Supplier Spotlight: Alfresco Pasta
Alfresco Pasta is a small-batch artisanal pasta kitchen out of Nashville, Tennessee. For the past 16 years, they have been making delicious fresh pastas and sauces from scratch, in a chef-driven environment. We're so excited to be using their gnocchi and pesto in our late summer seasonal, Gnocchi with Chicken, Pesto, & Snap Beans.
This week, we got together with the good folks at Alfresco Pasta to find out what makes their products so fresh and delicious:
What's Alfresco's history?
Chris Grissom, Alfresco's founder, was a long time culinary expert and chef, always seeking the best quality products to use in his creations. He noticed a lack of quality in the scarce amount of fresh pasta that was available-- he wanted real Italian egg pasta. So, he started his business by studying the true Italian way of making pasta, with fresh eggs and premium semolina flour.
What makes Alfresco's products great?
We source many of our vegetables and meats from local farmers, we use the highest quality seafood from the Gulf, we hand-crack in shell pasteurized eggs, and our flour comes from Montana, where the best spring durum wheat is grown. Even the Italians, the kings of the craft, source their wheat from Montana. We make our pasta slowly, cooling the machinery so as not to cook the pasta during the extrusion or cutting process.
What's your favorite dish to make with Alfresco's pastas?
It’s tough to choose a single dish when the pastabilities are endless, but Pappardelle Carbonara is probably my all-time favorite. Pappardelle is a long, ribbon-like noodle that is about half an inch wide, its texture is outstanding, and it pairs well with just about anything. When I was a kid, my mom always made creamy carbonara with sautéed mushrooms, bacon, and parmesan for special occasions, After 35 years, my dad still requests it for his birthday.
What should savvy cooks know about cooking with fresh pasta?
To add a drop of olive oil to the water to keep the pasta from sticking together! Fresh pasta is more likely to clump because it is raw and is much stickier than dry pasta. Savvy cooks should also know that fresh pasta cooking times vary drastically depending on the freshness of the pasta. Keep your eye on the pot and check the pasta frequently to make sure you don’t blow by that beautiful al dente stage.
What makes Alfresco unique?
Something that is a little different about us is that we are small and mighty. There are three of us in the office and four of us in the kitchen, so everybody in the Alfresco family wears many hats.