Gramigna, a new pasta discovery!
Until yesterday, I had never eaten Gramigna pasta and until a week ago, I’d never heard of it either. However, whilst searching Italian online sites for a new pasta recipe from Emilia-Romagna, I came across a lot of versions of a recipe for Gramigna alla salsiccia (sausage). I had actually never eaten pasta with sausage either. I don’t know why, but Italian sausages don’t really appeal to me. Perhaps, because I still love and miss English sausages and, somehow, sausage and pasta seemed an odd combination. A bit like chips on pizza! Finding gramigna here in Veneto wasn’t so easy but I eventually found it in the ‘artisan’ pasta section of one supermarket.
No it’s not a weed!
Apparently this type of pasta is very popular in Emilia-Romagna, even though it doesn’t have a long history. It’s also not as well-know outside of Italy as the other typical Emilia-Romagna pastas, tagliatelle and tortellini. Funnily enough, Gramigna is also the Italian name for Bermuda or Couch grass, a grass that, although popular for sports field, is an absolute nightmare to get rid of if it starts growing in your flower beds! And yes I have it in my flower beds and hate the stuff!
I’m not sure if the pasta was deliberately named after the grass, but it’s unusual squiggly shape could perhaps be likened to the first shoots of growing plants. Gramigna was originally used only as a fresh pasta, however nowadays a number of pasta makers produce a dry version, which is actually squiggier than the fresh one! It’s also one of the few dried pasta types that is made with egg.
My first experience cooking and eating gramigna was a joy. I’ll be posting the recipe for Gramigna with sausage shortly and hope that some of my readers will have the pleasure of being able to try it for themselves too. If you can find gramigna, that is!