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Developing a Kernza® Pasta

After our success in launching our Kernza® Crackers and planning out a true Perennial Pantry, we've put on our problem solving hats and figured out how to make dry pasta. 

Pasta extruders are pretty expensive machines, and we weren't expecting to make the investment until 2023. However, we lucked out this spring when we found a commercial pasta extruder on the local Craigslist site at a used commercial kitchen equipment wonderland. They didn't know if it worked, it was from 2001, and the cutting tool had broken off. But, the price was right and we like to fix things, so we jumped!

Extruding is relatively straightforward - calculate hydration, add ingredients, mix, and extrude. We needed a new bronze die to make short pasta and to fix the cutting head, but this was quickly accomplished. Most of our development efforts over the last 2 months have been drying related. Dry pasta needs careful management during drying to not crack and to reach appropriate strength to hold up to boiling water. We ran small tests in our drying conicals, built three versions of a drying ramp, talked with pasta experts in North Dakota, tasted many commercial examples, constantly monitored moisture, and determined our own drying curve and process. 

Curious what this looks like? Follow along visually below!

Ready to cook up our delicious pasta at home? Pre-orders go live July 21st!

Kernza Campanelle Pasta!

Our Pasta Extruder

Our Campanelle Die

Drying System V1

Pasta Dryer V2

Pasta Quality

Compostable Bags

Dryer V3