To better undestrand the universe of Italian pasta, The Guardian offers a couple of interesting tips:
1) Distinguishing between different kinds of diried pasta. Dried pasta is made with durum wheat and water. Its production started around Gragnano in Campania, and its best versions are the ones described as trafilata al bronzo (bronze-die) and pura semola di grano duro (pure durum wheat semolina).
2) There is a regional difference in fresh egg-based and water-and flour-based pasta consumption. "Traditionally, pasta made with plain wheat flour hydrated with eggs is common in northern regions such as Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna. In contrast, characteristic fresh pasta shapes made with just water and flour can be found in Liguria, Tuscany, Umbria, Basilicata and Puglia".
3) Do noy underestimate the importance of matching pasta and sauces. "Ragù alla bolognese is only ladled on to porous ribbons of egg pasta (such as tagliatelle), while clams are tossed with spaghetti or linguine but never penne".