Italian Food Excellence: Pasta d’Alba

The Langhe is a hilly area in the south-east of the river Tanaro in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site,...

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The Langhe is a hilly area in the south-east of the river Tanaro in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a paradise surrounded by small Medieval towns among the hills. Tourists can relax and enjoy the glimpses and the worldwide famous traditional dishes and wines. In fact, this area is famous for White Truffle of Alba, hazelnut of Langhe and wines such as Barolo, Nebbiolo and Barbera. IFF – Italian Finest Food came here to meet Luisa, owner of Pasta d’Alba factory.

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What is the story of Pasta d’Alba factory?
Pasta d’Alba factory was established in 2006 by my parents Rosangela and Dario. They are really passionate about organic food and they wanted to improve their lifestyle with a healthy and high-quality nutrition. Therefore, they decided to combine their knowledge and competence: mum is a neuropathic while dad is a very capable and practical man. These qualities allowed them to create new products with a particular attention to raw material selection.

Which raw materials are used at Pasta d’Alba?
The main ingredients we use are water and flour.
Dario is the one who selects the different type of flour and also our supplier. The flours we use are all made with Italian grain and most of them come from the Langhe area, except, of course, for kamut flour, quinoa and amaranth that comes from different Italian regions.
Another important characteristic is that we don’t storage flours, but they are milled when still fresh and immediately use to make pasta.
Last, but not least, the grains we select are milled with Italian made millstones.
Not all the types of pasta we produce are made using water and flour only. For example the Tajarin, dialect for tagliolini, is the traditional pasta of the Langhe and we make the organic version, by using free-range eggs combined with water and wheat flour. They are beautiful with some grated truffle!
Seasoned pasta is very tasty as well. We made turmeric pasta, nettle pasta, cocoa pasta, spinach pasta and beetroot pasta: each one of them has a unique taste that worth the try.

How do you make your pasta?
Pasta is made combining flour with the right amount of water, which change according to the type flour used. Once the dough is ready, it is flatted and cut according to the shape desired. Tagliolini and tagliatelle pasta are made using a special cool system sheeter, in order to maintain the organoleptic properties of the pasta and flour’s natural taste. The whole process is handmade and we are very proud of that, because it allows us to obtain a very thin homemade pasta, great results and delicate texture! These characteristics can’t be found in industrial products.

Can you offer a wide range of products, despite the homemade production?
Yes, we produce 45 different type of pasta.
Two years ago we launched a new gluten-free pasta production plant, in order to satisfy our celiac clients.
We use around fifteen types of flour, therefore we can offer products that suit everyone.
Wheat flour is used to make turmeric, nettle, beetroot, spinach and cocoa tagliatelle and tagliolini, which can be used to create extravagant dishes.
The whole wheat flours we use are: whole wheat grain flour, wheat Senatore Cappelli grain flour, whole wheat spelt flour (using spelt from the Langhe area, milled using millstone), whole wheat kamut flour, whole wheat oat flour, buckwheat flour and chestnut flour.
To make gluten-free pasta we use corn or rice flour, but also more particular grains such as millet, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and chestnut.
We’ve recently introduced hemp spirals and turmeric spirals which are perfect to prepare pasta salads and are also really light like all gluten-free products.

How can consumers recognize a good product?
The only way is taste it without any sauce, with a bit of extra virgin oil only. You will immediately recognize if it is homemade or industrial made pasta.

What are your plans for the future?
We are a very young factory, therefore there are still many projects we would like to realize.
We are currently enlarging our range of gluten-free products, trying to maintain a high-quality result in order to allow our clients to choose among different products, with different tastes, nutritional and organoleptic properties.
We are also selecting a new range of biscuits and bakery products that can be soon put on the market. And we will keep you updated about any future news!

It is possible to visit your factory?
Of course! Because this is exclusively a production plant, everyone is welcome to come and watch step by step the realization of our products. Visitors are usually amazed by the fresh pasta flavor that can be smelled as soon as they enter the plant. From spring to autumn it is also possible to taste our product in our garden. You can call us for reservations.

SOURCE: www.italianfinestfood.com