Pasta di Gragnano PGI is pasta obtained from a mixture of durum wheat flour and water from the local aquifer. The product is available in various typical shapes, fruit of the Gragnano pasta-makers’ imagination, and it has a characteristic rough surface given by bronze drawing.
The production area of Pasta di Gragnano PGI is within the entire territory of the Municipality of Gragnano, in the Province of Naples, the Campania region.
The production method for Pasta di Gragnano PGI is divided into various stages: mixing, which consists of mixing the durum wheat flour with water from the Gragnanese subsoil, no more than 30% of the total mixture; kneading, until the dough reaches the right consistency and elasticity; extrusion or drawing, which consists of inserting the dough inside bronze dies to obtain the desired shapes; drying, cooling and stabilisation, during which the pasta is dried gradually at a temperature of between 40 and 80°C for 6 to 60 hours, depending on the shape. The pasta is then subjected to several cycles of ventilation with hot air. The final stages of production are cooling and stabilisation. The product must be packaged in the place of production within 24 hours.
Appearance and Flavour
Pasta di Gragnano PGI has a homogeneous pale yellow colour and is characterised by its rough surface, obtained through the use of bronze dies that determine its unique ability to bind with different varieties of sauces. Once cooked, it has a firm, elastic consistency, is not sticky and maintains its shape well, with a strong flavour of durum wheat and a light fragrance of ripe wheat.
Thanks to its well-established tradition, today the city of Gragnano is referred to as the “City of pasta.” The historical importance of the production of pasta in Gragnano was such that over the centuries it influenced the design of urban areas. The production of pasta took root early on in Gragnano, so much so that in the XVI century the first guild of Vermicelli-makers (Vermicellai) was established. Production continued to develop up until the XVIII century, when it reached its peak, actually resulting in the city being redesigned with the 1843 urban plan, in order to promote the flow of air currents that were fundamental for the success of the drying process. The remains of artefacts used in the pasta-making process can still be seen today along the route of the ancient Valle dei Mulini (Valley of Windmills).
Pasta di Gragnano PGI keeps for up to three years, provided that it is kept in a cool, dry place, away from direct light, moisture and heat sources that may damage it. The versatility of the shapes makes this pasta perfect for any recipe. To fully appreciate the organoleptic properties, it is important to follow a few simple guidelines to cooking it correctly, using a large enough pan so that the pasta is immersed immediately in the boiling water. The ratio between boiling water and salt must be 1 - 1.1 litres of water to 10 - 12 g of salt, per 100 g of pasta."Half Rigatoni di Gragnano PGI with cauliflower, dried tomatoes and flakes of Provolone del Monaco PDO" is a tasty traditional recipe, which uses another product from the same area of origin.
The production method for Pasta di Gragnano PGI is the result of centuries of experience and tradition. The care with which each step is followed and implemented contributes to the complete success of the entire production process, and this together with the originality of the shapes, fruit of the local pasta-makers’ creativity, has led to the product’s international reputation.