There is a place in the south of Italy known for producing the best pasta in the world - Gragnano. This town near Naples celebrates pasta like no other. A light sea breeze blows through the alleys of the town and brings a little moisture into the otherwise dry climate around Mount Vesuvius. Just the thing for "our" Gragnano pasta, as the inhabitants proudly assure.
But what makes this Gragnano pasta so special? What sets this pasta made from durum wheat apart from other Italian pastas? And what are the best ways to combine the different pasta shapes and varieties? In this article we will introduce you to this unique Napoli pasta from the town of Gragnano and guarantee that your palate will soon want to make their culinary acquaintance. Let's go to Campania!
THE PASTA DI GRAGNANO PRODUCTION WITH A LONG TRADITION
"La fabbrica della pasta di Gragnano" - the pasta factory near Naples is a magical place where the past meets modernity. Here you will learn how the extraordinary Gragnano pasta is created.
The pasta factory in Gragnano is an authentic place. The fruit of 4 generations of family history experience come together for Pasta di Gragnano. Traditions and secrets of the past meet the best and most modern technologies that guarantee a constant and scrupulous processing with the highest quality standards.
In fact, every single stage of production is taken care of step by step with passion and dedication to the smallest detail. Thanks to people like Antonino and Mario, pasta makers for the best pasta of the third and fourth generation!
THE INGREDIENTS OF GRAGNANO PASTA: ONLY ORGANIC DURUM WHEAT AND SPRING WATER
The producers of Gragnano pasta use only the best Italian durum wheat semolina of the first extraction (only the heart of the wheat grain). Combined with the water of a centuries-old and clear spring of Gragnano. So already the ancestors mixed only 2 ingredients, high quality durum wheat semolina and the water from the natural spring in the mountains of Gragnano.
The ingredients are now pressed through unique traditional bronze molds. This extraordinary process is completed by a long and gentle drying process at low temperature that keeps intact the characteristics of taste, color and roughness of the extruded pasta. In this extremely slow drying process, the pasta is dried for up to 72 hours at a maximum of 48°. Conventional pasta, on the other hand, is heated at up to 100° Celcius and thus loses its bite and flavor.
Rounding out the Gragnano pasta production is a refined and valuable packaging. Mostly completely manual, as required by centuries of tradition. These characteristics have allowed the family to become, in 2012, the first pasta factory ever to obtain the recognition "Pasta di Gragnano I.G.P.!
"La Fabbrica della Pasta" today manages a process that respects the most ancient methods and yet uses the support of the most modern technologies. They allow a high standard of management, traceability and logistics and, in addition, the very strict international certifications BRC-Food and IFS-Food are achieved. Moreover, the certification for the BIO line Agricert BIO J42Y is added. So this best pasta from Naples meets the highest quality standards that can have Italian pasta or an Italian pasta manufacturer.
GRAGNANO: DIE PASTA STADT IN NEAPEL
Situated on a hilltop between the Monti Lattari and the Amalfi Coast, Gragnano is known throughout the world for its gently dried, bronze-pressed pasta.
Pasta has been made in Italy for thousands of years. In fact, Italian pasta was the most handmade meal consumed throughout the peninsula. It was only centuries later that pasta became an industrial product, thanks to some Italian pioneers. And Gragnano is the place where it all began.
Located in the Campania region, Gragnano was one of the few areas where the "white gold" (as the inhabitants - the Gragnanesi - call pasta today) became part of a mass production. Despite the encouraging start, a series of unfortunate events, such as famines, epidemics and droughts, prevented further growth of this business. It was not until the 18th century that Pasta di Gragnano became a real brand, first sold in the surrounding regions and then gradually spreading throughout Italy.
This century was a real golden era for the area, with the establishment of numerous pasta factories in the main street of the town. In 1885 Gragnano was the first town in Campania to have a direct railroad connection to Naples. A proof of the growing importance of this town. Finally, the last century was the era of globalization, when Pasta di Gragnano began to travel beyond the borders of Italy to the rest of the world.
Today, Gragnano is synonymous with the best pasta from Italy with IGP seal. Pasta makers continue to strive for quality production of this exquisite product that has made the city famous.
Maybe you've seen the IGP label on the packaging of some of your favorite Italian foods. But what does the IGP label mean? The short answer is that it is a certification given to certain foods such as balsamic vinegar, prosciutto, pasta, olive oil or mozzarella di bufala. An assurance that these are authentic, Italian foods.
THE UNIQUE TASTE OF GRAGNANO PASTA
The first secret of this amazing Gragnono Pasta is the land where the wheat is grown. Located at the foot of Monte Lattari, Gragnano pasta benefits from a microclimate that is the right mix of wind, sun and humidity. For this reason, the King of Naples decided in the 18th century that only two places were suitable for growing wheat for the population: Naples and Gragnano. Also for the production of pasta, durum wheat must be mixed with the low-calcium water of the Monti Lattari.
The second secret is the carefully developed process, which continues to be regulated by a strict production standard. In 2013, the European Union declared the PGI (protected geographical indication): Pasta produced under the name "Pasta di Gragnano" must be produced in an area defined by law, which still corresponds to the area indicated by the King of Napoli about 200 years ago.
Finally, the dough must be pressed through coarse bronze molds and once it has taken its shape, it must dry in the mountain air at low temperatures. The result of this long and traditional process is one of the finest pasta varieties in the world.
