On Thursday, 40 people gathered at Beppe e I Suoi Formaggi for a special tasting of Mauro Musso’s pasta. Mauro, who is originally from Alba in Piedmont, quit his job a few years back to pursue the difficult endeavor of artisanal pasta making. He transformed the ground floor of his parents’ house into his tiny pasta factory where he makes, dries, packages, labels, sells and distributes tajarin (his territory’s most famous pasta) and casarecce. When he is not working in Alba, he is on the road delivering his pasta to shops and restaurants (mainly outside of Piedmont) or promoting his work at food fairs in Italy and France.

At the beginning of the evening, Francesco of Beppe e I Suoi Formaggi introduced Mauro, remarking that the main characteristic of the pasta was its digestibility. Mauro then spoke a bit about his work and his dedication to rare grains. For more background on his approach, check out this interview.

The pastas then started to be served to the very patient crowd. It was over an hour before the first dish came out. I peeked into the kitchen and found out why. Mauro prepared a 7-course meal for 40 people using a pair of small, portable electric stoves. This is not an easy feat, but he pulled it off!

The first dish was einkorn flour tajarin with Taggiasca olive oil and black pepper.

Next was “Gentil Bianco” soft wheat tajarin with Beppe’s butter and white Alba truffles. FYI Beppe’s butter is extraordinary. It is made from the milk of Savoiarda cows and is sold in the shop.

This was followed by “Rosso delle Langhe” soft wheat tajarin with stockfish and capers. As the grain name would suggest, the pasta had a reddish tint.

The only pasta to break with the tajarin theme was the casarecce dish: rolled pasta of white rye with three cheeses and walnuts.

We were back on a tajarin streak with einkorn flour tajarin with mixed vegetables.

By the sixth dish (and fifth glass of wine) things started to get a tiny bit messy. For this course, an einkorn, spelt, kamut, and rye blend was served with rabbit ragù.

The final pasta dish was three khorasan flour tajarin with three meat ragù.

But the meal wasn’t over yet. We had a cheese plate, mainly of cheeses Beppe makes in his native Piedmont.

And a final dose of dairy came with the panna cotta.

A round of applause was in order for Mauro and the staff of Beppe e I Suoi Formaggi. And another one for Mamma Parla, who survived the four-hour long tasting in spite of having arrived from the States that morning. She was a champ. A heartfelt thanks to everyone who came out to support a very dedicated food artisan. You can find Mauro’s tajarin and casarecce for sale at Beppe’s and Pizzarium in Rome. For more information on his pastas, visit his website.

Explore related categories:
Carbs · Culture · Events · Food & Wine · Gastronomic Traditions · Piedmont · Rome & Lazio

12 Comments:


  • Katie,
    This was a wonderful post and quite unique. You’re a great and always informative resource for the latest and most important food news in Italy.

    Brava!

    Carol


  • Interesting, not sure if I would have been able to eat that much pasta…. ;-) Are they ‘lighter’ than normal flour ones? Tonight I’ll watch the Langhe doc movie, had ordered it some time ago. I assume he doesn’t ship his pasta or does he? No one here carries it.

  • Katie

    @carol aw thanks so much! i hope that the next time you are in rome you have the chance to try this amazing product. they will begin serving it at open baladin soon

    @mart yes eating that much pasta seems like a challenge. but then you find yourself going for seconds! as a matter of fact, mauro’s pasta is lighter and more digestible than other pastas because it utilizes pastas he chooses for their digestibility characteristics. the first 5 min of his intro thursday nite were dedicated to the notion of nutrition and digestion. i think he can ship his pasta anywhere. you can find out more by contacting him at mauro.musso (at) libero.it


  • Hello Katie!
    Thx for your always profusive answers. I’ll send him a mail. Already saw on his site he is quite into nutrients. Good stuff.Thx.


  • lovely post, Katie. i have so much respect for people like Mauro. two questions- what is einkorn flour and what is khorasan flour? Khorasan is where my grandmother is from in Iran :) where saffron grows in abundance. x shayma

  • Katie

    @mart you’re welcome and apologies for not replying to your foraging comment! im so behind lately!!

    @s einkorn is triticum monococcum, one of the earliest cultivated wheats. it has been dubbed “Enkir” in italy and is used in artisanal beer production, baking, and pasta making (though Mauro is the only pastaio i know of who uses it)

  • Katie

    @s Khorasan wheat is another ancient grain that was dubbed “kamut”, now the official brand name of this historic wheat variety.


  • interesting. they say both kamut and spelt comes from what is present day Iran and Iraq-perhaps that is why they use that name- Khorasan. thanks for the info x s


  • *originates historically from* sorry, not *comes from*.


  • […] and at Pizzarium.  For more about November’s pasta tasting festivities see posts at Parla Food and Aglio, Olio e […]


  • Katie – Mauro’s pasta is also making a splash in Cambridge, Massachusetts! We just brought in a small quantity of his Tajarin and Casarecce! We are thrilled to be working with someone so skilled and passionate about his work. He came to us via a family dinner with the folks at Mulino Marino. Glad to read your post and the comments.

  • Katie

    Tim that is awesome! The Marinos are great and Mauro is such a dedicated man. Im so thrilled to hear you are carrying Mauro’s phenomenal pasta

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