Grano Arso, or Burnt Grain Pasta

All culinary and artisan roads lead to Jimmy Carbone, the owner of Jimmy’s No. 43; a Slow Food approved restaurant and craft beer bar in the East Village of New York City. Thankfully, Jimmy’s is a five minute walk from my apartment, as their Monday night prix fixe dinner series is about imbibing craft beers with a chef prepared, locally focused meal that is not to be missed; especially if Chef Patti Jackson, formerly of iTrulli, is cooking.
I met Jackson in 2011 at my first cassoulet cooking competition at Jimmy’s No. 43. She was stationed right next to me and I was so excited to meet the chef of iTrulli; her talent for developing Italian fare, especially pasta, is right on. I am very much inspired by Jackson and have been fortunate enough to indulge at a few of these dinners: Spanish tapas paired with hard ciders and Spanish beers of Iberian United, Vegetarian Nonsense™ Dinner paired with Italian craft beer, curated by B. United, and most recently April Sours, featuring lambic and sour beers paired with a special tasting menu and the dish which peeked my culinary curiosity: Burnt-flour Pasta with Duck Sausage and White Beans paired with Vapeur, Vintage.
I have eaten and made my fair share of pasta, but I have never heard of the burnt flour type, known as grano arso, which means burnt grain. Grano arso originated in the region of Puglia as cucina povera, or “cuisine of poverty”. There’s more than one story about the origin of using grano arso. Some say hungry peasants scoured freshly burned wheat fields seeking overlooked scorched stubbles, while another theory suggests villagers would sweep their communal wood-burning ovens to collect the burnt flour that was left behind after baking bread. Today, burnt grain is not necessary for survival, but of interest to the experimental cook or chef like Patti Jackson.
I was so inspired by chef Jackson’s burnt flour recipe that I experimented the following day in my own kitchen.

Visit outeastfoodie for the full post and recipe.