MARCO ISLAND — “What makes the Farmers Market on Marco Island so much fun, is that we have people from not just all over the country, but the world. That is phenomenal. And they come back, again and again, ever since we’ve been here, which makes it even nicer,” says Nancy Casey, co-owner of Naples Pasta Company.
Naples Pasta Company has come to the Marco Island Farmer’s Market for three years.
Many of Naples Pasta Company’s customers are women who are vacationing on Marco Island, and want something that’s quick and easy to do, according to Casey. “That’s the beauty of our pasta,” she says. “Cook the pasta, add a nice finishing olive oil and some nice grated cheese, and let the flavor of the pasta come out.”
Naples Pasta Company makes all kinds of fresh pasta, including about 20 different raviolis, from $10 to $14 a pound, 26 flavors of dry pasta, $10 per one-pound bag, several varieties of fresh pasta, $3 a nest, and sauces, too.
“It just looks so good, you know it will be,” says happy shopper Michel Cote, of Montreal. “We have a large Italian population in Montreal,” says Cote. “It goes ‘way back, to the war, to the 1940s. So, we have great restaurants, markets and cooking schools. But, this pasta looks too good to pass up.”
Cote, who is a gourmet cook at home, loves coming to the Farmer’s Market, and brings his whole family. He says his daughter, Lorraine, will make a sauce to go with it, from lemon juice, olive oil, and chicken stock, with vegetables, and maybe a little feta cheese on top.
“It’s funny, a lot of the men, especially, are quick to give out recipes. Maybe it’s because they are proud of them. The women will give you their recipes, and they also want you to give them yours,” says Casey.
The Company’s pasta is made with large machines, which were purchased in Italy. “That was an investment,” says Casey.
The Company’s partner in pasta-making, Umberto Costas of Miami, is the mastermind behind their recipes and production. “Without either the machines or Umberto’s genius, it couldn’t happen,” says Casey. “Umberto makes the best pasta anyone has ever tasted,” says Casey. “We looked for a long time. Once we found Umberto, we knew we had found our partner.”
The Company’s dry pasta, which has a shelf life of up to eight months, is made with all fresh, natural ingredients, like all of Naples Pasta Company products. According to Casey, it has a distinctly different flavor from the fresh pasta. “What we find, is that people are either dry pasta or fresh pasta people,” she says.
“Either way, you really do get what you pay for,” says Casey. “We use everything fresh here. Nothing is artificial. We use premium, semolina-durham flour, and unbleached spring flour. Our fresh pasta is flour, egg and water.”
The Naples Pasta Company plants a big garden every year, so that literally everything used in their sauces, especially tomatoes and spices, comes fresh from the garden.
The Company wants their customers to have a good experience with their pasta, but not everyone is accustomed to cooking it. Some people have never seen fresh pasta before, as Casey has observed at the Farmers Market.
That’s why they demonstrate how to cook fresh pasta, right there at the Market. It comes in a nest, almost knotted, and needs to be unraveled. “The way you drop it in the water, is the way it will come out,” says Casey. That’s because it cooks so fast: 90 seconds for angel hair, two and a half minutes for other sizes.
Cooking demonstrations, and pasta that’s ready to eat in 90 seconds. That’s much quicker and easier than the pasta you buy at the grocery store. Next time you shop at the Farmers Market, try the Naples Pasta Company’s fresh and dried pastas.
Meanwhile, visit their Web site at naplespastacompany.com, or call 774-3038.