The organic food movement has turned average consumers into discerning foodies. There’s now an important premium on freshness and sourcing. And that’s a good thing, for sure.
Local Fresh pasta
Carol and Giulio Caperchi are no strangers to fresh pasta, but aim to expand the pasta offerings on the local spectrum. Thus was the inspiration behind Seven Hills Pasta Co., based in Melrose, MA.
“We realized that there was a niche in the local market for dried pasta,” Carol explains. “Lots of folks are producing fresh pasta in the area, but very few were offering a shelf-stable product [that’s also] locally-made.”
But wait - what exactly IS the difference between dried and fresh pasta?
“People ask us this often and we always tell them that we love fresh pasta too!” mentions Carol. “There are a few benefits to cooking and eating a dried pasta in our opinion, however. If you like a traditional ‘al dente’ bite (a little harder, not mushy) to your pasta like we do, go with a dried pasta!... our dried pasta is made with only 2 ingredients: semolina flour and water. It's a 100% vegan product. More often than not, fresh pasta is made with eggs which is not to say is good or bad, but just a difference in recipe. Eggless fresh pasta does exist, it's just a little less common.”
Beyond texture, there is also convenience with dried pasta. “Especially with busy working families it’s great to have something in the cabinet that’s not perishable but still ready to eat in just a few minutes and made locally.” (Read more about dry vs fresh pasta.)
Not only did they bring their respective educations together, Giulio’s culinary studies in his hometown of Rome and Carol’s graduate studies in marketing, the pair continued to dive deeper into pasta principles. Trips back to Italy were now for business and pleasure. “[We] dedicated 1 or 2 visits to in-depth learning about the machines and pasta making, and other times since we’ve created a relationship with the folks that made the machines and taught us so much we’ve stopped by to bring them a box of our pasta and catch up.”
The steady growth of Seven Hills is marked by several milestones. In 2016, they began selling their product in brown bags at farmers markets and local events. The following year, their wholesale packaging and accounts were up-and-running. And just 6 months ago, they debuted their USDA Organic Pasta Line.
Another exciting development has been their educational offerings.
Kneading stronger relationships
As Carol describes: “We've been running the classes for a little over a year now and they're great! The classes offer us to interact with folks on a social level that we wouldn't normally have the opportunity to do. The classes are very casual, so we chat with folks and really get to know them. [It's] so enjoyable for us.
Our Ravioli Class is run in partnership with our fellow pasta maker, Avery Perry, who owns Law of Pasta located in the Boston Public Market. We're so happy to have "pasta friends" that enjoy making pasta just as much as we do and help us offer a really dynamic class from 2 businesses.”
The communal benefit of good food is a big part of what makes Seven Hills so special. Their scope and focus is not simply on some noodles, but the greater effect that they have on people. With just a few ingredients and craftsmanship Seven Hills has created a reason to gather round a table with those you might know well or will come to know well.
If you're interested in a pasta class with Giulio and Carol, reserve your tickets now! Classes and tickets are limited.