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Al Dente Pasta

Handmade Gourmet Pasta

The Art of Pasta

If you live in Michigan, you may already know the story behind Al Dente Pasta, a local treasure. Monique Deschaine was just a regular pasta lover back in 1981 when she read an article about an artisanal pasta business and was inspired to start one herself. She traveled to New York City to study under Italian cooking legend Marcella Hazan, and then headed back to Michigan to give birth to her very own hand-rolled pasta business.

Thirty years later, Al Dente Pasta is the perfect marriage of traditional methods and modern
taste. While other handmade pastas are extruded, Al Dente makes its pasta according to the northern Italian tradition of rolling sheets of dough. This yields pasta with an exceptional texture — tender but firm — that cooks in just three minutes.

Some of Monique’s pastas are available at fine food stores throughout the U.S., but many of her most innovative recipes aren’t sold in stores. We’re featuring four different samplers that showcase her knack for putting a modern twist on age-old recipes. If you love pasta but you’re watching carbs, the combination of whole wheat and Carba-Nada (low carb) pasta in the Pasta with Benefits sampler might hit the spot. Prefer organics and complex flavors? You’ll want the Organic Duets sampler (which includes egg-and-mushroom, egg-and-squid ink, and egg-and-spinach fettuccine). The Classic Sampler includes egg, spinach, whole wheat, basil, garlic parsley, and wild mushroom fettuccine, and the Al Dente sampler features whole wheat fettuccine, an egg-and-spinach fettuccine duet, and classic roasted garlic linguine.

Another Michigan entrepreneur, Elizabeth Colburn, gets the credit for turning us on to these incredible pastas. Monique was getting a makeover from Elizabeth, a beauty pro whose skincare products we featured early last year. Elizabeth encourage Monique to reach out to us at Daily Grommet, and we’re so glad she did. Al Dente’s artisanal pastas may have ruined us for plain old dry pasta, but they’re so delicious we don’t mind.

— Mir
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Katherine
    Katherine

    Monique is traveling today and will not be immediately available to answer your questions. Please do post any questions or comments that you have and we'll be sure to have a response for you as soon as we can.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Special Guest
    3/2/2010 12:00 PM

    I have pulled these descriptions over from the Grommet details tab:



    • Pasta with Benefits 6 pack – 3 each of Whole Wheat /Flax, Carba Nada

    • Classic Sampler 6 pack – 1 each of Egg, Spinach, Whole Wheat, Garlic, Mushroom, Basil

    • Organic Duet 3 pack – 1 each of Farm & Field (Egg & Mushroom), Land & Sea (Egg & Squid Ink Fettuccine), Straw & Hay (Egg & Spinach Fettuccine)

    • Al Dente Pasta Sampler 3 pack – 1 each of Whole Wheat, Straw & Hay Organic Duet (Egg & Spinach), Classic Roasted Garlic Linguine

  • Kate
    Kate
    3/2/2010 12:24 PM

    This reminds me of the pasta maker that we received as a wedding present. It was a lot of work to make and even more work to clean! It ended up in a garage sale the very next year -- this would have been a much better gift! The roasted garlic linguine sounds wonderful.

  • Sara
    Sara
    3/2/2010 1:27 PM

    Great story. I have been eating Al Dente pasta for about a year now because I like its fresh taste and the convenience of dry pasta. I'm a cook and I wish I had the time to make my own pasta for my family. This is a nice alternative to fresh pasta.

  • Deborah
    Deborah
    3/2/2010 3:13 PM

    I'm excited to hear about the low carb pasta. How does the carbohydrate count compare to regular pasta per serving?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Special Guest
    3/2/2010 3:28 PM

    Deb - good question! There are 18 net grams of carbs per serving in the Carba-nada versus an average of around 40 grams per serving for other pastas.

  • Monique
    Monique
    3/3/2010 10:12 AM

    I loved putting these sample packs together for DailyGrommet.They give you a way to try lots of our pastas that are perhaps not available near you.

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