Monday, 16 August 2010

Garafalo Pasta. Truly Authentic, Truly Tasty

We adore pasta though I tend to eat the fresh varieties, I have always felt it to be more authentic, despite knowing its made in the UK mainly, but I kid myself I am eating pasta that is closest to its Italian roots.

I have dried pasta in the cupboard on reserve for the days when I don't get out to the shop, but have not used it frequently of late as it always seems bland, plastic like, a yellow unnatural colour that does not appeal.

I watched Jamie Oliver Does Italy series a while back on Channel 4, in many of the shows where he was cooking for the Italian hosts, he used dried pasta. This set me thinking that in the homeland of the great staple, if a chef serves it, it must be better than I thought. I still knew I needed to find a better pasta though.

It did not take me too long, I was sent Garafalo pasta to review, I received spaghetti, a lovely large tubed rigatoni and some radiatori.

Now firstly let me tell you about what makes it so special.

Garofalo Signature Pasta, crafted in the place Italian pasta was born Gragnano
Garofalo Signature Pasta is created from only the finest durum wheat. In Gragnano, in the shadows of the ruins of Pompeii, Garofalo has been making pasta for more than 300 years combining the art and skill of traditional Neapolitan pasta making with the latest technology to create artisan style pasta without equal.

Garofalo carefully adjusts a separate drying temperature for each individual cut of pasta for optimal texture, aesthetic and performance. Garofalo will make at least 25 quality checks for each cut of their pasta before they allow it to carry the signature name.

One look at the packet and I could see a creamy golden colour, it looks natural. It smells natural as you take it from the packet, the packaging itself is attractive, it looks freshly wrapped and has Italian text, all adding to the feeling this just hasn't got the tag "Italian" but is the real deal.

I decided to put it straight to the test, I made my Italian meat sauce, steak mince full of fresh tomatoes, peppers, garlic  basil and mixed herbs, I cooked the Rigatoni and decided to mix it all together so that the sauce coated and blended with the thick tubes.
The finished dish is below and it looked good,   the  pasta was natural tasting, as if fresh almost, it tasted better than the fresh I buy at the supermarket. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal and the pasta was large enough so you could catch the taste without the sauce.

I decided to try the spaghetti the next day and made my Carbonara, which possibly is not the standard recipe, but is cooked to suit our palate.

I add garlic, rosemary, onion, cream and because I feel a little guilty going cream all the way, I use half fat Creme fraiche too. Lots of Parmesan to finish

I tried some of the spaghetti after it was cooked on its own, it really has a flavour that I like, very natural. Pasta is  a background to fabulous sauces, but I do enjoy the taste on its own so maybe with a sprinkling of cheese and fresh basil, this would allow the pasta to shine.

Conor does not eat potatoes very often, often choosing pasta instead with his meals, he loves Garafalo and has asked if we can swap to this all the time. 

It was superb with the Carbonara and I heartily recommend you give it a go.

It is slightly dearer that say a supermarket brand but its well worth the cost as its a very authentic taste.

Buy online at Ocado


  1. Looks really scrummy Jo. When am I invited to dinner?

    Oh dear, I need to buy it myself? If it's as good as you say, I'm there :)

  2. I love pasta and this recipe looks lovely!