Luca Vangelista, Le Marche. Khorasan Pasta
Luca Vangelista grows 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 landrace 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 Luca has been certified organic since he started out with his wife Silvia in 2016. 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, for legal reasons, 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 and their harvest is turned into pasta by Pasta di Borgo Pace, a local pastificio that use bronze dies and slow, natural drying. It isn't easy to make pasta from Khorasan; the low gluten levels makes it more friable and this is why there are no spaghetti or linguine in their range. Yet! They're working at it and for now we are delighted to offer their other shapes: penne, rigatoni, eliche (fusili), taglietelle and mezze maniche
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