Everyone loves a good pasta; it’s tasty, simple to cook and, for those with a big hockey match on the next day, a great way to carbo-load. For normal people, who don’t have time to make it from scratch, the options are dining out or tolerating that packaged stuff from the supermarket that can usually be carbon dated back to your twelfth birthday.
Farinacci Pasta has been supplying delicious fresh pasta to the restaurants and major event venues since 1985. The good news is that their Caulfield South retail store is open Monday through Saturday. If you can hear a small racket going on, it’s because the factory is merely metres away from the cash register. My personal favourite is the machine that, when cranked up to eleven, makes 250kg of Ravioli per hour.
Without further ado, here are REASONS3 why you should be eating Farinacci’s fresh pasta.
1. Three generations of flour, eggs and care.
2. Simply, the best pasta around.
3. Gluten free with no added cardboard.
PRICE: Regular/gluten free linguine – $1.30/$2.50 per 100 grams
ONE: Three generations of flour, eggs and care.
For close to three decades, the Farinacci family have been waking up at three o’clock each morning to make pasta. Vince, 29, and Thomas, 26, are the third generation of Farinacci men to commit themselves to this way of life. They are both university educated and smart enough to have been successful in any number of careers paths, but this is where they want to be.
Vinnie is full of energy and cheek. You can tell that he would have been a handful as a kid. He breaks out in a chuckle when explaining that, with only ten employees, calling in sick is not an option for the Farinacci team, even if a good night out has left them nursing sore heads.
Tom seems a little more reserved. We chat about the challenges of working in a family business, but soon move onto other matters. Tommy smiles as he talks about how the two brothers saw the opportunity to develop a quality gluten free pasta and how he loves the interaction with people that the retail store provides.
Grandfather Vincenzo and father Michael should sleep easy in the knowledge that their boys are doing the Farinacci name proud.
TWO: Simply, the best pasta around.
Without qualification, Farinacci’s fresh pasta is the best you can buy in Melbourne. Vince is adamant that it all comes back to using quality produce and steering clear of preservatives. Despite the latter, their pasta keeps for close to a week before you need to either serve it or turf it.
When I tell Vince that my father is a big fan of their osso buco ravioli, he quickly explains that its popular with many of Melbourne’s best restaurants too. He won’t name names, as many of them offer Farinacci’s product under the guise of their own ‘housemade’ pasta. With three tonnes of the stuff leaving the factory each week, there’s a good chance that you’ve been eating Farinacci pasta at your favourite restaurant for years.
Farinacci also serves some of the big hitters in town, so you’re likely to find some artichoke and rocket ravioli courtside this summer. There are plenty of other household names that also love the stuff, but Tom insisted on the cone of silence and I’ve already said too much.
Nonetheless, paying the boys a visit at the Caulfield South store comes with great reward. When one of the top ranked players asks for something a little different, like a pappardelle with parsley and lemon zest, you get access to the leftovers!
THREE: Gluten free with no added cardboard.
I’m not coeliac or gluten intolerant, but my sister is. ‘Glutards’ like her have little choice when it comes to food and often settle for eating cardboard.
Farinacci offer a gluten free pasta that goes beyond this low threshold and actually tastes really good. In fact, if I didn’t have their standard range to compare to, I don’t think I would be able to discern the difference between the Farinacci gluten free option and the standard fare at most local restaurants.
Apart from the egg linguine and lasagna sheet staples, the gluten free range extends to ravioli with roast pumpkin and sweet potato, mediterranean vegetable, spinach and ricotta and roasted tomato and veal fillings.
Following Vince and Tom’s brainwave, it took the entire Farinacci team two years to perfect their gluten free formula. The Coeliac Society of Australia have recognised this enormous effort by certifying the manufacturing process, which is a first for pasta in Australia.