The Best Pasta Dish in NYC

Luciano Pignataro (June 21, 2016)
On the 24th and 25th June, a contest will be held to find the best pasta dish in New York. The initiative comes about thanks to the Italian Association of Chefs in New York and the Di Martino family, a pasta producer from Gragnano—a town by Naples also known as The City of Pasta.

Talking about Italian food also means talking about Italian tradition, history and family, and it is through these principles that Italy stands out.

From ‘The City of Pasta’ 

Gragnano is an Italian town near Naples, in Campania. It is known throughout Europe as the City of Pasta, and is indeed the city that produces and exports the largest amount of pasta in Italy. Gragnano pasta is also linked to 500 years of history with extraordinary companies.

Amongst these is the Di Martino family, who has produced pasta in Gragnano since 1912. A tradition that has crossed three generations and continues through innovation; today Di Martino pasta is an authoritative reference point in the world market of Gragnano pasta.

Here 8 million pasta dishes are produced every day, exporting
the Italian tradition to more than 32 countries. 

Pasta is produced according to the policy of the IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta) Production Regulations; using only 100% Italian durum wheat flour and water sourced from the Lattari mountains. 

It must be extruded through bronze dies and dried slowly at a low temperature. The Di Martino Pastificio in Gragnano can also be credited with creating the Manhattan Award, promoted in collaboration with the Italian Association of  Chefs in New York (AICNY), 200 Italian chefs who live and work in the best restaurants in the Big Apple.

The president, Chef Massimo Carbone, who not long ago celebrated the 1st birthday of the association, welcomed the idea of bringing new recipes to New York with great enthusiasm.

Pasta is good for you!

Though it may be ineptly criticized by some diets in the United States due to its carbohydrate content, pasta is actually a healthy, tasty, sustainable, democratic and versatile food, as well as being a UNESCO-protected tradition. Pasta represents one of the products par excellence of Campania – the home of companies producing high quality pasta, a cornerstone of Italian competence.

The chefs participating in the contest with their own recipes will use over 100 different types of Gragnano Di Martino IGP pasta.

The contest

During the Le Strade della Mozzarella (LDSM) event in May, a professional panel of judges examined and selected the ten best pasta dishes. The winner will be decided from this short-list and announced on June 25. The judges are made up of both Italians and Americans: Giuseppe Di Martino, CEO of the Di Martino Group; journalists Luciano Pignataro, Luciana Squadrilli
and Eleonora Cozzella; chef and writer Faith Willinger; creators of the LDSM initiative Albert Sapere and Barbara Guerra; and food journalists Channally Philipp, Peter Smith and Carole Acunto.

The best pasta dish (and the chef who created it) will be awarded 5,000 dollars, a professional Pentole Agnelli saucepan with an engraved signature, a trip for two to Gragnano to get to know the great history of Di Martino IGP pasta, and will be invited to participate as a speaker in the next edition of the Le Strade della Mozzarella event. And for all of us there will be new recipes in New York, chosen by experts – so many delicious pasta dishes to enjoy. Buon appetito!