The story behind our pasta di tumminia
Castelvetrano, a municipality in the province of Trapani, is the beating heart of a modern grain revolution. The mill that processes the local grain bears the name 'Molini del Ponte', although the company grinds much more than just wheat.
In the first decades of the 1900s, people had to travel 100 kilometres (!) to Palermo to buy grain for bread and pasta. In 1970, Francesco Paolo and his brothers decided to change this. They decided to equip Castelvetrano and the area around Belice with a modern cylinder mill that would symbolise the region's progress. But to ensure superior quality, this innovation had to go hand in hand with the restoration of tradition. Two old millstones made of natural stone were purchased so that the traditional way of working became the foundation of their modern production.
Filippo Drago the current owner is not only a miller, breadmaker and pasta maker but also responsible for the grain revolution in Sicily and Italy. His vision is to protect the old Sicilian grain from extinction.
Together with local farmers, he produces among others Tumminia, Russello and Perciasacchi.Filippo says: "The future is stone helped by technology. We go back to that age-old knowledge, a production that takes into account man's satisfaction, a man who has to feel what he produces, smell the aromas and taste the flavours that can tell stories".
Pasta di Tumminia
Our pasta of Molini del Ponte is made with Tumminia flour, a kind of grano duro (durum wheat) with a centuries-old history.
Tumminia durum wheat was popular until the beginning of the twentieth century throughout southern areas as it is resistant to very high temperatures; The Greeks already cultivated this wheat and named it trimeniaios. Today its cultivation has been abandoned in favour of other more profitable kinds of grain, which is why it is at risk of extinction.
This type of durum wheat is a late-blooming grain cultivated in a few zones of central-western Sicily. It's characterised by it's dark kernels, resistance to drought and the short life-cycle; Planting of the grain takes place in March in the hilly Sicilian areas, this explains the reference grano marzuolo ( March wheat).
The flour used for our pasta is organic and ground with millstones of natural stone. Filippo designed a slow and complicated drying process that makes it possible to preserve the characteristics of the wheat and create the perfect surface for sauces. These pastas have a longer cooking time than traditional pasta. They have a rich, nutty flavour and a rough, porous texture.
Tumminia is highly digestible and even suitable for people with some sensitivity to wheat; rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. It also has a low glycemic effect, so you stay full longer. But don't get distracted by the health promises because it's still a F*ing delicious pasta.
Hungry yet? Order your portion of pasta quickly in the Mercato.