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Ancient Grains Pasta: An Ancient Sicilian Specialty

Probios promotes local agriculture and small/medium companies all over the territory. From its commitment towards the environment, it was recently born a brand new range of pasta and flours made with Ancient Grains, made with different wheat varieties (Margherito, Perciasacchi, Russello, Timilia and Maiorca), rediscovered thanks to the efforts of the “grain keepers”, farmers involved in their protection. The production chain is in facts controlled from start to finish: from the cultivation to the preparation of the final product. The plantation takes place in the fertile lands of eastern Sicily by companies that aim to preserve the biodiversity of the territory, while the stock takes place in the typical “grain graves”, dry and airy places that are perfect to preserve the quality of the raw material: an ancient stocking technique that was used by the Egyptians. The grains are then milled with a monolithic stone, and advanced technologies.

Our whole Sicilian Russello wheat pasta (spaghetti, penne, fusilli) is produced using the so-called Sicilian ancient grain. It’s a high-eared wheat, almost 2 meters high, with a fragile stem and a red color, and it is harvested in the dry hinterlands around Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Palermo, Ragusa and Trapani. From this grain, you can obtain a flour that is highly used for Sicilian recipes like pasta and bread, and, with Timilia, is one of the more than 50 varieties of wheat that Sicily offers to us.

Russello is still highly used in Sicily to produce bread and bronze-wire drawn pasta, to obtain a final product that is resistant, easy to digest, flavorful, with a delicious smell and a high protein content. As for every ancient grain, this type of wheat is less refined, didn’t overcome any genetic alteration, and has a lower gluten content in comparison to other grains.