Once the dough has been formed, the next process is extrusion.
Dies are the accessories used to shape the water and semolina dough and are used to create the many pasta shapes available on the market. They are also highly technological, as in addition to shaping the pasta they also affect the characteristics of the pasta obtained, the thickness of each shape and the development and consistency of the gluten, the most important protein contained in durum wheat semolina. Its presence is fundamental for ensuring that, once cooked, the pasta has that elasticity and toughness, a sensation commonly defined as al dente (Italian term meaning firm to the bite).
Every single pasta shape has its own specific die, which in Granoro is made to Attilio’s design, so each shape, based on its size, form and the type of durum wheat semolina used, will have the most suitable thickness for the right and most appropriate cooking time.
Granoro pasta is produced using both Teflon and bronze dies: the type used depends on the characteristics that need to be enhanced for each shape, such as the colour, uniformity, porosity and roughness.
Granoro produces more than 150 different shapes of high-quality pasta in a number of ranges: standard pasta shapes, special semolina pasta, special egg pasta, special spinach pasta, special pasta from the Attilio range, special burnt wheat pasta and special pasta from the wellness range composed of organic, organic whole wheat and Cuore Mio pasta (the latter produced from durum wheat semolina and barley flour). Last but certainly not least is the Dedicato range, symbol of a production range of the highest quality produced exclusively in Puglia, certified and traceable from the field to the table, the result of a food supply chain agreement between Granoro, the farmers and the mill that transforms the durum wheat into semolina.
It is of fundamental importance for Granoro that shapes are produced with the “right” thickness.
The dies used to produce the various pasta shapes after the dough has been kneaded are made to specific Granoro designs: the thickness is correct and carefully calculated to ensure the cooking time is not too long.
Granoro has carefully researched the most suitable thicknesses for each pasta shape based on the desired diameters, shapes and cooking times. Pasta factories often produce the same pasta shapes with different thicknesses, and therefore different cooking times, for reasons related to the specific production criteria of each pasta factory.
Granoro could have chosen to produce pasta with greater thicknesses and longer cooking times, using dies designed to produce shapes with these characteristics. But Granoro has always chosen to produce the various pasta shapes with shorter cooking times compared to other pasta factories, because it believes that when pasta is too thick it stays raw inside, even after cooking, giving it the impression of being al dente. It also has the following disadvantages:
a) starch and nutritional substances are lost in the cooking water when the cooking time is long, creating cloudy cooking water;
b) the pasta will be coated in a slimy, starchy film;
c) long waiting time;
d) greater fuel consumption.
Granoro believes high-quality pasta must have the “right thickness”, which will allow every piece of pasta to cook in the right amount of time for its shape and cook evenly from the outside in, without the single pieces of pasta or spaghetti remaining raw on the inside. If the pasta is good quality, it must maintain its consistency and elasticity even many hours after it has been cooked, irrespective of its thickness.