Orecchiette Pasta di Gragnano, made by Pastificio dei Campi, takes its name from the Italian for ‘little ears’ thanks to its delicate round shape. It is made using a special machine called the baresina. Traditionally, orecchiette is eaten with tomato sauce, broccoli, meatballs, or ricotta cheese.
Pastaficio de Campi are based in the city of Gragnano, just south of Mount Vesuvius, renowned for its pasta-making history. Gragnano pasta holds a PGI status (protected geographical indication – IGP in Italian). Legend says the streets of Gragnano are laid out specifically to allow coastal winds and mountain breezes to flow through the roads and dry the citizens’ pasta as it hung on rods, like laundry.
Pastaficio de Campi makes truly excellent pasta. They use 100% Italian durum wheat (unlike much Italian pasta which uses Canadian wheat), which is grown in the fields of Puglia. In fact, you can trace each packet of pasta back to a specific field, by entering a tracking code into their website. The pasta is bronze die cut, and dried slowly to retain the starch and protein content – giving it a distinctive pale colour and rough texture. The rough finish makes it particularly good for picking up sauce.
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