by Mike Ferraiolo
Growing up Italian in South Philly, you could rest assured that at least three times a week there would be pasta on the table. Of course, my mother was half Irish so we only ate it twice a week, but we won’t hold that against her because she made a mean batch of gravy…yes gravy, not sauce. Now that I’m married and making my own gravy…the best you’ll never have, pasta is once again playing an important role in my diet, as my slowly growing waist line can attest to. I love pasta and pasta loves me. So who in their right mind wouldn’t choose beautifully crafted hand made pasta over the mass produced dried stuff? We all know that in most cases that fresh is better, and it’s certainly no different when it comes to pasta, as you’ll soon find out.
What makes all this talk about fresh pasta so interesting is the fact that Di Bruno Bros. will be making its own fresh pasta right before your very eyes in the store’s Center Island. As part of a growing partnership with fellow Italian Market staple Talluto’s, we have obtained an antique pasta making machine that will be on display every Friday thru Sunday beginning on October 10th. We will provide customers with a healthy variety of traditional cuts as well as a range of flavors including whole wheat and spinach.
Fresh pasta isn’t just better tasting, it’s naturally high in fiber, low in sugar and gives off a slow, steady release of energy. Because it develops less gluten, the pasta is lighter, making it quicker to cook and easier to digest.
Most dried pasta is made with plastic dies. A die is the part of the pasta machine that shapes the pasta. Plastic dies use less heat and provide a longer shelf life making it ideal to store on shelves but compromising texture and flavor. Some artisan pasta makers use bronze dies because bronze is a soft metal, which means that the pasta can be placed through the die several times. While this offers a noticeable difference in texture, it doesn’t quite compare to the fresh pasta experience. In addition, “industrial speed drying” at high temperatures, robs the pasta of its natural nutritional attributes.
I implore anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of cooking with fresh pasta to take advantage of this opportunity as you will truly be delighted with, not just the visual theatrics of the machine in action, but with the difference in texture and flavor.
For us food geeks, this is a unique opportunity to be in the presence of a machine that provides a link with culinary history. Food lovers who frequent our store will be happy to see that Di Bruno Bros. continues to commit itself to offering customers new and exciting experiences, as we expand on our reputation of being culinary pioneers.