A Gragnano Pasta Factory founded on quality
Pastificio dei Campi was established in 2007 when young partners of the historic Pastificio Di Martino (dating from 1912, Gragnano) desired change and took initiative. This new factory of Gragnano pasta is the result of their common intentions, shared ideas, and values. The base of this vision is the desire to make an exceptionally high quality pasta that expresses both its tradition and origins while simultaneously keeping in line with current times. This company is located in a truly magical place for pasta production, and produces only 300 kilograms of pasta daily. Our various pastas are ‘limited edition’ and created for gourmet customers – a symbol of Italy’s culinary art.
Each step of production
The production of pasta is an art, a process that passes through complete phases which are linked by a very subtle equilibrium. Each step is the result of experience passed down from generation to generation for over 500 years.
Preparation of the dough. The pasta maker mixes the durum wheat semolina with water, constantly checking the temperature of the water, the grain of the semolina and the weather conditions. He then decides the timing for the dough and the proportions of the ingredients, adjusting them bit by bit to obtain the perfect “pasta point”.
Extrusion. In this phase the frame layer discusses every aspect of the pasta with the pasta maker, negotiating each insert’s thickness, form, number of lines, pressure, the speed of the pasta extrusion, the range of the pasta’s curving, and the length of each cut. The pasta maker and frame layer establish a very close rapport through this process, which is essential because the quality of the final product depends on their capacity for coordination. The surface of the plate in contact with the pasta is bronze, as Gragnano tradition dictates. The bronze plate gives the pasta that roughness that allows the pasta sauce to adhere to the pasta, defined as “arraggiatura” (anger).
Drying Process. In this phase of production, short pastas are placed on wooden sheets, whereas long pastas are spread out on sticks and left to hang dry. Both types of pasta are placed in static drying cells for as long as necessary for the product to become stable and ready to be packaged. At Pastificio dei Campi we opted for slow drying (from 28 to 60 hours based on the shape, versus 3-5 hours for industrial production) and at low temperatures in order to conserve all possible fragrance in the wheat, which should be noticeable in the final dish, and should leave the hard work made by the land, the farmers, and the millers unaltered.
Quality Control: the pasta undergoes quality control as well as a cooking test, and only if the pasta meets its expected level of quality does it go on to be packaged.
Packaging. When the pasta is ready it is left to cool down slowly and naturally. Next it is carefully moved from the frames to a hopper, after which it is weighed and packaged by hand in order to avoid breaking the pasta or leaving other flaws which would be evident upon cooking.