Tumminia busiate from Molini del Ponte came out on top as the best alternative to white flour pasta. That’s according to food writer Adam Roberts, who has a new column “diving into all things groceries”. The competition? Farro pasta and chickpea pasta. Neither came even close to the delicious flavor and texture of Filippo Drago’s tumminia busiate!
“I’m here to tell you that of the three alternative (or semi-alternative) pastas that I sampled, this one was easily my favorite. The pasta itself had a nuttiness and a rough texture that played beautifully with the Bolognese, but I can also understand why Drago says he likes to eat his plain with just a little olive oil. It’s just that good.”
Adam, we’re so glad that we can add you to the tumminia busiate fan club!
What are tumminia busiate?
Tumminia busiate are a super local Sicilian pasta. When you think of Sicily, you think of busiate! “Tumminia” refers to the wheat variety itself. This heritage grain is native to Sicily and dates back millennia. It nearly went extinct, but thankfully biodiversity activists like Filippo Drago helped revive tumminia and bring it back to the market. Filippo uses organic tumminia flour, stone-ground at his mill in Castelvetrano.
Native to Trapani, Sicily’s westernmost province, these compact little spirals have a deep, nutty flavor and an especially rough exterior texture. Tumminia busiate may be different from conventional pasta, but you can use them pretty much the same way. They’ve long been a house favorite here at Gustiamo. We especially love them with Pesto alla Trapanese, or any kind of pesto really!
Unlike regular white flour pastas, tumminia busiate are suitable for people with some wheat sensitivities. With high levels of minerals and vitamins, as well as 12.5g of protein and 9.8g of fiber per serving, tumminia busiate are much more nutritious than your average pasta. Furthermore, thanks to their low glycemic effect, you’ll stay fuller for longer.
Let us spoil Adam Roberts’ taste test conclusion: while “Tumminia had a pleasant complexity,” the two contestants “had the undeniable whiff of what I can only describe as health food.” Molini del Ponte Busiate’s health benefits are a nice bonus indeed, but in the end it all comes down to taste. As Filippo himself tells us “it’s not a penance, it’s a joy”.