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Bruno Vitaletti and Dino Paoletti, Le Marche. Khorasan Pasta

Sassoferrato, Ancona
Bruno Vitaletti and Dino Paoletti make their pasta from Saragolla Khorasan, an ancient variety of wheat found in small areas of southern and central Italy but virtually abandoned since the arrival of more productive hybrids. This ancient grain grows to an incredible height of 1.8m (modern wheat is bred small for mechanical harvesting) but with a yield just 30% that of common wheat. All such landrace grains are disease resistant and Bruno and Dino have been certified organic from the start. If we know Khorasan wheat at all we know it as Kamut. But Kamut is not a wheat, it is a Montana based brand (Kamut International in fact) representing just one trademarked, sub-species of Khorasan that cannot be grown in Italy. Its marketing has been so successful that Kamut has effectively monopolised the market for this particular species so Italians generally eat imported Kamut, hardly freshly milled and shipped half way around the world.
The wheat is stone ground to keep in all the essential oils so the colour of their pasta is a lovely, speckled gold, the flavour rich and nutty. Their annual production of just 8000kgs is made by the excellent Miglianico pasta factory in Abruzzo who use bronze dies and slow, natural drying but it still hasn't been easy; Saragolla Khorasan is very low in gluten and thus hard to make pasta from as it is more friable. But they've done it and it's delicious and a whole lot more healthy than industrial pasta.