Italian grandmas taste-test pastas at 3 price points

"GMA" called in some experts to see if gourmet pastas are worth the price.
6:35 | 03/22/17

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Transcript for Italian grandmas taste-test pastas at 3 price points
pasta, a pantry staple for a fast and affordable meal but gourmet prices could have you paying more than ten times for a standard box of spaghetti. You had fun. We had fun to eat. If anybody is going to know pasta it's a nonna. An Italian grandmother. Pasta is very simple. Talking just water and flour. But are the pricier pastas worth them? Can you taste the difference? Wait till you see what happens when these nonnas put their pasta palettes to the taste? Here at eataly, a pasta paradise from the affordable to high end, an art form made from scratch and shaped by hand. My debut in the pasta industry. You take the other half and you fold it in the other direction. You did perfectly. Oh, there you go. A little bow tie. Reporter: Most pastas are made from the same basic ingredients. Flour, and water. So what are the differences? We see like immediately there's a color difference here. A bright color like this suggests slow drying and more nutrients. Gourmet pastas can cost ten times more than the average box of spaghetti but does pricier mean tastier? We wanted to find out so asked Luca to design a blind taste test comparing spaghetti at three price points. $1, $2.50 and $10 a pound. We then invited three nonnas, that's Italian yore grandmother for a taste test. Nonna, how well do you think you know your pasta? Eating it for 73 years. My favorite thing to cook. Nonna Romana and nonna Maryann. I want you to tell ee what was your favorite pasta. Each nonna chose a different pasta as their favorite. I like "A" the best. It had a sweetness to it which the others didn't. Just the right consistency. Just tasted good. I love more Al Dente I like better. Reporter: Could they correctly pick the priciest pasta? Again, each one choosing a different pasta. Why do you think this is the most expensive. It was the least desirable. Reporter: But check it out nonna Romana. I say "C." Picking the same pasta dish both as her favorite and the one she thought was most expensive. Are you ready to find out which was the least expensive pasta? "C" was the least expensive at about $1. You chose the least expensive pasta. This is very good. I think if it's good enough for nonna Romana, it's good enough for all of us, right? And we're all hungry now but a couple of tips. Next time you're shopping for pasta you want to hold it up to the light. You want your pasta to have rough texture and an opaque quality, smooth not good. Translucent also not good. All about getting that sauce to stick but, robin, if it's good enough for nonna Romana, it's good enough for us. Excellent. Al Dente. That's what it was. "Bon appetit"'s Adam Rapoport. I love you, Adam. I know you are a pasta purist but there are alternatives. Do tell. For those in the gluten-free lifestyle or sometimes you don't want to be as full and filled up. You like the gf stuff. I like the chickpea. You have to know them because they all cook and react differently. Quinoa and black bean. We've got chickpea and all three are going to have different cooking ties and found quinoa four to five, chickpea, eight to nine. A lot of water, well salted and fuse it and stir it. So it doesn't get gooey. All, taste as you go. The last thing you want to do isover cook them and get mushy or undercook and gritty in the middle. Taste them again and go. I'm not a stockholder but I'm telling you I -- I'm just telling you because it's not -- there's also, Adam, what you pair with them. What I like about the gluten-free pasta, they have an earthy flavor to them and go nice with earthy ingredients of here we have with wild mushrooms and crispy prosciutto. Ah. I mean, eh. Why not. Here we got spicy sausage. Some sauteed escarole, and, yeah, so they bring the flavor and like I said, you can pair them -- the important thing is when you take the pasta out of the water, put it in the pan with the sauce. Okay. You want to toss and toss and toss and even a little pasta water, that helps sort of emulsify the sauce and bring it all together. You never drain the pasta. Do not drain the pasta. I'm not going to name one of your purchases but she said she rinsed the producer. You never rinse it. No. Can we talk to some nonnas. Maryanne, Romana, thank you so much. Love getting the grandmothers. There was a third grandmother in the piece but she's with her grandson on the west coast so that's why we had the two of you. You have your favorite dishes. This is mine. Tell us about it. It's fresh grape to mate tos, shallot, garlic, crushed red pepper and capers. Don't forget the marparmesan. I don't know why I wore a white shirt when I'm tasting a red sauce pasta. Romana, how are you? You have your granddaughter. I know your English is a little -- can you describe that dish for us. This is nonna Romana's classic baked ziti. Does she have a secret? I'm going around. I'm getting in on this. We can't tell you the secret. I can't tell you. You want to tell? What's the secret? Nothing. You got to cook Al Dente. You pour over and you got to finish cooking. It is good. Wonderful. Thumb's up. I know. Stay clean. Wore the white shirt and pasta. Thank you. Thank you, thank you. I know, I love it too. Yes. The April issue of "bon appetit" on newsstands now.

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