We introduced Mancini a few weeks back as one of the top pasta makers in Italy, and since then, it has been one of the most popular items we carry. Some may remember us mentioning the ancient wheat pasta that they produce that isn't part of their "Classic Line" of pasta called Turanicum or Turanici. This variety of wheat originated from the Khorasan region of Iran and Afghanistan, nearly going extinct but revitalized in modern time; however it is losing popularity again for its low yield. Mancini, in collaboration with Oriana Porfiri, an expert cereal agronomist, and Prometeo in Urbino, a company that specializes in ancient varieties of wheat, recultivated two ancient strains of Turanicum. Specifically recultivating the n.17 and n.38 varieties were from seed. A new way to effectively mill the grain was developed, which is done the old way with stones. Out of Mancini's 450 hectares of durum wheat, only 4 hectares are devoted to Turanicum wheat, which can be seen on the map at the bottom of the page. Mancini spent a lot of time developing new methodologies to help interpret the uniqueness and richness of pasta made with Turanicum. They pinpointed a specific low-temperature drying process and a constructed new bronze 'dies' to shape the pasta that unlocked the wheat's full potential. This is our favorite pasta for many reasons, but the first is the flavor. It is so rich and nutty with a very mild wheat flavor that lingers in the background and conforms to so many dishes. The second thing to note is the creamy and delicate texture of this pasta that looks like it will be very hearty from its tan color, but it is quite light. Recent studies have shown that Turanicum wheat's gluten content is very soft; therefore, it is easily digestible. Speaking experience, this pasta is very easy on the stomach and has a higher protein content leaving you satisfied but not weighed down. Out of all the pasta we have, we cook this one the most. It's the combination of the history, flavor, texture, uniqueness, organic, and limited availability that sets this apart. Mancini only makes three shapes of this pasta, and we have two. One bag makes a lot of pasta, sometimes more than a family can finish. This is a special, rare pasta, and we have some of the only bags available in the USA. If you enjoy pasta and cooking at home, or gourmet and high-quality ingredients as we do, we cannot recommend this enough.
For those that want to know more about Mancini, see our original offer below!
Mancini is considered the best pasta maker in Italy, cultivating different durum wheat strains on many terroirs in La Marche, the eastern side of Italy's central coast. An area sandwiched between the Adriatic sea and the Apennine mountains, bordered by Emila Romano and San Marino. Massimo Mancini followed in his grandfather's footsteps deciding to go into Agriculture and in 2007 he founded Mancini pasta, building a beautiful factory right in the middle of his durum wheat field (pictured above). Along with his grandfather and father, Massimo has over 40 different fields planted to 5 different types of Durum wheat: Levante, Maesta, Nazareno, Nono Mariano, and Turancium Wheat totaling over 450 hectares.
Each variety of wheat ripens, at a different pace, with different yields, gluten content, protein levels, environmental tolerances, soil preferences, and even flavor. Many of these wheat types were recultivated from near extinction, and Mancini works closely with expert cereal agronomist Oriana Porfiri to make this possible. Mancini's pasta is a careful blend of these different wheat types, excluding the Turancium Wheat (which goes into its own line of pasta, which we also have available). Mancini rotates crops planted in the wheat fields and will produce things like Alfalfa, clover, chickpeas, and sunflowers to improve the soil fertility each year, a technique called "pulses." All of the wheat fields are grown with sustainability in mind using natural practices to control weeds a disease as much as possible.
Harvesting is completed once every summer, and that harvest will be the pasta blend for the year. Like vintages for wine, each year for the pasta can be slightly different made of a blend of wheat. The grain is cleaned and placed in cold storage to prevent insects and mold from affecting the harvest without using chemicals. The wheat is milled down to the proper size for semolina, which is done throughout the year, so every batch of pasta is fresh. Shaping of the pasta is done using a 'die' device that looks like a showerhead and is made out of bronze, a material chosen because it creates a more porous surface area that helps the pasta soak up sauce better. After sizing, the pasta is dried very slowly at low temperature, 24 hours for short cuts and up to 44 hours for longer pasta cuts before packaging. Mancini pasta is unbelievably good and slightly different from the Caponi pasta we have offered previously. This is only made with semolina flour and water and comes in a variety of classic shapes. We have had a few customers ask if we can get this pasta so here it is. Perfect for a family dinner, an upcoming holiday gathering, or just for a casual night at home, this is some of the best pasta available with great texture and depth of flavor. Mancini pasta is easy to make and the difference compared to what is readily available needs to be experienced to understand. Grab a nice bottle of wine and have a deliciously easy home-cooked meal staring some of the best pasta on the planet.