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ISO Martelli and/or Latini pasta

I thought I'd find some in the Cambridge Formaggio's but no luck. Is there a seller in Camb/Somerville/Watertown or do I have to trek to the North End?

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  1. Salumeria Italiana appears to have Martelli pasta available in a couple of shapes, for $6 for a half-kilo package (quite likely less than that, actually - that's their online price, and I know that other items are cheaper in the store than they are online.)

    12 Replies
    1. re: Allstonian

      Looks like I need to make a shopping trip to the North End. Thanks! (I bet the package is around a half-kilo, i.e. 1.1 pounds, seems standard for fancy Italian pastas).

      1. re: katzzz

        likely irrelevant for you but i believe i saw the M pasta at Verrill Farm today. What makes it special for you?

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          My interest in Martelli (and Latini) pasta was piqued by reading "Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating," where the author singles out Martelli as his favorite pasta and also expresses enthusiasm for Latini, Rustichella, Cavailieri and Al Dente brand.
          As much as I love pasta, up until a year or so ago I never thought it made sense to spend a lot of money on something that seemed, for the most part, a vehicle for whatever sauce I applied. But then I read a NY Times column (by Melissa Clark, if I remember correctly) where she mentioned that one of the few splurges in her generally frugal lifestyle was treating herself to expensive pasta. This clicked with me; I'd much rather spend my money on good pasta than, say, lottery tickets. So I've been buying better Italian pastas (mostly at Russo's) and enjoying them. I've never tried Martelli's, so I'm looking to give it a go. You only live once.

          1. re: katzzz

            As a Martelli lover since discovering it at Dean & Deluca a zillion years back, l would recommend the spaghetti rather than the spaghettini or the penne/fusilli shapes for your first time.
            The al dente qualities of the spaghetti with it's very broad sweet spot of cooking shows off this very superior pasta.
            l travel 10 months a year to many places, and one of the ten kitchen musts in each locale is Martelli spaghetti.

            1. re: katzzz

              katzzz, said so well. I totally agree... curious to know what you think when you try Martelli.

              1. re: ela_tarantella

                Haven't tracked down the Martelli yet, but I will let you know when I do!

                1. re: ela_tarantella

                  I finally got my hands on a package of Martelli spaghetti (Still haven't made it to Salumeria Italiana in the North End, but I saw it on a visit to NYC at Murray's Cheese and bought for $9). It is terrific, yes, but I don't know if it's four times better than some good pastas that cost a fourth less (like the Trader Joe's organic spaghetti, e.g., which is pretty great for the price).
                  Still, I enjoy splurging on high end pasta and I have found a favorite maker: Paisanella. It's sold at Russo's -- $8 for a 500 gram bag. Certainly not cheap, but the shapes I've tried so far, all thick varieties such as taglietelle, are wondrously toothsome. I actually had to cook it several minutes longer than suggested on the package and it still came out very al dente. Really distinctive.
                  I googled Paisanella and found very little that wasn't in Italian. From Paisanella's website, it looks like they specialize in making unusually flavored pastas, everything from chocolate to pistachio. These I haven't tried, though the lemon noodles they stock at Russo's look mighty good.

            2. re: katzzz

              Yes, as I stated above, the package is a half-kilo. I meant that the price is likely less than $6, because many items cost less in the store than they do in Salumeria Italiana's online shop. For example, the porcini mushroom cubes (http://www.salumeriaitaliana.com/cata...) are $6 a package online but $3.95 in the shop - and worth every penny, I might add.

              1. re: Allstonian

                these cubes sound really neat. do they contain msg?
                also, does SI sell sundried tomato powder? i recently found a very old clipping mentioning that product in NYC and i was thinking i should try finding it here. tia.

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  No idea about the MSG, but I bet you could look it up online easily enough.

                  I haven't noticed sundried tomato powder but I'm not actually a big fan of sundried tomatoes so I wouldn't have been looking.

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    Of course the cubes contain MSG. Porcini mushrooms themselves are loaded with glutamates. Using MSG (which is chemically indistinguishable from naturally-occurring glutamates: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPa... ) allows the manufacturers to ensure a consistent level of glutamic acid from one batch to the next even though the mushrooms themselves might vary widely in glutamic acid content from one crop to the next.

            3. They have Martelli at Cardullo's as well.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Bugsey34

                I thought they might have it so I went to Cardullo's last week. Alas, no Martelli.

                1. re: katzzz

                  Too bad, they must have been out! On a side not, have you tried Benedetto Cavallieri? His pasta is my favorite!

                  1. re: Bugsey34

                    I asked them yesterday at Cardullo's and they said they haven't carried Martelli in a while (sounded as if they had no plans to resume).