I want two contraptions to make macaroni", asks Nunziata as dowry, before getting married and leave the house where she grew up. The Orsini's novel "Francesca e Nunziata" could be Setaro family story that, from generation to generation handed down the white art, symbol and richness of an entire area.
The pasta production in Torre Annunziata begins with the Count of Sarno, Muzio Tuttavilla, which realizes the first mills, around which, thanks to the water works and the easy transportation of the semolina, in 1850 the first pasta factories were born. The Pasta of Torre Annunziata, soon identified with the "Pasta of Naples", becomes famous all over the world not only for the craftsmanship of the work, patrimony of knowledge spread among the families of the place, but above all for the particular microclimate of this town, held in the Gulf, flooded by the sun, lapped by the wind of the sea and protected by Vesuvius. The roofs of the houses in Torre Annunziata were, in fact, in ancient times, an white expanse made by pasta that, thanks to a warm and light breeze, dried naturally, absorbing the flavours of the sea and the earth.
In 1939 Nunziato Setaro, following the failure of many laboratories for the advent of the large industrial groups, decided to buy the present pasta factory to keep intact the ancient country tradition, thus abandoning its initial work as carrier of flour and raw materials used by the pasta factories. He avails himself of a master pasta maker that during the working phases measures by eye doses, humidity, wind, and of a master cutter, which cleverly changes pasta's measures, specializing himself in the production of pasta dried for long time at low temperature.
Built of lava, solid and indestructible, Setaro pasta factory is still a symbol of hard work, sacrifices and obstinacy of a family that, through time, has been able to maintain unchanged the splendour of the ancient pasta production art, overcoming the many difficulties mainly due to the success of industrial processing, to the artisan and limited production of small laboratories and to the widespread use of raw materials coming from far countries.
During the decades the affirmation of the company on the market and the notoriety of the brand has grown, thanks to the daily diligence of the family that doesn't leave space for feast days and distractions. Still today Nunziato's grandchildren produce pasta respecting the tradition of Torre Annunziata's pasta makers and the raw materials quality. During the time they have restarted and proposed again the ancient shapes of the Neapolitan cuisine, today used by master chefs from all over the world, paccheri, candele, calamarata, maltagliati, penne. Rough and porous. In order to better absorb rich and pompous sauces. Always in the same pasta factory, in the old town centre, once the workshop of knowledge, built with thick walls made of lava stone to allow a better drying process and to create a product with a consistency and a taste unique in the world. "It is clear that if we moved our machinery in a concrete building or in an industrial shed" said Vincenzo Setaro, a member of the latest generation engaged in revamping the product "we would not get the same result."
The sun and the wind are always the undisputed protagonists of this story that still today come in from the large windows of the factory to maintain intact a tradition that fights for not disappearing. There are many, in fact, the obstacles that Setaro family had to overcome to survive without losing its identity. The strict regulations on food safety, which partly contrast with the processing steps typical of a handicraft product, machinery and production processes that exclude the "human contribution" to the realization of the product, the difficulty of being located in an old town centre that is no more a pasta factories district but nowadays mainly residential, the numerous logistical barriers for the loading of the products and the unloading of raw materials.
But headed by Vincenzo and his brothers, Setaro pasta factory is now known not only at a regional level, but throughout Italy and has also grown its international success. The pasta that they produce is loved by gourmet experts but also by those simply looking for a quality product. In fact, as claimed by Vincenzo, "it is just for our vocation of excellence that we are present in the most exclusive Gastronomies and restaurants whose clientele, particularly refined, asks for sought after and high quality products".
But Setaro Pasta also means daily life for Torre Annunziata and surrounding areas' people who, according to habits and local customs, buy the product, especially on feast days, directly from the pasta factory. An elitist pasta that comes from the experience, from the quality and from the seriousness handed down to the following generations, but more than everything from the passion for the art of the product deep-seated in an area that has seen the birth of pasta masters from Torre Annunziata. The goal is to "make some pasta that achieves high quality levels, despite actual orientation toward high production volumes to the detriment of the goodness and value," says Vincenzo. This is only possible with the normative adaptation for safety and hygiene, the use of the most advanced technologies, integrating the innovations with the tradition that can be breathed in the pasta factory, such as the slow drying which can last from 24 to 120 hours, that allows to preserve high nutritional value and the taste of the product.
Setaro family has received numerous awards, including Gambero Rosso golden label and the Prize Golosario 2011, but it continues to work with dedication and sacrifice in order to pursue new growth opportunities. Among these the desire to be present more and more abroad in few and selected restaurants and in exclusive points of sale. But also the will to innovate the product, involving the fourth generation who already breathe the atmosphere of distant stories through the launch of a pasta shape suitable for children, the "Shining", designed by the little Elena, daughter not yet teen-ager of Vincenzo, realized always in the respect of the most ancient traditions.
Full of experience, tradition and past Setaro pasta factory continues to write its present and a green future in which handicraft, new technology and sustainability are intersected. According to ISO 14001 rules, the company undertakes to optimally manage the energy and natural resources and has completed an important project with the installation of photovoltaic panels on the 19th century factory, reducing CO2 emissions and residues arising from productive activity. It also adopted strict and modern systems of product quality control and adjusted with new technologies the machinery always used for the pasta processing.
Setaro pasta factory becomes a spokesman of a sustainable economy aimed at improving the welfare of Torre Annunziata's citizens, is the guarantor of the authenticity of its pasta and guardian of the natural heritage of its territory. Setaro: when art marries technology, also the sustainability becomes desirable!