What makes Gragnano the City of Pasta? A legendary cooking tradition that has been handed down for centuries and Gragnano’s favorable geographical position, close to the Lattari Mountains and the Gulf of Naples, which grants it a mild and stable climate throughout the year. The constant movement of hot air, that rises in the morning and is replaced in the evening by the fresh sea gulf one, that is what makes Gragnano perfect place for slow and gradual drying of the pasta. Another element that distinguishes Gragnano pasta from the others, resides in the use of special water with little limestone used for the dough, coming from the pristine springs of Faito Mount.
The excellent quality of the grain used, the expert skills of dough kneading and the special drying techniques, make Gragnano pasta a high quality product.
Grains are selected of domestic and foreign origin, only the best blends of semolina having a low ash content and high levels of gluten, rich in protein.
The dough is not the result of a standardized recipe, it is a constant search for the optimal balance of the water temperature, the semolina and weather conditions of the moment. Once it has reached the optimum consistency, the dough goes slowly through the bronze drawing machine, forming a rough surface adapted to enclothe all the seasonings.
But it is not finished yet: striving for perfection continues during the drying phase , carried out in static cells which, thanks to their low temperature, help to preserve the fragrance of the grain. Just as it was in the past.
There is no accurate information about the origins and development of the Gragnano pasta. In Roman times the grain was used by the population of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae solely for the bread production.
The first family-run pasta shops appeared at the end of 16th century and it was only in the mid-17th century that the industrial dough preparation was implemented. Actually at that time the art of handmade pasta start to develop and we can see the appearance of so called Masters of Pasta.
The tradition that contunues even today and the secrets of Exellence are handed down from father to son ever since then.
The highest skill in pasta production was achieved by the mid 1800s , when the number of pasta shops exceeded a hundred and Gragnano became available on local markets of the big cities as Turin, Milan, Florence. On May, 12, 1885 the railway Gragnano – Naples was inaugurated which facilitated the export of pasta in Italy.
The emergence of electricity had a big impact on pasta production: there was an upgrading of pasta shops and gradual replacement of the hand-operated presses with more advanced machinery.
The last century was that of industrial manufactures and technological innovations, respecting the traditions of the past, and allowing a greater production and distribution.
The tradition, care and respect for the history of pasta are the key elements at all stages of the pasta production and represent the mainstream of the entire production line.
The long pasta is cut and hung on rods by expert “cutters”, the short pasta is stretched on wooden frames by “speaders” and then is moved, separately, to static cells for a slow drying.
Even the packaging is done according to tradition, performed by expert craftsmen – the “packers” – that pack pasta by hand to prevent damages and ensure that the pasta maintains its genuine characteristics.
Protected Geographical Indication
The IGP is a mark of quality, attributed to food and agricultural products. Pasta Gragnano has been certified IGP which guarantees its origin and quality. This tradition helps to protect it from the countless fakes all around the world.
It is an important step in respecting the craftsmanship and quality, confirming the local origin and a millenary tradition. From now on, buying Pasta Gragnano IGP it will make you feel even more sure to have purchased an original and quality product guaranteed by this certification.
It is the best known in the world shape of long pasta, of Napoletan origin, and is called so because its shape is similar to a big string – spago. Spaghetti is the true symbol of Made in Italy in the world for their variety and endless combinations.
Thinner than spaghetti, it is an easy to prepare shape, requiring less time for cooking. Spagettino is also considered one of the classic shapes of long pasta and is perfect for a fast and tasty meal.
It is a thicker shape of long pasta perfect for those who love rich taste for its uncomparable pleasure and without sacrificing the lightness. Spaghettoni is so versatile that it goes together with any sauce.
SPAGHETTO ALLA CHITARRA
Spagetti on the guitar is a particular shape of long pasta and is called so because of the way it is made: a “guitar” consists of a frame with steel wires arranged at a few millimeters one from another, and against which the pasta sheet was pressed in order to obtain spaghetti filaments of a square shape.
It is as long as spagetti but definitely flatter and smoother, it is also known as bavetta or trenetta. It has a particular taste which combines with almost of the dressings without any regret about the classic spaghetti.
