Last updated on November 17th, 2023
Are you looking for the top Italian pasta brands to use in your home?
Or maybe you just want to amplify your pasta repertoire and cook with other brands.
Are you planning a trip to Italy and hope to bring back the best pasta we have?
After traveling to Italy for over six years and now living in the heart of Tuscany for over ten years I can confidently say I have been around the block with pasta and all the different kinds out there! I certainly have not cooked with every single brand there is on the market, but after years of cooking for my family and learning from Italian friends and family, I know exactly what to look for in packaging, in the color of the pasta, and in the ingredients.
Fun Fact: Pasta is eaten almost every day by most Italians, typically at lunch, except for in the northern regions such as Lombardy and Veneto where rice is the most common primo, or first course.
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What Italian Consumers Look for in a Pasta
Pasta is a highly personal preference in Italy. Many Italians choose to cook with De Cecco or Barilla because those are the most readily available and well-known. Other Italians choose based on price – a significant price gap exists between the supermarket brand pasta and the major brand names. Finally, Italians consider health and ingredients. They might choose one brand over another because it is made with eggs, has a high protein content, or is sourced locally.
Tip: Many supermarkets have come out with their own brand names of pasta which are actually milled and packaged by the same companies that you pay a surcharge for. Essalunga’s pasta (supermarket brand) is made by Molisana and Rummo!
My Preferred Italian Pasta Brands
I prefer pasta that is made from Italian wheat because Italy upholds certain standards of production that other countries do not. I also consider the color of the pasta. Many Italians prefer a bright yellow color of pasta such as Barilla or De Cecco but I personally find it a bit gummy.
La Molisana, Voiello and Rummo are much more ‘natural’ looking to me and don’t emit as much starch when they cook compared to Barilla and De Cecco. Even though our family likes the taste of Rummo pasta, which is dried slowly (and gives a better flavor), the grain is from the EU (not exclusively from Italy). So, we also tend to buy Voiello made with grano aureo – an Italian wheat cultivated in southern Italy and Molisana.
Eat Like An Italian: Don’t miss our guide to eating pasta like an Italian: Is it Illegal to Break Pasta in Italy? + Quick Guide to Italian Pasta Etiquette.
Best Italian Pasta Brands – Dry Pasta
- De Cecco
- La Molisana
- Libera Terra
Production: Parma (Emilia-Romagna)
Worth Noting: Best spaghetti
Barilla is the world’s largest pasta producer with the largest gross profit in Italy. It is also considered Italy’s favorite pasta. Initially, Barilla only made pasta but quickly expanded to produce various sauces, packaged goods, and bakery items, among other things.
As the company increased its exportation capacity it also opened factories in IA and NY where it uses the exact same pasta machines that it uses in Parma. The recipe is the same although wheat blends can change depending on their local sources.
Production: Fara San Martino (Abruzzo)
Worth Noting: Uses Californian-grown wheat in their pasta recipe
Oddly enough, De Cecco was also founded in Fara San Martino just like Delverde but has risen to be the third-largest global manufacturer of pasta. The company was founded by the De Cecco brothers who were millers before expanding into dried pasta.
Now the company is one of Italy’s biggest brands selling much more than dried pasta. Olive Oil, sauces, grains, and canned goods (tomatoes are a favorite!) are some of Italy’s favorite De Cecco products.
The company claims that its perfect balance of wheat from California, Arizona, and Italy give its pasta a unique flavor with the perfect al dente consistency when cooked properly. De Cecco continues to be considered one of the best pastas around.
Production: Campobasso (Molise)
One of the largest Italian pasta producers but with a “mom and pop” attitude to things. Although La Molisana exports to over 50 countries and holds 5th place for world production of pasta, the company continues to use the same skills and expertise as it has from the beginning.
Molisana claims to offer the perfect blend of semolina by combining various varieties of wheat, creating a rich, firm pasta from bronze molds. The company also upholds environmental standards of production under sustainable management.
Production: Torre Annunziata (Naples)
Worth Noting: Bought by Barilla in 1973
Voiello’s claim to fame is their use of solely aureo grain, developed and grown exclusively by them. They specialize in dried pasta using 100% Made in Italy ingredients and only the best techniques and practices. One of the most beloved pasta brands by both my family and Italians nationwide.
