How Dry Pasta is Made in an Italian Pasta Factory

How Dry Pasta is Made in an Italian Pasta Factory

Everybody loves pasta, but not all brands of pasta that you find in the store are created equal. There are very few people who actually know why some artisinal pasta brands are more expensive than others. So what is really inside Artisan Dry Pasta? How is it made?

Master pasta artisan Gianluigi Peduzzi from the Rustichella D’abruzzo Pasta Factory showed us the entire process behind making the best dry artisanal pasta in the world. His pasta will truly make your belly happy. We learned about the ingredients, dough production, cutting and drying process, quality control, and most importantly, the differences between Artisanal Dry Pasta and industrial pasta.

italian pasta factory

Semolina Flour and Water to make Artisan Dry Pasta

Pasta is a very simple dish. The only ingredients in artisanal pasta are semolina flour and water.
Semolina flour is very important for achieving an artisanal product. To find top-quality semolina, artisans need to source the best semolina flour. 70% of the semolina flour comes from Italy, and 30% comes from places like North America, Canada, and Australia.

Artisans at Rustichella D’abruzzo choose to use 70% grain from Italy and 30% imported grain because of the unique characteristics that this blend gives to their pasta. Using 70% Italian semolina grain gives the pasta the best possible taste and flavor because the Italian grain has lots of flavor in it. Using 30% imported grain is critical because the imported grain has high
protein content and tenacity. This helps the pasta stay al-dente.

This unique blend is something characteristic of artisan dry pasta that can only be found in Italy.

At Rustichella D’abruzzo, artisans also make some products out of 100% Italian semolina grain.
This pasta has more flavor and taste but less tenacity.

next lever artisan dry pasta

Dough Production

Now, it is time for the dough production process!

First, the semolina flour goes into a large tank before entering a special press. Inside this press, the semolina mixes with water for around 12-15 minutes. This is the perfect amount of time to form gluten in the dough. Here, you can snack on some raw pasta. I know I did! This took me back to my childhood when my grandma would let me taste the raw pasta.

Next, the dough must be cut into pasta shapes. To accomplish this, the dough is transported into bronze “dye” to be extruded into shapes. Artisanal pasta makers like Rustichella D’abruzzo only use bronze dye to extract their pasta shapes. Industrial brands use materials like plastic and Teflon, which gives the pasta an inferior texture.

Italian artisan pasta

Pre-Drying and Drying Process

Once the dough has been cut into pasta shapes, it must be pre-dried and then dried. The pasta comes out of the dye very soft and needs around 90 minutes to “pre-dry.” Next, the pasta is transported to the “cabin,” where it is dried under careful conditions for anywhere from 24-56 hours.
This special drying process is a hallmark of artisan dry pasta. The drying cabin is kept at 40-42 degrees Celsius (108 degrees F) with very precise humidity. This is critical to preserve the characteristics of the semolina. Longer kinds of pasta like spaghetti dry hanging on trolleys, while small shapes dry on large sheets.

artisan dry pasta

Cutting and Packing Process of the Artisan Dry Pasta

After being dried, longer pastas like spaghetti and fettuccine are cut by a special machine. Then, all pastas are packed into their packaging.


Differences Between Artisanal and Other Pasta Brands

A few things jump out when looking at artisanal dry pasta and industrial pasta next to each other. These differences can be tasted once the pasta is cooked


Pre-Cooking Differences

Artisanal pasta is white and rough because it was cut with bronze dye, while mass-produced pasta is brown and smooth.

The color difference is mostly from differences in the drying process. Industrial pasta is dried at 85 degrees celsius for 3-4 hours, caramelizing all sugars inside the dough. This ruins the characteristics of the semolina. As mentioned above, artisanal pasta uses a longer drying process to preserve flavor.

Differences When Cooking

When cooking artisanal pasta, you will notice that it “grows” much more than industrial pasta from a larger Pasta Factory. This is again due to the drying process. For example, 500 grams of dry artisanal pasta will turn into 1kg when cooked.

Artisanal pasta absorbs much more sauce than industrial pasta, and the sauce actually marries with the pasta. When eating industrial pasta, you only taste the sauce. With artisanal pasta, there is a connection between pasta and sauce.
dry artisan pasta


So, is Artisinal Pasta better?

Clearly, there are many differences between artisanal and industrial pasta. Artisanal pasta uses the finest semolina flour and a unique long drying process. Industrial pasta does none of this. As a result, industrial pasta lacks flavor, texture, and character. Buying and consuming artisanal pasta is better for the belly, the mind and supports smaller artisanal businesses.

how artisan pasta is made

You can use Artisan Pasta in all your pasta dishes, but I would suggest you to use it for a wonderful Carbonara, which will be even better with high quality spaghetti

spaghetti carbonara

or this super fresh Lemon Pasta.

pasta al limone

 

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