When you think about the countries in Europe with a large production of different foods and fine wines, Italy is certainly one most likely to come to mind. It is the wide variety of dishes, flavours and scents that originate in this wonderful land that makes talking about food and wine a complex task.
Being a big fan of the Marche region, today I will introduce you briefly to one of the many culinary delights that this region offers to us: the maccheroncini of Campofilone which bears the designation of IGP (Indication of Protected Origin). Translated to English this becomes PGI (Protected Geographical Indication)
The term geographical indication indicates an origin mark which is awarded by the European Union to those food products that are produced in a specific geographical area following a strict discipline of production.
Authentic maccheroncini of Campofilone PGI is recognized by the Marche Region as a typical product and can only be produced in the municipality of Campofilone and by exactly following the traditional recipe.
Campofilone goes back centuries with its tradition of egg pasta. The first documents that refer to this pasta, which is also known as ‘angel hair’, go back to the Council of Trent in 1560 in which it is described with the words “so thin that it melts in your mouth.”
The poet Giacomo Leopardi, one of the greatest Italian poets and also from Le Marche, put it in his 49 most favoured dishes and listed three different ways in which he preferred the maccheroncini of Campofilone.
The method of production is handed down from generation to generation and strictly follows the tradition of Campofilone pasta started when the women worked at home to provide food for their families. They laid the dough which was wrapped in cotton cloths on large marble slabs to let it rest. The cloths absorbed the water in these ventilated rooms where the constant change of air enhanced the flavour of the pasta.
When you think of Italy, remember the old ladies who stretch the dough for this unique pasta with love and care. Perhaps tagliatelle may come to mind as a similar classic pasta, but the difference between that and Campofilone maccheroncini is easily distinguished by the way the maccheroncini absorb the sauce so well, allowing you to appreciate the intense flavor.