Production: Benevento (Campania)
Worth Noting: Best paccheri
Rummo was founded by Antonio Rummo who first milled flour to make a living but soon expanded to making fresh pasta with semolina flour. After a decade and a half of growth and development, the company was awarded an environment-friendly innovation award for having reduced co2 emissions by 30%.
Beyond their classic pasta, Rummo has one of the widest ranges of pasta lines under their name including their gluten-free pasta, organic, whole wheat, legume pasta, egg pasta, gnocchi, and their professional line designed for chefs.
Production: Corato (Puglia)
Worth Noting: Try their quinoa pasta for a gluten-free option
Granoro is one of the most popular pasta brands in Italy the company is also a producer of quality ready-made pasta sauces as well (which as a mother of four I greatly appreciate).
Granoro has developed its own gluten-free pasta made with quinoa flour as well as a whole wheat pasta that is worth bringing home with you. Its Granoro Dedicato pasta, made exclusively with wheat grown in Puglia, sets itself apart from others with its protein level of 13%.
Production: Rutigliano (Puglia)
Worth Noting: Also makes cookies!
As I mentioned, Italians love pasta that is committed to using 100% Italian grains and although Divella does not (it uses wheat from the EU and Italy) it does have a large following in part because it has created a small empire based on their production of cookies, vinegar, olive oil and ready to use sauces.
“Divella, Mediterranean passion” is how they are known in Italy while abroad they are remembered as “Divella, Mediterranean passion in the world”.
Production: Gragnano (Naples)
Worth Noting: Vermicelli and mezze penne are their best pasta shapes
Like many of the other leaders in Italian pasta, Garofalo was also founded in Campania and its headquarters and production are still there today. Although not one of the top three brands in Italy, Garofalo is still family-owned and has proven itself a leader in ‘premium pastas’ abroad, including in France, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Production: Fara San Martino (Abruzzo)
Worth Noting: Number one pasta in South America
One of the newly established top-grossing pasta companies on the market. Delverde is growing by the day, especially in South America. In 2008 Delverde joined forces with Molinos Rìo de la Plata s.a., one of the largest food companies in South America, giving them a one-up on the competition.
Most recently in 2019, the company was purchased by the Italian multi-brand food company from Reggio Emilia, Newlat Food SpA. With production and packaging plants throughout Italy and Europe, I won’t be surprised if we see more and more of this pasta available in Italy and abroad.
Production: Sansepolcro (Toscana)
Worth Noting: Well-established in the USA
Buitoni may have the best headquarters of them all, settled in the hills of Tuscany between tomato, wheat, and olive fields. I haven’t yet been to the headquarters but I imagine it is lined with cypress trees. Buitoni also specializes in fresh pastas and sauces.
Although still very famous and a popular pasta option, especially abroad, Buitoni has been involved in many food contamination scandals over the years.
Production: San Giuseppe Jato (Sicily)
Worth Noting: One of the highest quality small production pastas available.
Libera Terra, meaning “free land” in Italian, is a farming cooperative from land that has been confiscated from the mafia in the south of Italy. The mission of this company is to recover what would have been lost to the mafia while establishing and supporting self-sufficient cooperative companies with good work principles and excellent products all the while respecting environmental standards of good practice.
Libera Terra makes amazingly good pasta which, however, I do not get to eat very much because it is not readily available. You can find it in some specialty stores but it is primarily sold directly on their website. Being a cooperative that works with various lands and farms they make a wide range of products, not just pasta. Be sure to check them out online! Libera Terra really does make it possible to enjoy great food and feel good about doing so.
Fun Fact: Altroconsumo, a well-established Italian company, identified the absolute best pasta on the market based on color, how the pasta breaks, contamination, cooking process, taste, and texture. The winner? Libera Terra with 79 points out of 100!
Other Italian Dry Pasta Brands
- Benedetto Cavalieri
- Pastificio dei Campi
- Pastificio Artigianale Camp’Oro
- Rustichella d’Abruzzo
- Di Martino
- Lidia’s Pasta
Good To Know: Here in Italy, you can find organic pasta, gluten-free pasta, whole-wheat pasta, and pasta made especially for babies (look for pastina found in the baby food section and also in the regular pasta aisle).
