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Valentino Pasta

The Shape(s) of Things to Come…

There is a fine line between razor sharp wit and cheesiness. I may have crossed it with the title of this post-sorry. My brief yet exciting time in the artisan pasta business has taught me a few things. 1. People are strange- we covered that here. 2. Even if you’re a small batch pasta business it’s still nice to have a variety of shapes. I wanted some familiar shapes and some you don’t see everyday. Spelt pasta shapes will be coming soon as I have to do one more test with a new die we just received. With that I …

People are strange…Indeed

Jim Morrison had that part right. People are strange and I have been puzzled, bewildered and amazed by them these past few weeks of selling pasta. I’ve enjoyed it tremendously. There was the person that told me they don’t eat grains so they didn’t want pasta. Then I saw them a couple minutes later eating pizza. The people who would only buy from us if we grew our own wheat before making it into pasta. Seriously?! You expect us to sow flippin’ fields of wheat, grow, harvest, mill it. Then we can turn it into a pasta worthy for you …

Enjoying The Little Things

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Sometimes starting a business seems like a bunch of misses with a few wins sprinkled in. As someone who can be a tad jaded at times, this has taught me to take joy in the little things more. Like when a sweet Valentino Pasta stamp or hat comes to my door. I’m excited. When I filled that bag with a pound of pasta and snapped it’s picture to share with you, I thought it was cool. That may not be the case as I package the hundredth bag of pasta, but that’s not the point. Right now, the work that …

The Black Belt Lessons

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Maybe it’s because I just watched my 6yo son get his Gold Belt, or the countless episodes of Kung Fu Panda I’ve watched On Demand but I have martial arts on the brain right now. The commitment, skill and discipline to achieve such a goal is impressive if your name isn’t Po. Can I really relate pasta making with the years it takes to become a black belt? Lol, I suppose not…interesting title though so I’ll keep it. Pasta Ninja-whiiTTaa!! Since December I can’t tell you how many pounds of pasta I have made. Most of them leading to just …

My foot is really ticking me off!!

I really thought that my achilles injury was over with. I had been taking it easy on it and was feeling much better. Not like I should go run 10 miles a day like I have been planning to for …who am I kidding I didn’t plan on running 10 miles ever. I did however think I could walk a mile or two. Not the case. I walked about 5 or 6 BLOCKS not miles this past Wednesday and by that evening my foot hurt so bad I could barely walk at all for the next 24 hours! So, another …

Rigatoni with Sausage and Broccoli

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Here’s a dish that is very simple but also very satisfying. I like to leave the broccoli a little crisp, but if you like it cooked through go ahead. Enjoy!   Rigatoni with Sausage and Broccoli 1 lb rigatoni ¾ lb Italian sausage- crumbled 3-4 C broccoli florets 3 cloves garlic sliced ½ C Parmiggiano Reggiano (plus more for serving) ½ C white wine 4 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil Pinch red pepper flakes (more to taste) Toasted bread crumbs for serving (recipe follows)   In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and the sausage. Brown …

The joys of recipe testing

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Imagine the mysterious voice of your choice whispering this in your ear…”To make the pastaaa… you must treat it like you would a lovely… You must…” Now, SNAP OUT OF IT!! This is food we’re talking about here. I’ve made hundreds of pounds of pasta. I’ve made pasta with eggs, without eggs, fresh, flavored with this and that. I’ve even made fettuccine with my Kitchen Aide that I dried on rack so it can be stored. This is different. Much different. There are certain things that have to be done to get the right texture, there are ways preserve the …

Injury update and new team member

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It seems that you need your Achilles tendon functioning properly if you want to walk without being in tremendous pain. Achilles tendonitis and a problem with the electronic knife on the pasta machine kept me on the sideline for the past week plus. Looks like those issues are for the most part taken care, so onward and upward! Speaking of pasta machine and new team members, I figure it’s time to introduce Rosey. You fans of the Jetson’s will know where the name came from. It’s what I thought of when I first saw the new pasta machine. The machine …

The Kitchen of The Future!

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Not that future McFly, the future where Valentino Pasta will be made silly! One of the first things I learned in becoming a safety certified food handler is that you shouldn’t prepare food that you intend to sell to people in caves, automobile shops, or alleys. It turns out even small batch artisan pasta needs to be produced in a licensed commercial kitchen. As much as I like it rustic rules are rules so off I went. The kitchen you see above is a picture of Dream Kitchen in Elgin, and we’re so excited to make be making our pasta …

Artisan Pasta-What’s In a Name?

Photo By: Truthout.org on Flickr Ahhh… the great conflict between keeping it real and selling out. Between marketing hutzpa and passion. Between Tebowing to the dollar and ok, ok..you get the point. Just for the record I have no aversion to big business. The buzzwords and lowest common denominator marketing are pet peeves of mine from way back though. But that’s another post. When I hear the word artisan or artisanal I used to get visions of a person that took time in their craft. Someone who makes the best x that they can and you could see the sense …

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