Pasta is one of the few things that is so readily available worldwide that it’s viewed as a basic commodity product. So what is important in making good pasta? Why is it important to make fresh pasta?
Fresh pasta has a completely different texture and taste than dried pasta. It incorporates itself with the sauce in a different way as well. Of course there is a place in the world for dried pasta, but it really is a different product. Comparing fresh pasta with dried pasta is the same as comparing fresh produce and canned or dehydrated produce. But there’s also an importance that goes beyond taste and texture. There's a tradition in making fresh pasta that somehow intangibly transfers into the food itself. It is a craft, much like real butchery. Making fresh pasta is paying homage to where this food came from and to supporting the local artisans and getting a unique and higher quality product.
Our pastas are made with many different types of flours. Some are sourced from local mills when possible, but many are imported from Italy. Using the right flour and mixing dough by hand lends itself to water and egg absorption in a way that can’t be replicated by faster techniques done by machines. When this dough is rolled out, it allows us to roll the pasta in a way that gives a specific texture - thinner or thicker, more or less chewy, more easily combined with fats like EVOO or cheese. All of the choices are made purposefully in order to provide a simple, fresh, and delicious meal at home.
beef (Braeburn farm | Snow Camp, nc)
It’s tough to single out what makes Braeburn Farm so special. Braeburn raises a line of Red Devon cattle that were found in a corner of New Zealand and never placed on a grain diet. The farm is also committed to innovative grazing techniques which minimize imputs from fossil fuels, help withstand drought, promote native wildlife, and sequester carbon. Charles “Doc” Sydnor is forever the academic and his commitment to better grazing practices serves as a model for small-scale farming while producing some of the tastiest grass-fed beef. Read more about Braeburn Farm.
Our cows are raised entirely on pasture and live to be over two years old. This time in lush grass gives our beef great flavor and a level of marbling not often found on grass-fed beef. We then hang our beef for two weeks, which tenderizes the meat and concentrates the flavor. (The industrial beef industry does not do this because of the loss of “water weight.”)
No meat benefits from good butchery more than the cow. With, “seam butchery” we pull out individual muscle groups. When we sell these as steaks and roasts, we can find you the right cut at the right price, and give you the right instructions to make a great meal.
Pork (Cane Creek FarM | Saxapahaw, NC)
Eliza MacLean raises an assortment of different pigs on her farm, which is a combination of beautiful pasture and woods. The pigs feed on a diet of nuts, grubs, roots, and vegetation, along with a feed high in barley, which results in world class pork. The pigs share a life with goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, and turkeys and are also rotated through the gardens to rejuvenate the soil. Her line of Ossabaw Pigs (whose hams are hung for two years for prosciutto) make some of the finest charcuterie anywhere. Read more about the Ossabaw Island Hog and Cane Creek Farm.
The pigs at Cane Creek Farm are an assorted bunch, as the farm is always tinkering with different breeds and hybrids. This means that particular cuts may vary in size and coloring (there’s no white pork here!). But in all cases, our pork has great flavor, imparted by their lives on pasture and in woods, a diverse diet, and old-time genetics. Our pigs live twice as long as conventional pigs (and yet are smaller), and as with all animals (and most foods), the longer the time, the richer the flavor.