Best Italian Pasta Brands – Fresh Pasta
While fresh pasta is made throughout Italy, it’s in the south in Basilicata, Puglia, Calabria and Campania where handmade pasta shines brightest. The ancient techniques of forming each region’s pasta are passed down from generation to generation.
In many of central Italy’s regions such as Tuscany and Umbria the tradition of homemade pasta is somewhat of a dying art. In the south, however, it is still very much a part of daily life. You will even see the elderly woman setting up ‘shop’ outside their home as they sit down with a cutting board, rolling pin, and their best friends at their side to spend the morning making pasta and catching up on the local gossip.
The best region to get your hands on some fresh stuffed pasta or egg pasta is Emilia-Romagna. Bologna is famous for its tortellini stuffed with mortadella and served either in broth or with meat sauce. Pasta shops selling fresh-cut lasagne sheets and tagliatelle are on every other corner in this region so don’t worry about missing out!
Fun Fact: We often head to the fresh pasta shop to buy ‘fancy’ (and often expensive) fresh pasta, but historically, fresh pasta was actually made by lower-income Italians, often in rural areas) who couldn’t afford to buy dried pasta. Like so many Italian foods and ingredients (like produce, herbs, meats, eggs and legumes), pasta was made primarily at home as a way to save money. To this day you will often see Italian homes with small gardens, a handful of chickens, and pasta drying on the balcony.
The Giovanni Rana brand, founded in 1962, is world-famous for its fresh pasta, sauces, and ready-made dishes. Today, the company exports its products all over Europe and the US with factories and restaurants in America and the UK.
Fun Fact: Giovanni Rana is much more than a brand – it’s a symbol of modernization and liberation from the Italian kitchen. Giovanni Rana was the first to make quality homemade pasta and sauces available to the greater public without the steep price of artisan-made products. Women no longer had to spend hours making handmade pasta in the morning but were free to explore other interests and other work opportunities.
Italian Pastas Brands – Gluten-Free Options
Many large Italian brands make pasta made with chickpeas, lentils, corn, rice, or buckwheat. Sometimes supermarkets will have an entire gluten-free section with these items. If not, you’ll find them mixed in with regular pasta.
Rummo has the largest selection of non-wheat pasta products including their gluten-free line (linea senza glutine in Italian) and legume pasta (pasta di legumi in Italian)
De Cecco also makes gluten-free pastas but note quite as many varieties as Rummo
Good To Know: Check out grocery store brands for non-wheat options. They are a lot cheaper and taste great! European brand Schär specializes in gluten-free products, including fresh and dry pasta.
Best Artisan Italian Pasta Brands
- Felicetti: Founded in 1908 in Trento since 1908. Although this company has a much smaller production line than others, some believe they are too big to be considered to be artisan.
- Benedetto Cavalieri: Small company from Lecce, founded in 1918. We recommend trying the spaghetti!
- Dei Campi: From Naples.
- Verrigni: Founded in Roseto degli Abruzzi in 1898. Known for their fussilioros (similar to fusilli)
- Martelli: Small production from Pisa since 1926
- Vicidomini: Brand of pasta from Salerno since 1812. Best known for their paccheri (great to make a fish pasta!).
Best Whole Wheat Italian Pasta Brands
- De Cecco
- La Molisana
Fun Fact: According to Italian food law, whole wheat pasta must contain at least 7% fiber and 14% protein.
Italian Pasta Brands FAQ
Artisanal producers, sometimes mainstream producers but larger packages. A few have sfogline on staff to make fresh pasta.
A loaded question but I would have to go with Libera Terra which is difficult to find. La Molisana, is my top pick for the best commercial pasta brand.
Barilla, Molisana, Rummo, De Cecco, Garofalo, Granoro. Keep in mind you will need to go online to get most of these. Barilla and De Cecco should be readily available at your local grocery store.
Like most things, the price is reflective of the quality. More expensive pasta, often artisan, is shaped and cut using bronze molds. This pasta is much more textured and ‘porous’, thus being a better vehicle for sauce! Everyday pasta brands that you would find in the supermarket are made from Teflon-coated molds.