The Marella family produces incredible pasta. They are really famous for their colored pasta which is made from organic wheat and vegetable dyes. Their white pasta is just as good and made with the same quality ingredients and care. This is one or the best pasta makers in all of Italy and they are the star of Puglia much like the regions’ best Olive Oil producers.
Puglia is down near “heel” in south eastern Italy. It is known as Magna Grecia or “Greek Italy”. There is a strong agricultural tradition in the region. Peasant staples from the past are now high cuisine. Tavoliere d’Italia is what the area around Foggia in Puglia is called, and roughly translates to the table of Italy. This is where the durum wheat to make pasta is grown. This is an all-important staple for the average Pugliese household. In fact it is much like olive oil which is widely produced in this region also. Traveling there you will see gnarly looking ancient olive trees, some more than 200 years old!
Discerning chefs and pasta lovers in Italy and the US are getting away from industrially produced products and sourcing a handful of artisanal producers who make pasta the way it has been made for hundreds of years… by hand using only the best ingredients? The differences between the industrial pasta you buy in a box in the grocery store and artisan pasta is in the process. Artisan pasta is extruded through bronze dies rather than industrial Teflon, which give it a rough, porous texture that allows it to hold the sauce better. The pasta is also dried at low temperatures for 2-4 days so that it retains more of the nutty flavor and ample aroma of durum wheat. It is really wonderful and all of the pasta makers you will find on this website fit the description of artisan.