It was two Italian-Americans who developed the first machine for the industrial production of fusilli in 1924. The introduction of industrial processing techniques subsequently enabled pasta makers to make the typical spiral fusilli we know today, and make them in large quantities, as traditional fusilli was originally strictly handmade. The spiral, corkscrew shape was obtained by wrapping a strand of pasta dough around a long needle or thin rod, known as a ‘ferro’, using a particular method which was reminiscent of spinning. In fact, the name ‘fusilli’ comes from ‘fuso’ which means spindle. Handmade fusilli look quite different to the machine made versions and the method of making them and their shapes differ somewhat from region to region.
Tortiglioni (the name means twisted) is a name variant of fusilli, because at Gentile only the strictly handmade pasta can bear the fusilli name.
The selected semolina wheat used in this pasta is strictly of Italian origin and of the best quality, including the Senatore Cappelli variety which is renowned for cooking to al-dente. It also gives the pasta a golden color. Bronze cut pasta molds create a rough and porous texture much like homemade pasta. The low temperature drying method known as cirillo preserves the distinct texture and aroma.