- Location makes the difference. Pasta di Gragnano is produced in the small town of Gragnano, on a plateau facing the Gulf of Naples, at an altitude that varies between 350 and 600 meters, near the Monti Lattari, where the water is less calcareous and the climate is mild and slightly damp throughout the year; these elements allows the pasta to dry in a gradual and natural manner (essicazione naturale). This slow process safeguards the proteins and nutritional qualities of wheat, which in turn give the cooked pasta a better taste and greater capacity to keep its texture.
- Equipment matters. The art of making Pasta di Gragnano has been handed down in this territory from generation to generation and some techniques are still crucial for obtaining a quality product: these include trafilatura in bronzo. The machines (trafile) used to work the dough, a mixture of durum wheat and calcium poor water, give Pasta di Gragnano its signature roughness; a rough, porous surface holds the sauce so much better.
- In praise of durum wheat flour. The type of wheat used influences the flavor of the pasta, the ability to stay al dente, and to absorb the sauce. The cultivation method also affects the quality of the wheat grain. Pasta di Gragnano is made using durum wheat of the highest quality, which has a high protein content. In fact, in order to be certified Pasta di Gragnano, it has to contain at least 13% protein, whereas regular pasta normally has 11,5%.
Easy to digest, nutrients-rich, artisanal, and delicious: do you need other reasons to eat Pasta di Gragnano?
*Pasta di Gragnano will be best enjoyed, and will produce greater health benefits, if eaten in good company – at ITALY Magazine, we are staunch supporters of conviviality around the table!
Do you love to entertain and delight your guests with excellent Italian food? Then get your hands on these Eataly boxes, which include some of the top brands making Pasta di Gragnano, as well as some great pasta sauces. The Eataly boxes also make for a fine holiday gift.