Once cooked, Gragnano pasta has a perfect fleshy, firm consistency, retains good elasticity and does not break apart. The quality of the semolina gives it a recognizable, full flavor of durum wheat, which means you need just a little bit of our extra virgin olive oilto create a delicious pasta dish.
THE DIFFERENT PASTA SHAPES OF GRAGNANO PASTA AT DI BENNARDO AND THEIR USE IN ITALIAN CUISINE
PENNE - THE DIAGONALLY CUT FEATHER AS A NOODLE SHAPE
Amber-colored, slightly rough and with an even consistency, durum wheat penne from Gragnano go well with any type of sauce and provide the right balance with every bite.
Try especially classic combinations like penne all'Arrabiata. While the pasta is cooking, heat in a separate pan a bit of our best virgin olive oil, some garlic as well as anchovies and after a few minutes add a few spoonfuls of our unseres Sugo Piccante, made with finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chilli, fresh basil and oregano. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the sauce. Finish with fresh parsley, chopped black olives as well as capers and enjoy.
FUSILLI - THE SPIRAL PASTA SHAPE
A popular shape with kids and adults alike - our Gragnano Durum Wheat Fusilli. They're flexible and have just enough texture, making them versatile while adding a bit of fun to the plate.
Ideal for a summer pasta salad. Easy to prepare and delicious - what more could you ask for? Cook the pasta, drain it and let it cool. In the meantime, mix a few tablespoons of our extra virgin olive oil with 200 grams of the best white tuna, one of our green Etna olives, a dozen of our sliced semi-dried cherry tomatoes and 100 grams of finely chopped arugula. When the pasta has cooled, add it to the other ingredients and mix well.
VESUVIO - THE NOODLE SHAPE OF A VOLCANO
This pasta shape is not one of the typical pasta varieties, but a tribute to the rising and active volcano in the region - and namesake of the pasta - Mount Vesuvius. Therefore, this pasta shape is a flagship of the region and almost exclusively available from producers in Gragnano.
The recipe we recommend with Vesuvio pasta, is a typical recipe from Campania for pasta with shells and beans (pasta con cozze e fagioli). Since it is a modern pasta shape, there are no specifically traditional recipes for it. Just take a pasta shape similar to fusilli and use the recipe that goes with it, for example with tomatoes, basil and burrata cream. Or pasta al forno topped with gorgonzola, pancetta and mushrooms is also delicious.
SPAGHETTI - THE CLASSIC PASTA
OurGragnano spaghetti is rough, firm and the perfect size to be combined with traditional sauces, but also goes well with creative recipes.
Try it with a sauce that captures the taste of summer vacation - the sea. Typically, spaghetti is used to pair with seafood and fish sauces in the Naples region because of its otherwise smooth surface.
A classic combination is spaghetti alle vongole, the delicious recipe featuring irresistible clams. But the Gragnano pasta or Gragnano spaghetti, with its rough surface, is also suitable for classics such as spaghetti alla carbonara or spaghetti alla bolognese.
The most suitable tomato sauce for gragnano specialties
Pasta with tomato sauce is and remains the most popular and popular combination among pasta dishes especially with the high quality Gragnano pasta and our tomato sugos is a culinary experience.
Try the Gragnano penne with our Sugo alla Norma with the best eggplant, extra virgin olive oil, basil and garlic, topped off with freshly shaved Parmigiano. Or create an irresistible combination of Gragnano spaghetti and our Sugo al Basilico and add freshly roasted garlic chili shrimp simply divine. Let your imagination run wild and browse our online store for some inspiration. You will surely know how to combine some culinary delights to turn your everyday life into an Italian vacation.
ORDER ITALIAN PASTA IN THE DI BENNARDO ONLINE STORE
We have selected our pasta for you according to the highest criteria for Italian quality, naturalness and authenticity. Our pasta assortment gives you insights into an unadulterated way, which can not be found in any supermarket. The traditionally produced Gragnano pasta is unique in taste and consistency. Especially for our store, we have designed an exclusive packaging to do justice to the quality of Pasta di Gragnano.
Nowhere else is the pasta made like in the picturesque town at the foot of Mount Vesuvius near Naples. The city of the world's best pasta is waiting to be discovered by you on your plate. The smell and rough surface of Gragnano pasta alone will immediately convince you that you are not dealing with conventional off-the-shelf pasta. Feel over the rough surface created by the bronze press and witness how much sauce this surface of the pasta absorbs.
Pasta is just not equal to pasta. Basta! This is what connoisseurs of this Gragnano pasta experience after the first bite. Visit our online store and discover besides the Gragnano Pasta also other pasta specialties from Italy!
IGP - Indicazione Geografica Protetta - simply means that a product can be traced back to its geographical origin in at least one stage of the production process. That is, it can be associated with a place or region where it is produced, processed or prepared.
When you buy a product with the IGP label, you know you are getting an authentic Italian product. In addition to preserving ancient Italian traditions, the full flavor of regional raw materials is preserved. And there's a reason for that. Take our Pasta Gragnano, for example: you can taste the love for the product, from the selection of ingredients to the finishing touches during the gentle drying process, in every single pasta variety made by this family-run business. Feel free to compare conventional products with those that have an IGP seal and you'll taste the big difference.