Organic at Barbagallo’s is matter of passion, passion for what is healthy and makes us feel good.
The essential points of our concept of organic are:
Step 1: Selection of high quality durum wheat
Real pasta is made with real durum wheat that derives from Sicily. The fertile lava soil combined with the mild climate of Sicily (26 °C and 10 °C in winter) results in a high quality durum wheat. The grandsons of the farmers, delivering wheat to the pasta factory in those days, now bring their organic durum wheat to the Barbagallo’s. The 50 to 100 families know each other’s stories and have a strong bond.
Beside the lab analyses, Giuseppe Barbagallo still manually controls the quality of the wheat. First he puts his hand in the bag with grain and “feels” the wheat. Then he rubs some kernels between his fingers, smells and tastes and after that the decision is made if the quality is good enough.
Step 2: Milling in 28 steps
The wheat is milled in 28 steps, in a way that the wheat will not overheat. This slow milling process is one of the secrets of the good bite and taste
Step 3: Within 24 hours the fresh flour is being processed
The fresh flour (semolina) is being processed within 24 hours to prevent oxidation. To make this possible, milling and producing finds place on 1 line and that is quite unique.
Step 4: The dough is made with care
After the milling, the dough arrives in the pasta factory site. In the factory, the dough will be mixed with water from the Fiumefreddo. Special about the knead technique is the fact that this process takes place under mild vacuum. This means that during the kneading the oxygen is taken out of the dough. The effect is a smooth dough that results in plain pasta shapes without bubbles. Because of this treatment, the pasta has a longer shelf life. Above all, the shape of the final product is a lot nicer to see.
Step 5: Slow pressing for desired pasta shape
When the dough is ready, the dough will be pressed by a screw into a cylinder with matrixes inside, in order to get the desired pasta shape. The people in the factory take three times as long as normal industrial pasta producers, the screw makes 10 to 22 rotations per minute, while in industrial production, 25 to 40 rotations are usual. The reason of this careful treatment, is that only in this way the quality of the delicate dough will remain. Or as Angelo says: “Stress is no good for pasta and people”.
Step 6: Slow drying of the pasta on low temperature
After making the pasta in the correct shape, it is time for drying. Where in the old days, the spaghetti was dried on wooden racks in the village, it now happens in the factory. Still very slowly on low temperature of 50 °C – 65 °C to keep taste, smell and nutrients.
Step 7: Cooking of the pasta
The cooking of pasta is essential for an excellent final product. On the package is information about cooking time in order to have a solid “al dente” pasta. Most of the times, the cooking time varies between 7 and 12 minutes. This depends on the shape of the pasta. Make sure you have spacious cooking water. Angelo says it is important that the pasta can swim. Pasta swims in the best way in 1 litre water per 100 grams. When the pasta glides into the boiling water, the fresh smell of the semolina comes out and fills the kitchen in a pleasant way. While cooking, add a bit of salt and olive oil to the pasta. Drain the pasta with a colander. Quench the pasta with cold water and your pasta is ready! Because of this specific way of draining and quenching, the pasta will not stick together. The pasta taste is rich and delicious, even with only butter or olive oil.
This course has developed and consolidated thanks to an identity of views with Poppe Braam, a pioneer of organic, founder of DO-IT, which has developed worldwide projects to rediscover and promote the production of local organic products; this twenty-year collaboration based on the maxim "make pasta, sell pasta" has led to the development of notable brands around the world related to the product la BIO IDEA.