In a paese where the question is often ' Why don’t you just pick up and leave'???, the Zampino family/Pastificio Gentile responded by rolling up their sleeves. They responded by investing time, passion, and money into restoring a 17th century flour mill into a state of the art showcase for the new location of their pasta factory in their hometown of Gragnano, Italy.
Not just a pasta factory, but a space for their offices, a selling point, and a future cooking school.
I had the chance to visit this renovated dream just days after their grand opening during a dinner celebration for friends and family. An intensive undertaking that took two years for them to complete alongside architect Carlo De Angelis. Looking at the before photographs, I must say that I was very impressed.
Although I had shown up a little late, Alberto Zampino was more than happy to take me on a quick tour of the factory before we sat down to dinner.
A quick glance at pasta production -on this particular evening linguine and pennone in progress.
A quick glance at the drying process where the Zampino family applies the Cirillo method, that is, slow drying the pasta by creating a warm wind thanks to giant fans and large radiators.
A quick glance at Valle dei Mulini or Windmill Valley where the factory is located followed by a quick stroll through the garden.
Then straight to the dinner table dressed in Gentile blue. The same blue that is found on the ceramic tile from Vietri and complemented the spectacular artwork by artist Rosalinda Acampora.
Our pasta party featured some Campania heavy hitters in the kitchen… Ernesto Iaccarino and Nicola Pignatelli (Don Alfonso 1890), Andrea Aprea (Vun Ristorante), and Enrico Pierri ( Il San Lorenzo Ristorante)
Auguri Zampino family!!
See you soon!