Things have been a little crazy lately and we haven't had much time to make fresh pasta. As a result we've been experimenting with dried pastas. We haven't found any one brand that's stuck with us, instead we are trying a wide variety of different ones, whatever looks best, whatever shape takes our fancy. It can be hard to make that leap in price point. There are two reasons for this. The first is trying the unknown. The second is, De Cecco our go panty pasta, is perfectly fine and not very expensive. But once you try some of the better dried pastas you understand the upgrade. In the good ones, the flavor is a little deeper and the texture is a little more toothsome. The pasta has a suppleness that surrounds the al dente noodle. They are thicker and larger and some have a more textured surface that holds on to sauces. They taste better and really, that's what counts the most. Of course as in any exploration there are some wrong turns and duds we have encountered. The quest for better flavor always involves a few missteps along the way.