The Pepes make pasta for a simple reason: to provide their own family and circle of friends with a healthy and clean staple food. The ancient durum wheat variety “Senatore Capelli” is grown right next to their vineyards. It’s both weather resistant, free of any chemicals… and completely uninteresting to the food industry. With the wheat growing up to two meters high, yields are much lower. But on the upside, this ancient variety offers a flavour complexity, nutritional profile and fantastic texture you will never ever find at the supermarket.
Take Emidio’s granddaughter Chiara’s wise words of counsel and do yourself (and the pasta) a favour by taking it out of the water two minutes before the boiling time is up and just finish it off in the sauce pan. This way you’ll get exactly the right al dente bite you’re looking for. Mezze Maniche Rigate can be used the same was penne.