With it’s origins in Italy, pasta has evolved beyond its native roots into a truly universal food that is consumed and loved around the world. This moreish, versatile Italian staple is produced in a multitude of shapes, forms and varieties. The global pasta market is dominated by mass market pastas made by large manufacturers. However, there is a growing trend towards artisanal pastas made by small scale producers. I discovered one such producer, Sfoglini, who make an innovative range of dried and fresh pastas in New York City.
Based in Brooklyn, Sfoglini is the brainchild of expert pasta chef, Steve Gonzalez, and Scott Ketchum, who oversees the marketing and brand development side of the business. They established Sfoglini in 2012 with the aim of supplying locally produced, high quality pasta to both restaurants and home cooks.
Sfoglini’s pastas are made from high quality organic American flours and are produced in small batches via a process of mechanical extrusion. Steve and his team use traditional bronze dies that give their pasta a textured, porous surface for sauces to easily cling to. I observed the hypnotic extrusion process in action when I visited Steve and Scott in their pasta kitchen in the former Pfizer building in Williamsburg. You can watch a short video clip of the process and see some of the pasta produced below.
Aside from their range of traditional classic pastas, Sfoglini also produce a selection of seasonal and specialty pastas such as Everything Bagel Fusilli, Saffron Malloreddus, and Basil Reginetti. As far as possible, these pastas are flavoured using locally sourced ingredients – the fresh basil comes from the Brooklyn Grange and Eagle Street Farms, and the traditional everything bagel ingredients are from BEYGL in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
During my sojourn in Brooklyn, I spoke to Scott, who told me the story of Sfoglini and how their pasta is made. You can hear the interview by clicking on the play button below.