At the beginning it was dietetic and with poor appeal ..... now it's a rarity for gourmets, as a signature also of all the most famous chefs.One time it was produced with spelt, with dark colour, with bitter taste and with a fibrous texture, now all have changed.In the last fifty years the pasta's sale has almost tripled and during last years it has been a strong increasement of all artisan pasta's interest and sale.Pasta by hard wheat or by egg, drawn by bronze and let dry on air for more than one day. The final result is a porous pasta which keeps perfectly the sauce.The secret is also the slowness. The right patience to wait the good moment, that the industrial brands cannot do because they are obliged to prepare about a thousand packages daily.
It can happen that, ordering Martelli Pasta in September, it will be not ready untill October, because it has to be dried good and slowly; this is the meaning of "artisan pasta". But anyway it's not yet easy still in Italy to understand and focus well the differences between industrial and artisan pasta due to a taste's standardization; we are also used to think that pasta is pasta, that flavour is the same, that one cooks better than others and nothing else .... while even japanese people know all names and brands of all the top artisan pasta factories ! As saying, nobody is prophet at home.
One example is the Martelli family from Lari, a small village on the hills near Pisa, that's one of the smallest artisan pasta factory in Italy with a yearly production lesser than 3.500 quintals. They produce only four classical kinds of homemade pasta: spaghetti, spaghettini, penne and maccheroni. All production is inside the family and each wednesday all family is working, packing all pasta by hand. Another good worldwide brand is the homemade egg pasta by Campofilone, produced by Enzo Rossi, the president of consortium. Company founded in 1912 from Mrs. Albanesi and still now it's using same production process as in the past; brans of hard wheat, fresh eggs without adding water. And then many other like Gragnano pasta, Carnaroli Rice, Basmati Rice and Wild Rice from Canada.