It is a short pasta shape, ribbed, tubular, internally empty and ready to pick up all the sauce it is usually served with. Rigatoni is a kind of pasta typical of Latio and is worldwide known as “macaroni”.
This pasta shape, well known especially in the south, is just like the most famous pacchero shape but shorter.
It is perfect for those who love the thickness and texture of pacchero Gragnano and want to enjoy it again in a more original way.
It is a special shape of pasta, preferred by those who love the large shaped pasta with the characteristics of the small shaped one, especially while cooking. If you want to impress someone or make a spectacular dish – this is the pasta to get.
This particular pasta shape is well-known and used in the South Italy and is called Squid as it is similar to a squid cut into slices or “rings”. It maintains well its shape while boiling even though its cooking time is longer than of a simple pasta.
Pacchero is the historical Gragnano pasta shape that as well as spaghetti, is one of the most popular in the South. it is also called “slap” because of its thick body and taste, as it can be seasoned with sauces from the simplest to the most elaborate.
Originally from Sicily, this shape of pasta is now widely used in other regions of the South. The Casarecce has a shape and texture that manages to collect the sauces up to the last drop, making any dish with this pasta really special.
ZITO CORTO LISCIO
A typical Neapolitan pasta shape, originally of a long shape, that before cooking was supposed to be broken by hand. The ZITI was the classic Sunday dish and it was prepared by the unmarried women of the family, or spinsters (zite, in Neapolitan). This explains, perhaps, the origin of the name.
ZITO CORTO RIGATO
Identical to smooth Zito, this ribbed variant is an important part of the classic and traditional South pasta range. The short and ribbed Ziti is broken into pieces and because of this characteristic, it is practical and perfect in so many different recipes.
Classic shape of short pasta, Penne represent a whole branch in the world of pasta. It exists in many variations and each of them has a common denominator – being versatile that goes perfectly with all the sauces.
If there is pasta that really gets unanimous consent of all at the table – this is the ribbed penna. Easy to prepare, as it keeps perfectly its shape, it is also very versatile in the choice of seasoning, from the simplest to the most elaborate. The ribbed penna is a kind of pasta that hardly disappoints.
Being so good at production of the classic shapes of pasta, Mealitaly decided to create a more special shape. Loyal to Neapolitan recipes, we could not resist to getting inspired by the symbol of the city of Naples – Vesuvio.
This shapeof pasta of a helical form, reminds of the machining lathes and screws, and is perfect with any kind of sauce, because its shape perfectly holds any seasoning. Sometimes called also fusillo, this is a type of classic pasta and being versatile, it goes the best with dishes based on fish.
It ‘s always been the “remains” of pasta, created with what was left after producing other types of pasta, being collected and distributed afterwards. Not always, however, the final result was optimal since each shape, as you know, has its own cooking time. Today, the award-winning Afeltra Pasta shop has built a bronze die appropriate for this pasta, so all the different shapes have the same cooking time.
FUSILLO CON BUCO
This antique shape, special and unique, really reminds us of traditions. It consists of a long twisted bucatino that, once in your plate, will ensure a great theatrical effect. Even though it sounds as a “challenging” type of pasta – it has an excellent digestibility.
This pasta shape looks like a shell or a large snail but more flattened. It is short cut pasta, suitable to contain and hold different toppings. Its shape and consistency will never displease any, even the best experts.
The name has its origins in Latin and before it in Greek. It is one of the most appreciated pasta shapes that owes its fame to some popular recipes of famous Bologna restaurants. But it is the traditional carnival that makes even children start appreciating it for the delicious flavor of the unique and unmistakable taste.
The name of this long pasta derives from the dialect “i zit” (the couple), because it was mainly cooked during wedding ceremonies. It has a long tubular straight-cut shape, perfect to be broken by hand at cooking.
It is a long and special pasta shape, called so because it resembles to an armful of candles. It is a traditional shape, particularly common in southern Italy – especially in Naples, and it should be broken by hand in nice irregular pieces.
It has a long and curly shape. It was named in honor of Queen Mafalda of Savoy, and is also known, in the tradition of our region, as “curly fettuccine.” They can give dishes and preparations a fanciful character and decorate any table.