The weekend before Christmas was the December New Tastemarket at St. Gregory’s Episcopal on Potrero Hill, basically an updated, hipper version of a church bazaar with home cooks and underground food purveyors. The market operates for the benefit of the church’s food pantry.
Dario Barbone and Renato Sardo were vending Baia Pasta’s first attempt at making mostaccioli. Produced in an underground kitchen in Oakland from organic Rocky Mountain durum wheat and extruded with bronze dies, the dried pasta was only $5 per pound. That was the introductory “broker” price to test the waters and will probably rise. I rolled the dry pasta tubes between my fingers and it felt pretty rough to me, a good thing. Dario said that it would hold the sauce, and that it could be boiled for at 15 minutes and still be fine. I shook my head and asked how long he would cook it for al dente texture, and he suggested 8 to 10 minutes.
I was the first customer for Baia Pasta, purchasing bags #001 and #002 of 20 pounds manufactured.
On Boxing Day I cooked some, saucing it simply with a quick marinara sauce made of San Marzano tomatoes, garlic and a splash of extra virgin olive oil at the end plus some chili flakes and grated Grana Padano. Boiled in salted water for 8.5 minutes, the pasta held up well but was a shade less firm than I would like so I’d cook it a little less next time. My brother thought it was just right and added the comment that it had firm texture without being gummy. I’d agree that it had good tooth and also nice flavor itself rather than just being neutral.
I’d buy this again.
4214 Park Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94602