La Pasta di Gragnano: history, production and secrets

Gragnano, Via Roma, mid-1800s. Rows of maccaroni stretched out to dry along the road, taking advantage of the breezes that rise from the two gulfs of Naples and Sorrento, mitigating the hot climate and keeping humidity constant.

The secrets of Pasta di Gragnano

Pasta di Gragnano is a small miracle that began 500 years ago, when the inhabitants discovered that they could take advantage of the microclimate of the town for drying pasta. In the nineteenth century, even, the architecture of the town was redesigned so that the light of the sun reached every hour on the macaroni put to dry. The other peculiarity of this special territory lies in the presence of the Lattari Mountains springs, which are also precious for operating the mills. From these mountains flows a unique water, poor in limestone, which gives an unmistakable taste to the pasta.

Pasta di Gragnano

A secular recipe

A craftsmanship handed down from generation to generation. Pasta di Gragnano is produced with durum wheat semolina and dried slowly at low temperature: for this reason, it remains elastic and does not break when cooked. The bronze extruder is another feature that makes it unique: the resulting rough surface is perfect for retaining any seasoning.

The success of Pasta di Gragnano

Thanks to these peculiarities linked to the territory and to the production, already in the nineteenth century the Pasta di Gragnano, also called “white gold”, became the main industry of the town, known throughout Italy. As a democratic food, it was served at the table of the nobles of the Kingdom of Italy, but it was also the staple food. An excellent product, known and exported all over the world, in 2013 the Pasta di Gragnano obtained the PGI certification at European level: the right recognition of a centuries-old artisan tradition.

Now that you have discovered its secrets, we suggest a simple recipe to better enjoy Pasta di Gragnano!

Pasta from Gragnano with tomato and fresh basil

320 g of Spaghettoni di Gragnano

For the fresh tomato sauce

1 kg of San Marzano tomatoes

Extra virgin olive oil

A clove of garlic

Fresh basil


For the basil cream

A bunch of basil

A clove of garlic

Extra virgin olive oil


Here’s the recipe!

– First prepare the sauce: wash the tomatoes, cut them into small pieces and boil them in plenty of unsalted water for 5 minutes. Once softened, drain and pass them with a manual vegetable mill.

– Pour oil into a saucepan and add garlic. Let it get brown and then add the tomato sauce and let it cook over a low heat until the oil rises to the surface. Add salt and a generous amount of fresh basil before turning off the heat.

– For the basil cream, separate all the basil leaves from the branches and place them in a blender jug.

– Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, add the clove of garlic, the oil and quickly blend everything until you get a thick cream.

– When all the ingredients are ready, cook the pasta al dente, season with the fresh tomato sauce, complete with the basil cream and decorate with a few leaves of fresh basil before serving.

Spaghetti with pomodoro