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.
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