The Modern Pantry

The Modern Pantry: Baia Pasta

By Ashley Beck | July 23, 2013

Baia Pastas, lovingly made by two Italians in Oakland, California.

Baia Pastas, lovingly made by two Italians in Oakland, California.

Made by two Italians in California with wheat from Utah, Montana, and Colorado, Baia Pasta is as authentic as it comes, and yet as local as one can get. “We believe that American wheat is among the best in the world and are very proud to create the first pasta that glorifies all its features. We always travel with a couple bags of Baia Pasta” say the founders, and after you read more about this delicious, locally made pasta phenomenon, I am sure that you’ll do the same.Founders and creators of Baia Pasta, Renato Sardo and Dario Barbone, were both born and raised in Piemonte located in the Northwestern region of Italy (where some of the best wine grapes are grown: Barolo, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera, to name a few).

When the pair learnt that wheat was grown in America, shipped to Italy to make pasta, then shipped back to be sold in the U.S., they knew they had to make a change for the people, for the better. Hence the idea for Baia Pasta was born. Despite their Italian roots, they still wanted to provide the best possible product, so Renato spent a few years learning everything he could about the art of making pasta.

Baia Pasta packaging

What’s even more refreshing and exciting about  their pasta is the variety in the grain. They have Gigli (meaning lilies in Italian, and look just as beautiful) that are made from organic whole durum wheat, and Gemilli (twins) made with organic whole spelt. My personal favorites are the Paccheri (slaps, because of the noise they make when eaten) made with organic whole durum wheat semolina and the Orrechiette, (little ears) made with organic Khorasan Kamut (a grain originally from the Fertile Crescent and known for its nutty flavor). Below is the carefully crafted process that the Italian duo take to make this pasta bellissima.

The Baia Process:

  • Well-kneaded with cold water to create a compact fragrant dough that maintains all the original integrity of the flour.
  • Extruded gently in small batches through brass dies, giving the pasta a rough surface to create a good al dente and to absorb sauce.
  • Dried at low temperatures (never over 105.25 degrees F) to preserve the original protein and gluten content of the wheat and maintain its great flavor.

 

"Eat it...Make it...Grow it" these two have been all about practicing what they make from the start.

“Eat it…Make it…Grow it” these two have been all about practicing what they make from the start.

To find out more about Baia Pasta and its talented owners, check out the link below for their story and where to purchase:

BAIA PASTA

For more Modern Pantry stories, CLICK HERE.

Photos courtesy of Baia Pasta.

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