Organic Pasta

Organic Pasta

Many people agree that the best Italian pasta comes from Abruzzo. Why is that? The answer is as simple as the ingredients in great pasta; flour and water. Abruzzo is considered to be the “forgotten Italy”, but also known as the “Green heart of Europe”. Inaccessible for centuries because of the rugged mountains and with very little industrialization. This translates to pristine pastures where the finest durum wheat grows and streams of pure water flow from the mountains. So, great flour and pure water = great pasta.

In Abruzzo; there are many very good pasta producers who use this flour and water. Some are very large and produce enough pasta for you to find almost anywhere. But some are so small, that you have never heard of them. These are the producers that we seek out and the best of these is Pastificio Masciarelli.

Pastificio Masciarelli (est.1867) located in the small Abruzzo mountain village of Pratola Peligna (AQ), is regarded as one the oldest family pasta producers in Italy. On the verge of celebrating their 150th anniversary, they have been operated by the same small family throughout their history.

What makes Pastificio Masciarelli Bronze Cut Pasta so incredible? Well, almost 95% of all dry pasta produced is made using silicon dyes, which create a very smooth surface. Not Masciarelli.

They create their bronze cut artisan pasta one form at a time, using a single press and a small set of handmade circular bronze dyes. The ingredients are simple: 100% durum wheat (high in protein) and pure spring water from the waters of the surrounding Majella National Park; and nothing else.

Each batch is handled independently from the others; mixed and adjusted by eye by Mr. Masciarelli (just like his father did before him. The resulting shapes are allowed to dry at a very low temperature (not exceeding 45* c) for as long as 3 days.

This method is more time consuming than those used by most of their large scale counterparts, but allows for the gradual removal of moisture from the pasta. A fact that can be seen on the pasta itself, in the form of a fine dust of flour that remains on the surface.

All of this extra effort and bronze dyes produce a rough texture, (which you can feel) and allows sauce to cling to this extraordinary product. So, if you’ve ever wondered why the sauce just slides off your regular industrial pasta, this is why; it has nothing to cling to.

Meaning, pasta with a little hole; typically served with buttery sauces, pancetta or guanciale, vegetables, cheese, eggs, and anchovies or sardines.

Chitarra is the specialty of Abruzzo and is named after the tool used to make it, la chitarra (the guitar).

The rigate, or stripped form of fettuccine, help any sauce adhere and is incredibly versatile.

I call this mini lasagna; other producers call it Mafalda or Mafaldline.

Masciarelli spaghetti is the perfect result of the bronze cut pasta process. Slowly air dried at very low temperatures, this rough cut pasta is a favorite of many of our restaurant customers.

A combination of the words “homemade” and “little”, this shape is made using short lengths that have been rolled at the edges and slightly twisted.

A short, small cut of pasta, thought to originate in Sardinia.

The short version of rigatoni, the mezzi, or “half” is typical of central and southern Italy.

This is the shape that has everyone scratching their heads. Shaped like calamari, which is a common cut, but with ridges inside!

This large snail shaped (Lumaca means snail) pasta, is hollow in the center and open at the end.

Ok, this is one piece of pasta that is over 3 feet long. (Think Lady and the Tramp)

Rigatoni Bronze cut artisan pasta from Abruzzo

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                    If you would like to make a retail purchase please visit Abruzzo Pantry