Photography for this post was provided courtesy of our friends at Flour Pasta Company.
What do Cleveland and Italy have in common? If your guess is food, you’re on the right track! Believe it or not, you can actually get authentic, fresh Italian pasta without hopping on a plane across the pond thanks to our friends at Flour Pasta Company.
Are your taste buds tingling? That’s probably because you’re a pasta lover or maybe you’ve had a bite or bowl of Flour Pasta Company’s fresh pasta at their Moreland Hills restaurant, Flour.
Long before Flour Pasta Company was featured on Heinen’s shelves, restaurant, catering and culinary experts, Chef Paul Minnillo and Chef Matt Mytro opened Flour, a restaurant where authentic pasta was hand-cranked by their team of local employees using a small pasta maker. Talk about commitment to culture!
Cleveland natives soon discovered this foodie haven of a restaurant and the small pasta maker was put to rest for a tool with real pizzazz: an extruder. This pasta-making machine dramatically increased the speed of production without losing the quality of each individual noodle. This inspired the team embark on a new business venture, Flour Pasta Company, which took Flour’s fresh Italian pasta out of the restaurant and into the kitchens of everyday pasta lovers.
Don’t be fooled, this is not your average boxed pasta. In fact, you won’t even find it in the pasta aisle. Rather, because the pasta is fresh, you’ll find it refrigerated in Heinen’s Deli. This may sound strange to those of us who’s pantries are stocked with boxes of dried pasta. In fact, Flour Pasta Company’s biggest challenge has been educating people on the true difference between fresh extruded pasta, but trust us, it’s definitely a dinnertime treat worth trying with its bouncy, elegant structure and nutty flavor that can only come from a forkful of fresh pasta.
However, with every new business comes growing pains. Even with an extruder, Flour Pasta Company was bursting at the seams with its headquarters inside of Flour Restaurant. Longtime team member, Dennis Derganc, otherwise known as “The Pasta Guy,” would even work overnight to produce enough noodles to meet the needs of the restaurant and the new business.
With expansion on the brain, the Flour Pasta Company team moved their operation over to a 2,300-square-foot facility in Bedford Heights, Ohio and invested in a new top-of-the-line pasta machine. Today, Flour Pasta Company is a proud partner of Heinen’s and produces a variety of pastas raging from Bucatini to Tagliatelle to Cavatelli and Garganelli.
The process of mixing semolina flour, whole eggs, water and natural annatto coloring and kneading and extruding the dough through a variety of dies created the unique pasta shapes that we know and love. What’s even better is that the pasta that comes out of the dies has a nubby texture great for holding sauces, and it cooks in less time too! Rather than the traditional 10 minute cook time of dry pasta, fresh pasta cooks in in only 2-4 minutes!
As you’re planning your next pasta night, switch things up by serving up a package of Flour Pasta Company’s fresh, pasta for an authentic Italian meal with a little local flare. Here’s a recipe for Flour Pasta Company’s Lamb Neck Sugo to get you started.