Il Mulino di Gragnano
Gragnano IGP Artisan Pasta
The story of Il Mulino di Gragnano is the story of five young people from Gragnano and of a business that has the strong support of an entire community.
Francesca, Raffaele, Alfredo, Luigi and Agostino are friends, students, parish animators with the desire to be creators and protagonists of their own future.
The idea was a pasta project, but in Gragnano, where pasta is already an excellence, it was necessary to study, to innovate, to choose the most advanced machines equipped with modern technologies, capable of enhancing the traditional art of the Gragnano pasta makers, making this ancient and precious craft young again.
The challenge of the five young people clashed with the difficulties of regaining liquidity, the banks did not believe in young people who had nothing to offer, neither a salary nor real estate guarantees, so in this way, in addition to their families, the community came to their rescue, identifying itself with the project, financing it with a loan of 100,000.00 €, to be repaid in 8 years without interest.
The commitment of Francesca, Raffaele, Alfredo, Luigi and Agostino, supported by the parish priest, Don Luigi Milano, with funds raised by the parishioners of the Church of San Leone, culminated on 2 October 2015 with the birth of "Il Molino" in Gragnano, a beautiful example of sharing and community.
Tradition, innovation, but also the challenge to improve the white art of Gragnano, they decided to focus on the highest quality wheat, they studied the different types of wheat and the different blends that they were going to mill until they arrived at the excellent durum wheat semolina.
The choice of ancient cereals of Apulian origin, cultivated without the use of pesticides and chemical substances, the water that flows down from the Lattari Mountains, and the respect for a longer and slower production process that must be carried out locally, have earned them inclusion in the "Pasta di Gragnano PGI" list of operators, the "BIOS" list of organic operators, and the "Kosher" list of operators.
The semolina is mixed and kneaded into an elastic and homogeneous dough using 20 kg bronze moulds, then dried in the "trabbatto" on wooden frames at temperatures between 28 and 35 degrees for about 30/40 hours.
The drying process is reminiscent of what was practised in the 19th century in Gragnano, along Via Roma and Piazza Trivone, where the pasta factories fought for their own space, exposing the 'maccaroni' to drying for 72 hours, thanks to a microclimate favoured by the height of the buildings, the Vesuvian stone paving with basalt squares to exploit the conserving property of gradually releasing the 'heat'.
The fragrance, taste and roughness that are the basis of the Gragnano pasta art are preserved and handed down so that the sauces and dressings always enhance the flavours.
The packaging completes the philosophy, halfway between tradition and modernity, a recyclable paper/cardboard packaging has been patented, a "case" with the "Open and Close" formula, with a cubic shape that guarantees a secure closure and easy consumption, like a "Neapolitan cuoppo" to pour the pasta directly into the pot.