It may not take long to cook once it’s made, but creating the perfect pasta can take years of hard work. There’s a phrase in Latin, ‘gutta cavat lapidem’: a drop of water hollows a stone, that could have been written for the family behind Pasta di Aldo who’ve invested long hours in laying the foundations of a remarkable pasta brand. Pioneers, it seems, have to be patient.
You can taste pure quality in the legendary Pasta di Aldo. Heston Blumenthal said it’s ‘perhaps the finest pasta in Italy’. Gambero Rosso, Italy’s famous food magazine, gave it top marks. And discerning home cooks around the world are fanatical about the rich yet light texture, complex flavour and vivid yellow colour of every strand.
But we think the story is just as incredible as the product itself. And it all begins in a shoe factory.
A family affair
Husband and wife, Maria Alzapiedi and Luigi Donnari, worked together in respectable (although, for them, unrewarding) jobs making shoes. But, with their talents for making exceptional pasta in their kitchen at home, they were destined for something far greater.
The couple toiled through the nights, carefully adjusting recipes, methodically testing out drying temperatures, and experimenting with new rolling techniques. And finally, the perfect pasta started to emerge.
They couldn’t keep it to themselves any longer. Leaving their jobs, they created their own business, taking the first two letters of their surnames to make Pasta di Aldo.
Handmade with love
Maria and Luigi’s kitchen in Italy’s Le Marche region is tiny and nothing like a typical pasta factory where lumbering machines mix the life out of dough. Pasta di Aldo takes a different approach.
They believe the very best flavour is only possible with care and patience. Eggs and Durum Wheat Semolina are mixed by hand, and the dough is cut by a small machine Luigi built to mimic the motion of Maria’s hands. The drying room is the same temperature as the wheat fields outside – it might take days to dry out the pasta, but the quality is a world away from the commercial products made in just a few hours.
Exploring new flavours
If these two artisans had stopped at their famous egg tagliatelle, we’d be happy. But they’re innovators at heart, and you can’t stifle creativity.
New shapes and flavours came to mind – delicate strands, alternative grains, and favourite Italian ingredient twists. And each new recipe needed a new approach. A different mix of semolina. A tweak to the kneading style. A longer or shorter drying time.
Fortunately for pasta lovers everywhere, Maria and Luigi are perfectionists. Whatever the recipe, they’ve somehow captured that mix of tradition and originality to create a product that shows off the very best ingredients and the real love that goes into both their craft and their pasta.