So last Christmas Santa brought us a little sampler box from an Italian importer called Gustiamo. In that sampler was some dried spaghetti pasta from Famiglia Martelli in Lari, Italy (a small mediaeval village near Pisa).
At first look, it seems like just a fancier dried spaghetti, but yowza, is it a game changer! The ingredients are simple: Italian durum semolina wheat flour and cold water. It’s extruded through a bronze die and then hung over dowels to dry in the cool air for 50 hours. The process results in a u-shaped noodle with a rough surface that just sauce clings to.
It takes a while to cook, but the taste and mouthfeel are incredible. We use it to upscale a simple weeknight pasta meal to a whole new level. We make a simple sauce with a can of actual San Marzano tomatoes (oregano, basil, garlic, salt, pepper and a dash of sugar), cook up some of this pasta and toss in some handmade Italian sausage from Coastal Cutters down highway 101 from us and a simple meal becomes sublime.