I love this Fusilli Lunghi from Tesco’s new Finest* range. It’s like a pre-Raphaelite woman’s gorgeous hair, long and kinky, which makes it perfect for carrying a thick pasta sauce from plate to mouth. But it’s not just any old pasta – this stuff’s got a story behind it.
It’s made from 100% Italian durum wheat by the Di Martino family ,who have been making pasta for more than 100 years. They’re based in Gragnano, a small town in Italy’s Campania region where producers used to hang their pasta outside to dry in the sea breeze.
Although the drying methods have changed, the recipe hasn’t – just water and semolina, from durum wheat. But what’s most interesting is the way the pasta is made. The Di Martinos’ use ‘dies’ – plates with holes that pasta dough is pushed through to shape it – which are made of bronze, rather than Teflon, which gives the pasta a coarser finish to help the sauce cling to it better when cooked.
The cooking instructions are standard – 8-1o minutes in a pan of boiling salted water until ‘al dente’.
I served the pasta with Tesco’s Finest* Tomato & Mascarpone Sauce, into which I tore up some leftover chicken from the Sunday roast. It was lovely: sweet and tangy with a rich, velvety texture. All topped off with some freshly grated Parmesan.