The Pasta you never thought existed

Have you ever tasted a good plate of rye gnocchetti, or fusilli with red rice?

Yes, these products really do exist, and you’d be surprised to discover how immense the world of pasta can be thanks to the work of Nonno Eusebio of Cascina Canta. The choice of cereals used, the guarantee of slow drying, the drawing process, are just some of the elements that make their products unique and varied.

I’m about to take you inside a story that stems from these ancient cereals and flavours, and from the past, comes down to us. Ready to go?

THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING

Once upon a time, there was an old farmstead nestled between sheets of water cultivated with rice. An aura full of mystery and legends surrounded it: from bandits fleeing for love, to the shootings and ghosts that inhabited the place. A place perhaps disturbing to some, but rich in the eyes of those who knew how to look far. 

It was from the fascination of these stories that Mr Eusebio and Mrs Bianca Francese set off in the 1960s to sink their feet firmly into the soil of the Novara rice fields. Those same rice fields that dominate the landscape like queens on a chessboard and that, thanks to the fertile and flat soil, are the symbol of the Novara territory.

It is here that Cascina Canta’s roots have taken root and flourished.

Cascina Canta Eusebio Piedmont Delights Blog
Our Nonno Eusebio from Cascina Canta in Novara

GOING AGAINST THE TREND

The protagonist of this story, Eusebio, is a great sportsman: always looking towards the attack area, always with one foot over the obstacle, ready to score and win. In fact, while everyone was going in one direction, he decided to look towards another horizon with an innovative future

In the 1960s, technology was making more and more room in our homes and the same was happening in agriculture, but technology is of no use if you already have all the tools you need to work the land and Eusebio understood this. So, away with the pesticides, the pesticides, the plant protection products, and make room for what nature in its extraordinary balance can offer and simple helpers, such as carp.

Yes, you read that right, we wrote carp, brought from faraway China to the rice fields of Piedmont. Eusebio introduces them into his rice fields to combat the algae that can stifle the development of rice seedlings. Ingenious, isn’t it?

The Cascina Canta rice field where all the magic happens

But the carp are not the only magical detail in this tale of determination and stubbornness, there are many others that will never cease to amaze us. Like, for example, the time when the couple, together with their daughters Isabella and Maddalena, decided (and history proved them right) to open the company to the public, showing their work and their products at what is now known as an “Open Day”. Or when they invested the family’s savings in a small shop in the big city of Turin, and Eusebio had to venture out alone every morning to the city to sell the products.

Every grain of rice or wheat sold bears witness to the family’s dedication and heart for their work.

AN UNUSUAL PASTA 

Piedmont has always had a tradition of pasta, strictly egg-based and home-made. This could only be an opportunity for Nonno Eusebio to demonstrate once again how tradition can be carried on while keeping an eye on the future. 

Eusebio had the mill and pasta workshop built and, after many years of experimentation, he strengthened the range of cereals and ancient grains: Aquileja, Mondo Rondo barley, spelt, Miglio Sangenese and Saragolla, a grain that dates back 5,000 years. From these raw grains, rich in history, a new way of looking at pasta was born. The experimentation led to unique products: fusilli with red rice rich in iron and antioxidants, rye gnocchetti are perfect with Piedmontese ragout, spelt strozzapreti can pick up sauces perfectly and buckwheat tagliatelle are a real source of magnesium. Spelt Tagliatelle Pasta Piedmont Delights Pasta Blog

THE PERFECT FOODPAIRING 

Whether with meat sauce, pesto, fresh seasonal vegetables or simply with a drizzle of oil, the combinations you can make with this pasta are truly exceptional and the roughness of the surface given by the bronze drawing makes it perfect for all kinds of sauces

When it comes to cooking this pasta, you can really let your imagination run wild. So why not fly to the other side of the world and try an oriental recipe? Just as our Marie tells us in her review: 

“A perfect solution for all buckwheat pasta lovers. I served it with spicy shrimps Asian style, they are a delicious combo. Greetings, Marie Vobecka.”

What do you say, shall we stir-fry?

– Until next time, With love!
Francesca