We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I learned from one of those Italian cuisine Youtubes that "fresh" pasta, ie still not fully dried and packaged, is a waste of money. The comment was that "You're paying extra prices just for the water weight."
Not a big fan of pasta, really, because it feels like filling, empty calories to me. Sure, rare exceptions like when in Italy. Come to think of it, though, I do eat Thai noodles about monthly in noodle soup or Pad Thai, so there's that.
The point remains, though, that pastas were invented for food storage, carb storage like dried beans. They are made to be dried. Sheesh, years ago Mrs. BD and I made fresh homemade lasagna with a pasta machine. Worth doing it once to see what it's like, but after that a waste of time.
The French say, 'It's not the cost of the fish, it's the cost of the sauce'. The sauce is the equal partner to the fish - no matter how great the fish is when caught, it's only made that way at the table by the skill of the saucier.
Pasta is just the conveyance for the sauce. To me it provides textural counterpoint. Every once in a while, I just have to have some pasta, especially when wifey cooks seafood with a cream-based sauce. Her seafood lasagne is 'to die' for. And I love making stuffed shells once in a while, great big ones with different cheeses and meats, fresh basil, etc, baked 'till the edges are slightly crisp and served piping hot. Lots of work, but they are a huge hit as first course.
Japanese noodles (udon or soba, at least, not so much ramen) are much better made fresh or prepared from frozen-when-fresh. The dry ones just don't compare.
For Italian pasta, I prefer dried Sclafani pastas, widely available in Connecticut but not at all in Florida, where I live now. 100% Italian made. But stay away from their vongole, actually imported from Indonesia!
The Japanese exception
We have several grades of fresh packaged soba in our local markets here in Japan, so I always buy the best. But for a special occasion we head to our hometown Soba restaurant where the master makes soba in a large glassed booth at the corner of the dining room. A marvel to watch as 100% buckwheat flour is difficult to manage, with prices to match, I might add.
Meh. Osteria Delle Coppelle Roma makes a wonderful Cacio e Pepe. No sauce per se, unless you call pepper, pasta water, and aged pecorino a sauce, with only fresh pasta. And then there's the home-made pasta in the beautiful Lasagna Verdi Alla Bolognese we had at Gessetto's in Bologna.
Perhaps we've all had different pasta experiences. I hope you get to try these someday! Ciao, Bull
PS: Agree with the comments on fresh/handmade soba and udon. The dried stuff tastes like the Styrofoam it's wrapped in.