There is pasta, and then there is pasta. The history of Gragnano pasta is almost as old as the church, maybe not, but at least as important, or more important. We spent a day with the owner of Mr. Giuseppe di Martino, a splendid and passionate pasta owner, a company he founded with his sister in 2003.
His pasta is made the traditional way, all with his expertise, Giuseppe tours us his small factory, he explains that his total production time is approximately 7 hours, the first two, when the dye is heating and the last three when the dye has friction, he sells this pasta to other customers, keeping the center for his pasta di campi. His pasta is dried the traditional way, using wooden boxes, it is heated by using static heating in rooms at temperature of 50 degrees celcius. Opening the room to show us, the pasta has aromas you’ll never forget. All hand checked and packed, it is wonderful to artisan pasta being produced, a whole new perspective.
The production feeds 10 thousand people per day, he smiles. The pasta he produces is the very finest you can find. Forget what you know about pasta, Giuseppe is a perfectionist; he is involved from the seeds to the milling of his durum wheat. His flour is toxin free, his farmer’s plant in the fall and harvest in the spring approaching summer.
His wheat is natural grown throughout the winter, the opposite to Canadian wheat that cannot suffer the winter months, the cold is too harsh. The wheat is grown and harvested by a group of farmers he works with exclusively. They developed a system where they rotate the crops not to lose too much nitrogen in the soil. When he talks about his pasta, you cannot help to get hungry. The grains are regional, the milling to his own specifications and the durum what, grown with the respect of nature, clients and those pasta lovers in search of traceability.
Today we are with a few chefs, and Guiseppe di Martino takes us upstairs to his newly constructed kitchen with a center console molteni kitchen. (wow) It makes sense to cook, we are all hungry so the water flows, the pasta gets boiled and we begin to enjoy around the table, mesubim @ pasta di campi.
Two chefs, Alfonso from taverna di capitano and daniele from mykonos begin an impromptu lunch, using some organic tomatoes, virgin oil, anchovy and pasta di campi. I carried some vannulo mozzarella on our way to the north of italy, we enjoyed our last 1-kilo box.
The wine is supplied by guiseppe is organic the way he likes it, we begin to relax and talk about pasta, cuisine and food integrity. I cannot help to see the view from di campi’s kitchen, vesuvius in the background, I raise my glass to the active volcano.
Mt. vesuvius in Naples, is considered one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes. Today two million people live in the immediate vicinity, which has erupted more than 50 times since 79 A.D. It buried pompeii and its sister city, people wait for the next eruption.
The end result, it cannot get better, anyone in search of the finest pasta, look no further, it is right here with the aliens, those people without compromise in quality, process and respect for their own culture.