NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Who knew factory equipment could look this good?
At Sfoglini Pasta‘s facility in Brooklyn, shiny copper extruders work in hypnotizing circular motions. They rhythmically push flour and water into a variety of unusual shapes, such as reginetti, which resemble trimmed edges of a lasagna. Zucca are shaped like little hollow pumpkins. Radiators look like—surprise!—radiators.
Co-founders Scott Ketchum and Steve Gonzalez use U.S.-grown organic flour and unexpected flavors to stand out in a saturated pasta market. Fresh basil, spent grain, porcini mushrooms, and cold-pressed beet juice are some of the ingredients they incorporate into specialty pastas.
“We’re in the flour and water business,” said Gonzalez, a trained chef. “I mostly worked in high-end restaurants, and the whole kind of theory of that is: you start with something great, do as [little] as you can to it, and then usually, you have a great product at the end of that.”
“We noticed that a lot of grain is grown in the U.S. and sent to Italy, and then sent back in the form of pasta,” said Gonzalez, a trained chef. “The grains in the United States are some of the top quality in the world, so we wanted to use those, and hopefully, stop some of it from getting there, making the product here in the U.S.”
The company began as a small startup with just the pair full-time, grown now to a full operation in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
“The legwork and the long days and everything, that’s a big part of getting it started,” said Ketchum, who worked as a graphic designer before helping to launch Sfoglini. “We’ve always wanted to make our own pasta and do everything ourselves.”
The work Sfoglini puts in can save time for home cooks. “We eat a lot of our flavored pastas with just a little bit of olive oil or butter and cheese,” Ketchum said.
Sfoglini posts simple recipes online, such as reginetti with broccoli pesto, which comes together in under ten minutes.
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