Grano Arso (Burnt Grain) Pasta Dough

Homemade Grano arso (burnt grain) pasta dough
pinit View Gallery 3 photos

Grano arso, or burnt grain, is one of the historical peasant foods of Puglia and southern Italy. Grano arso was made with wheat that was missed by the harvesters after burning the stubble in the fields. It was then collected and milled.

What are the uses of grano arso? It is added in small amounts, less than 30%, to breads and pastas. This cheap flour was used to stretch the more expensive wheat flour.

What does it taste like? The characteristics notes of this flour is smoky, toasted and ashy. The texture is also a bit more ashy the regular flour and is considered gluten free.

Would I recommend trying this exotic flour and pasta? Well that depends. If you are interested in exploring new food, especially peasant food, it is worth the effort to find this flour and give it a try. That being said, it does have a very ashy flavor and should be used in small amounts.

This recipe is for roughly 1 pound of dried pasta, which is around 400 grams flour and 200 grams water.

Grano Arso (Burnt Grain) Pasta Dough

Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 30 mins Total Time 40 mins
Servings: 4
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Smoky, toasted and ashy grano arso pasta dough. 



  1. Prepare the dough

    Weigh out your flour and water, making sure the water is very warm. I aim for around 90-100 degrees F. Mix together in a bowl into a shaggy dough starts to form. Dump on a counter or wooden board and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be very elastic and spring back when touched and almost feel like playdough (see notes below). Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.  

    The consistency here is very important. It should almost be like sand when you first start to mix but form into a nice ball after kneading for a few minutes. If the dough is too dry add a tablespoon of water at a time. If too wet, add more flour.  Check out the gallery for detailed photos on the texture.

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