We interviewed Angela Scudieri, owner of the Pastificio Artigianale Piazza – Le Delizie di Alcantara, who told us the secrets of her superlative pasta.
What does achieving 100% product of Sicily mean to you?
Pastificio Piazza’s headquarters are in Mojo Alcantara, a small town of eastern Sicily, nestled in the Alcantara Valley. Our production of traditional dry pasta is made for demanding consumers who require a product whose nutritional and organoleptic features are exceptional. We select semolina exclusively coming from wheat harvested in Sicily.
We would like to point out that one of the characteristics of Sicilian wheat is that it can be produced without using chemical products. The secret for a good pasta, besides water and wheat, is the air. In Mojo Alcantara area, air is very wholesome: this is of most importance for a naturally dried pasta. To guarantee the highest quality, we do not use semolina stored in silos but only fresh milled semolina in sacks to inspect the product during manufacturing. The formation of the dough (semolina and water) takes place slowly in cold under-vacuum tank. The dough, kept at low temperature to prevent product from being stressed, passes through bronze dies that give the pasta, even smooth shapes, a characteristic colour and roughness. Short pasta is deposited on wooden trays, long pasta on sticks. Then, there is the drying phase that carries out in low temperature static cells. About 18-22 hours for short goods and 36 for long ones. The slowness of drying, done on purpose, assures the total and uniform evaporation of water from pasta.
You are producing three different lines: Pasta Piazza, Sua Maestà, Organic. Could you tell us how this diversification came about and what are their characteristics?
We are working on two lines: the traditional Sicilian durum wheat and ancient germs. For Piazza Blu line, the “simeto” is exclusively used; for Sua Maestà line we are using durum wheat semolina “simeto” for a percentage of 70% along with other types such as “orizzonte”. The organic pasta is produced using ancient Sicilian wheat such as Margherito, Russello and Timilia. From this knowing mixing and our manufacturing process, we obtain a harmonic and nourishing product.
Storci supplied you with an Omnia line for the production of standard dry pasta and special shapes. How did Omnia contribute to obtaining a DOC pasta such as yours? How was working with Storci?
Omnia line is the ideal solution for processing short, long goods and special shapes using a unique machine. Storci has successfully managed to combine technology and tradition. They represent the best as far as planning machinery for the production of artisanal pasta is concerned: a faultless press, an efficient under vacuum tank….on the whole a jewel machine that makes us produce excellent pasta. The cooperation with Storci has been firm for years, the Staff is always available and thorough. They are reliable and offer a great assistance service to Customers, competently and professionally.