Food Lover's Guide: Bread and Pasta
With the Grain: All the Pastabilities
Valicenti Organico is a mom-and-pop operation that produces fresh pasta, ravioli and sauces in a renovated farm kitchen in Hollis. Although in this case the mom and pop in question, David Valicenti and Michelle Splaine, have more than 40 years of experience in the food industry.
Valicenti was a chef at Arnaud's in the French Quarter of New Orleans and chef de cuisine at Michael Timothy's in Nashua before responding to an entrepreneurial instinct and opening Organico three years ago. Splaine, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, was the pastry chef at Michael Timothy's and Surf, also in Nashua.
The couple's oeuvre of pastas include hemp, saffron and gluten-free varieties. Their "Red Gravy" tomato basil sauce is made with their own organic tomatoes. They also make a wide range of exotic, seasonal ravioli including chestnut for the holidays, roasted pumpkin and brie and dairy-free caramelized butternut squash.
Their products are available at Lull farm in Hollis and other farmstands, Philbrick's Fresh Market in Portsmouth and other locations.
Fun Fact: On their website David Valicenti and Michelle Splaine of Valicenti Organico offer expert advice on cooking fresh pasta. Because it is not dried, cooking time is only one to three minutes in boiling water depending on whether you prefer it al dente (to the tooth) or soft. The shape of the pasta also matters. They suggest one minute for spaghetti or two to three minutes for rigatoni.
Orchard Hill Breadworks
Hand-made breads baked in a wood-fired oven. See the website for monthly specials including dark Russian rye.
125 Old Settlers Rd.
Terra Cotta Pasta
Fresh pastas ready to cook.
Locations in Maine and Dover.
Also sold in many specialty shops.
Lunch is served at eat location.
1 Washington Sq.