Pastificio Camp ‘Oro was established in 1999 in Sant’Elia a Pianisi, a small mountain town in the region of Molise. It was born of a love story with our land whose uncontaminated nature spreads over rolling hills that seem to chase each other in a race, culminating in the summer by an explosion of gold in all its nuances, the gold of our wheat fields.
Although it is a little-known land, it is culturally rich and historically influential, inspired by an entrepreneurial spirit. By the early 1900’s Sant’Elia was already producing numerous varieties of hand-crafted goods and had earned itself the title of the “little Milan of Molise.”
Pasta factories, wheat mills, and oil mills, including our father’s olive stone mill, have filled the village streets with animated sounds and fragrances over the decades. They have encouraged agricultural excellence, traditionally suited to the cultivation of wheat and olives, and spread the flavors of Sant’Elia well beyond regional boundaries.
Time has unfortunately diminished many traces of the proverbial industriousness of Sant’Elia, and when the last pasta factory closed in the late 1970’s it seemed that our tradition of pasta production was a thing of the past. Then, one day, four sisters founded Camp’Oro and a new story began. Our story. With tenacity and perseverance we picked up the threads of the past, of our identity, reviving the knowledge of an ancient art from the wisdom of those who had come before us.
Looking to the past is not about nostalgia, rather it is about remembering the value of simple things; it is about following the natural flow of time rather than being controlled by haste. In our factory we are inspired by simplicity, allowing every step in the production process its proper time, and so producing a pasta whose scent, taste and texture is truly reminiscent of home.
Dedicated to our parents, Felice and Santina
The Pastificio Camp’Oro srl is an artisanal company within the heart of central Italy, in the small town of Sant’Elia a Pianisi, Molise. The company was born from a deep love and connection to our land and a desire to maintain our heritage by producing quality pasta according to the ancient art passed down through generations.
Quality looks at origin
Our father taught us to “listen to the wheat,” to feel its texture and its scent, and to recognize that every type of wheat has its own characteristics derived from both the soil and the geographic area in which it is grown.
For this reason, we prefer to use durum wheat semolina obtained from multiple varieties of wheat that come from both local and foreign farms. We strictly select the ones that a have high protein and low ash content, good color index and an excellent quality of gluten, all of which gives to our pasta its unique flavor, elasticity and consistency.
Quality is a method
We follow the durum wheat semolina meticulously throughout its slow transformation, being faithful in our production process to the old traditions that have inspired us, both in our method and timing. Indeed, our hands-on approach is the predominant element of every part in our production process. It is the very soul of our company.
Every step includes our manual intervention including the preparation of the dough: by hand we gradually add pure crystalline water from our mountain springs to the durum wheat semolina, carefully adjusting the quantity according to the pasta cut that we plan to make.
Even the machines we use are hand-crafted, designed to respond only to manual controls and with devices which allow us not to “stress” the dough so that it preserves the color of the durum wheat. When the dough reaches the right consistency it can finally be given its desired shape along with a rough and porous surface that both retains and enhances every kind of sauce.
Short-cut pasta is then loaded manually onto wooden frames, while long-cut pasta is loaded onto aluminum canes, and they are slowly dried at a low temperature. Lastly, each bag of Camp’Oro pasta is manually graded, weighed and sealed.
Quality takes time
Pasta was once dried on the road, and the sun, wind and humidity were all that was needed for a master chef to complete the drying cycle after days and days of hard work.
Since artificial drying systems have replaced natural methods each company determines their own drying method and time.
We have chosen to follow nature, letting the pasta dry out very slowly and at low temperatures inside drying cells that reproduce the activity of the sun and wind.
This method requires very long drying times, ranging from 24 to 72 hours, depending on the pasta cuts as well as the season. However, it is also the only method that allows the pasta to keep all the nutritional qualities of the durum wheat, with unchanged properties and the unparalleled taste of durum wheat, as well as ensuring a pasta with proper elasticity that cooks perfectly “al dente” with no surface stickiness.
Quality has a name
Our hands-on approach only allows us to produce one pasta cut per day in quantities that would be ridiculous for an industrial pasta factory. However, we have chosen quality over quantity. Quality is demanding but we delight in dedicating time, care and passion to our pasta, just as our mother did so many times when she lovingly prepared her home-made pasta for us.
Giovanna, Antonella, Paola and Raffaella Colavita