Campofilone pasta is the traditional pasta shape, produced in the small town of Campofilone in the Marche region. Let’s discover it together!
Overlooking the Adriatic Sea, Campofilone is the pretty town in Le Marche that has handed down the production of the ancient traditional maccheroncini di Campofilone pasta. It is the ideal place to spend a few days enjoying culture, relaxation and good food. Let’s discover the village and the famous maccheroni di Campofilone together.
The village of Campofilone and its history
Campofilone, or Campufiló in dialect, is a small town in the Marche region, which owes its name to the presence of a field owned by a rich launderer. In fact, in some medieval documents, we find mentioned “Campo Fulloni”, which would mean “washerwoman’s field”.
It looks like a pleasant, tiny village, affected by various historical episodes. Written evidence has been found of the presence of the Abbey of San Bartolomeo from 1066, which was probably built following the consolidation of the Benedictine monks on the hill of Campofilone.
The Abbey of San Bartolomeo enjoyed a certain autonomy and wealth, so much so that it was recognised as one of the richest abbeys in the area. It is now a museum, with a colourful collection of shells, corals and sponges. The population settled around the Abbey and the economic and social development of the territory began under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Fermo.
Around the middle of the fourteenth century, the community of Campofilone came under the control of the city of Fermo, while the Abbey continued independently under the supervision of abbots chosen by the Pope. In the following centuries, the history of the town of Campofilone intersected with the events of the nearby town of Fermo.
What is the atmosphere like in Campofilone? Entering the village the first impression you get is that of an impregnable place, a sensation due to the defence walls built during the Middle Ages. There are three gates in the walls: Porta Marina, Porta da Sole and Porta da Bora.
This small town in Le Marche has a main street and alleyways, covered with barrel and cross vaults, which branch off from it. In addition to the Abbey of San Bartolomeo, you can visit the Church of San Patrizio next to the Porta Marina or attend plays, festivals or concerts in the municipal theatre. Your palate will be seduced and delighted by the maccheroncini di Campofilone pasta, the main gastronomic speciality of the Marche in Italy.
Campofilone Pasta, an ancient culinary tradition
The town of Campofilone owes its fame to this typical pasta shape. In 2013, the Maccheroncini di Campofilone pasta obtained the IGP certification, confirming their peculiarity and the strong link with the tradition of this town in the Marches.
This ancient tradition has been handed down over time and the great value of Campofilone pasta has thus remained intact, protected by the skilled hands of local people. Maccheroncini di Campofilone is a pasta made from a mixture of eggs, double-zero common wheat flour or durum wheat semolina.
The Product Specification
As a protected geographical indication, its production is regulated by the specification. This document lays down the rules concerning the raw materials and processing method: the eggs must come from free-range hens fed exclusively with cereals. The flour or semolina must have well-defined characteristics.
Maccheroncini di Campofilone pasta has got the following characteristics:
- length: between 35 and 60 cm
- width: between 0,80 and 1,20 mm
- thickness: between 0,3 and 0,7 mm
How to make the maccheroni
The production phases, i.e. kneading, flaking, cutting and drying, must take place in the area identified in the product specification, in the municipality of Campofilone.
Like most traditional Italian foods, maccheroncini di Campofilone pasta were created out of the need to reduce waste and out of ingenuity. In fact, the housewives of the town invented this shape of pasta so as not to throw away the eggs produced by their hens.
It is one of the main aspects that makes this maccheroni pasta special. The percentage of eggs is far higher than the quantity normally used in other types of pasta. For one kg of durum wheat semolina or soft wheat flour, a minimum of seven and a maximum of ten eggs are used.
Thanks to the large number of eggs and the slow drying phase, 250 grams of dough yields four portions of Campofilone pasta. For these reasons, maccheroncini di Campofilone have another important characteristic: their high capacity to absorb the sauce.
The wit of the housewives made Maccheroncini di Campofilone special for another reason, too. Traditionally, the women worked on this maccheroni pasta and then subjected it to a drying process, thus increasing its shelf life.
Initially, after rolling out, they cut the dough roughly. However, this resulted in the dried dough curving and inevitably breaking in several points when it was eaten. The housewives therefore had to use their imagination and intellect to overcome this problem. Hence they began to cut the dough into very thin threads, unwittingly creating a food that is still popular today.
One of the occasions not to be missed to taste Campofilone pasta is the local festival, whose origins date back to 1964. From this year onwards, Campofilone has always set the date for the festival on the first three days of August.
Recipes with Maccheroncini di Campofilone pasta PGI
Maccheroncini di Campofilone, also known as “angel hair” because of their long, thin shape, are traditionally served with the classic tomato sauce from Le Marche. It is a mixed meat sauce: minced veal, minced beef, chicken giblets and occasionally duck meat and pork fat, enriched with spices and herbs.
For the less intransigent, there are many variations in the seasoning of maccheroni pasta, which can be flavoured with truffle or local mushrooms such as porcini, prataioli, nebbioli, morette and spugnole.
With Italia Delight you can visit a renowned pasta factory to see how Maccheroncini di Campofilone pasta is made and get to know other traditional pasta shapes from Le Marche! 👩🍳😋