consistency of the dough. Some experts suggest that you look for Italian brands when buying fusilli from a store, because they are typically produced in an old-fashioned way that uses bronze-cut dies.

The cutting dies used to make the dough can affect the taste of the dough and the type of texture and porosity it has; this affects whether the sauces slip or stick to the dough. Pasta cutting dies are wheel-shaped metal fittings that are used to extrude pasta from its basic shape into distinctive shapes and lengths like fettuccine, spaghetti, fusilli or other type of pasta. The dies are usually of the bronze type traditionally used in Italy and which create a rough, handcrafted appearance and porous texture, or non-stick synthetic dies which, as the name suggests, create smooth doughs with a smooth surface. The bronze dies that create the rougher fusilli dough are considered the better of the two methods, because the porous quality of the dough better absorbs sauces and seasonings.

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Your budget is another consideration when choosing the best fusilli pasta. Italian-made pasta and organic pasta will cost more than homemade pasta. Whole wheat pasta is also more expensive, but it is a tasty and healthy alternative to semolina pasta. Some brands of fusilli pasta are available fresh in the refrigerated section of many supermarkets.

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