Monthly Archives: February 2012

Extruding Pasta!

My time recently has been spent working on my business oppose to working in my business, although I am still IN it everyday. This was, indeed, the goal from the beginning. As I take on more of an operator role, my time in our test kitchen has been reduced, but not terminated. This means now I can reach out to local talent, much more talented than myself, to collaborate and expand our food & beverage program. I did so with coffee, and alcoholic beverages. I also do so with bread and gelato. I want fine products, if someone else can do it better than me, then not only do I applaud, I want to serve that product in my establishment. In return, this allows me to engage our restaurant community and give them more avenues for exposure.

We recently purchased a pasta extruder. It is our new baby and toy. Two chef friends of mine have been playing with it at their “office” for the past few weeks, working on pasta recipes and learning the ins and outs of the machine for me. Home-made pasta is a staple in the Italian culture. I use to roll dough with my great-grandmother as a kid. Although the rewards are great, the work can be daunting. And not always feasible for a restaurant. The labor is extensive and timing sometimes difficult, especially for a fast-paced establishment like ours. What the pasta extruder does for me is priceless. It will take out the daunting task and hours of labor of kneading, rolling, and then cutting. The extruder mixes the flour and water for you, then at the flip of a switch, will extrude the dough through bronze dies. Each die extrudes a different shape, with over 100 to choose from. We can now produce enough pasta for the entire day of service in just a few hours, with consistency.

The Arcobaleno extruder not only helps with ease and efficiency, it opens doors for flavored doughs as well. It is a fine piece of equipment, engineered with intelligence and will probably live longer than me, comparable to the La Marzocco of the coffee world. It’s innovations like these that keep us moving forward and inspired.

We are currently introducing 3 new home-made pastas to our menu, with more to come soon. Consider it a pasta “soft-opening”. Serving now: Rigatoni Bolognese, Canestri alla Funghi, and Bucatini Amatraciana.

As far as I know, we have the only extruder in Houston, but without doubt more will show up. Its too great of a machine, more the merrier.