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This Pasta Is Healthy and Affordable Fast Food || Eat Seeker

– I’ve been thinking about it for a while and trying to figure out a way to make al dente pasta fast enough to translate to this sort
of fast-food environment. I had always wanted to do more affordable, more accessible food in my career. It’s almost an accident that
I ended up in fine dining. Before opening Pasta Flyer, I was the executive chef at a
restaurant called Del Posto, which was a fine dining restaurant. There’s no reason why the
rest of the population shouldn’t also have access to good, affordable, healthy food. After working in fine dining
for a number of decades, it just became more evident to me that my future should involve
trying to serve more people. Similar to many of the
fast-casual restaurants, we’re buying whole, real food and preparing it on premises with slow food ideology, and it’s really only our
service line that is fast. Everything that we serve here was very deliberately chosen. We spent time trying to
marry a certain shape with a sauce that we felt
intrinsically went well together. Part of the secret is that
we have forged relationships with really high quality artisanal
pasta producers in Italy. We buy containers from them and
have them sent to us frozen, so all of our pasta is
cooked in only 15 seconds and able to retain a really
high level of al dente texture. The sauces are hot held, so the first thing the person
on the cooking side does is place the chosen pasta into a pan onto an induction burner and starts to bring it up to temperature, and then the two are tossed for a moment and then plated into a bowl. When it’s done well, the process should only
take about 30 or 40 seconds. I’m really into this whole grain rigatoni made with nonna’s meat ragu, which is sort of like a Bolognese sauce but more influenced by the
region of Tuscany, maybe, than Emilia-Romagna, because it has red wine, and rosemary, and porcini mushrooms. So it’s a little, sort of, like, richer and more fully flavored than
a traditional Bolognese sauce. We have a pesto sauce
that’s made from basil. It’s very traditional from Genoa, utilizing only five ingredients: so it’s basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. There’s really no mystery there, but we do make it every day; it’s really fresh, it’s really bright. We have a fettuccine Alfredo, which is a traditional dish from Rome that was created at a restaurant
called Alfredo’s of Rome. It’s sort of like macaroni & cheese. We have spaghetti and meatballs. It’s a marinara sauce made from
plum tomatoes from Campania. Because we have such a small
and really focused menu, it’s only about 10 items, we’ve had the luxury of
going really deep down the rabbit hole on some
of these preparations, which has been really rewarding. When I was a young,
impressionable adolescent, I found myself working in Italian, sort of mom-and-pop restaurants. I don’t have any Italian heritage, and I feel like when you’re young and your filters are open, those first influences really
resonate deeply with you, so although I went and cooked other types of cuisine
throughout my career, I was always drawn back to Italian food. It’s where I belong. Everyone’s sort of like
looking for the next thing, and there’s a lot of problems with the restaurant industry right now. The system is flawed,
and in many cases broken, and everybody’s trying to figure out what the next access point
to the general public is gonna ultimately be, and this is certainly one path. Fast food, historically, has sort of this negative connotation, but there’s no reason why affordable food can’t be also healthy food.

15 thoughts on “This Pasta Is Healthy and Affordable Fast Food || Eat Seeker

  1. 8,75$ for spaghetti with meatballs in those small containers is considered "affordable"? I pay maybe 7,50$ in a restaurant for a portion that I can barely finish. that pasta has maybe 1,50$ product-costs, even 8$ is still an insane price to charge for some noodles that you can make at home for 5$ and get 3 pounds of food. Artisinal italien frozen pasta my ass.

  2. Mark Ladner is the rainman of pasta.  A man who has dedicated his whole life to Italian food, helped Mario Batali turn Del Posto into a destination restaurant and now he's gonna dominate the fast food world.

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