What is Bronze Die Cut Pasta?

A piece of Patagonia Provisions Organic Kernza Fusilli. Photo by The DuPuis Group

Your Italian grandmother will tell you that the conventional pasta available on store shelves is a slippery, pale imitation of the pasta she remembers from the old country. She’s not wrong. (She never is.) Spaghetti, penne, fusilli and more haven’t been the same since factories began using Teflon dies to cut and shape their pasta more quickly. In our quest to produce a delicious pasta that showcases our Kernza® perennial grain, we’ve returned to tradition and rely exclusively on bronze dies.

What is bronze-cut pasta?

Bronze-cut pasta, also called bronze-die pasta, is extruded through dies—perforated metal plates that cut and shape the pasta—that are made of bronze. These bronze dies produce a finished noodle with a rough, porous texture. Bronze-cut pasta absorbs sauce effectively, improving the mouthfeel and flavor of pasta dishes.

How is bronze-cut pasta made?

Pasta secca (dried pasta) begins as a dough made from flour and water. This mixture enters an extruder, a machine that forces the dough through a die, a metal plate used to impart a particular shape like linguini or farfalle. The die also determines the texture of the finished noodle.

How does bronze-cut pasta compare to regular pasta?

Nearly all pasta on grocery-store shelves
has been made with Teflon dies, which allow quicker production. These industrial dies create pastas with a slick surface that’s nearly impenetrable to sauce or seasoned oils.
The same dough passing through bronze dies emerges with tiny abrasions on each strand of fettucine or coil of fusilli. These abrasions allow sauce and seasoned oils to cling and saturate each forkful with rich flavor.

Where can I find bronze-cut pasta?

Pieces of Patagonia Provisions Organic Fusilli Pasta, with drops of olive oil, parmesan shavings, and black pepper on a white surface
Patagonia Provisions Organic Fusilli Pasta, topped with olive oil, Parmesan cheese and black pepper. Photo by The DuPuis Group

Bronze-cut pastas are available at many grocery stores. Look for the phrase “bronze die-cut” on the package. Our Organic Kernza® Fusilli, made from organic durum semolina and Kernza flours, is a bronze die– cut pasta with a texture worthy of Nonna’s Sunday sauce.