Posted by: lisetta | January 2, 2008

De Cecco pasta

De Cecco logo Tossing two handfuls of penne rigate into boiling water tonight, I noticed this text on the box (obviously translated by an Italian native speaker): De Cecco is the first pasta certified for the distinctive quality of many parameters such as:

  • High protein quality (gluten index above 70) to ensure the perfect firmness of pasta during cooking
  • Use of high particle size (40% with diameter above 400 microns) to preserve the wholeness of the gluten
  • Kneaded with cold water (under 15 degrees Celsius), that assures a sweeter taste and a better firmness during cooking.

Very interesting explanation supporting my view that De Cecco is the best of the easily found manufactured pastas. The De Cecco website has lots of interesting facts about the company as well, like that it all started with some wheat farmers and a flour mill in Fara San Martino, Abbruzzo. Whether the year was 1886 or 1887 remains to be known … the English and Italian versions of the website and the packaging itself proclaim different years. Questi italiani!

Like Garofalo pasta, De Cecco uses a bronze die in its extrusion process, which produces a rougher surface than the more typical teflon die. They say that this slightly rougher surface means that sauces stick better, but I really wonder how noticeable this is to mere mortals. I mean, how much of the end product is due to the die rather than the quality of the wheat, the particle size and the drying?

These questions led me to think more about the industrial pasta production process, which you can read about here. (Can one of my longtime friends remind me how I used to spend my evenings? You know, pre-Google? I’m barely making it through my New Yorkers lately.)

Anyway, who really knows the answers to these pasta questions? What do you think? (Feel free to add a comment – no more phone conversations about my blog!) Maybe you wonder what led to this post in the first place? Now that I’m all tired out, I’ll have to write about what I actually made with my handfuls of penne tomorrow. A presto!



  1. In an attempt to be healthier, I’ve just tried whole wheat pasta (365 brand rotini). It wasn’t bad. What do you think? Is this an abomination?

  2. Oh boy, what a loaded question. Pasta integrale is becoming more popular in Italy, so who’s to say whether it’s an abomination? Whole grain pasta has a lower glycemic load, so if you’re worried about spikes in blood sugar, why not? The taste and texture of whole grain pasta fails to excite me, so I stick with durum pasta and choose the “good carbs” in other products such as Ezekiel sprouted grain bread. 🙂 Have you read reviews of Gary Taubes’ called Good Calories, Bad Calories? The Fanatic Cook, my favorite blogger, has several interesting posts on issues discussed int his book, and on glycemic load. Check it out!

  3. Can I find sprouted grain bread in Italy like Ezekiel bread?
    If not, then I suppose I could make it myself, but what is “sprouted grain” called in Italian? No one seems to understand what I want and the dictionary isn’t helping. Thanks.

  4. In addition to the Abruzzo pasta and Neapolitan there is one of Basilicata, excellent!

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