Il Pastaficio in Cos Cob: Explore the Cuisine of Italy without Leaving Greenwich

Federico Perandin and Anissa Nouhi at Il Pastaficio, 213 East Putnam Ave in Cos Cob's Mill Pond Center. Sept 13, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Federico Perandin and Anissa Nouhi at Il Pastaficio, 213 East Putnam Ave in Cos Cob’s Mill Pond Center. Sept 13, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

For months many have been curious about a new sign at Mill Pond Center and wondered, What is that new business?

Italian entrepreneur Federico Perandin celebrated its grand opening of his Il Pastaficio on Saturday with an open house.

There were passed samples of artisanal Italian pasta dishes made from fresh, organic ingredients, and a chance to purchase homemade pasta to take home and prepare.

Soon to become a destination for people who appreciate high quality, healthy pasta, Perandin’s venture offers authentic Italian recipes he developed after scouring both urgan and remote regions of his home country.

For Perandin, who settled with his wife and young son in the Greenwich after having founded and grown a successful advertising agency in Italy, the new venture is an indulgence in his innate creativity.

Federico Perandin at Il Pastaficio, which offers artisanal pasta from fresh, organic ingredients. Sept 13, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

And Perandin’s vision for Il Pastaficio is specific.

“It will be a place for residents to relax and hang out. I want it to be warm and inviting,” he said, adding that was the reason for creating a community table for eight at the front of the store. “It’s a place for people to put their phones down, share food and talk.”

If you eat in, meals are served on real china plates.

Dishes prepared to go travel in bowls made from recycled bamboo fibers.

Months of preparation for Saturday’s opening meant honing close to the theme of authenticity. In the commercial kitchen, visible through a wall of glass front the front of the store, even the machines were brought over from Italy.

Furniture and display cases were handmade by Italian artisans and shipped to the US.

For months, Perandin has had a steady stream of curious residents knocking on the door. “The sign has been up for a while, and I’ve met a lot of people,” he said.

“Il Pastaficio will appeal to the sensibilities of Greenwich residents,” Perandin said.  They’re international. They’re well traveled and they appreciate good food.”

Perandin and his wife Anissa Nouhi said the difference between the processed pasta so many Americans are accustom to, and the organic, homemade pasta offered at Il Pastaficio is striking.

“When I eat processed pasta it takes a toll. It makes me feel sleepy and bloated afterward,” Nouhi said, adding that a lot of people simply have never experienced homemade organic pasta.

“It is a staple in Italy,” she said. “We eat it every day and it’s very healthy. In the US, people put a lot of the butter on it, and there are additives and chemicals in the flour and grain. Many don’t even know what semolina durum tastes like.”

Federico Perandin with Chef Nicolo Bertaccini from Forli, which is near Bologna on the Adriatic coast. In the display case (center foreground) is a brown frilly pasta that resembles seaweed. It is made with durum flour and has a hint of chocolate, which is one of its organic ingredients. Beside it is tri color chicche, a smaller version of gnocchi, in the colors of the flag of Italy. The white chirche is made from plain potato. The green is made using spinach and potato. The red is made from tomato and potato. Sept 13, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

home cooked pasta dishes made with fresh organic ingredients.

Il Pastaficio offers homemade pasta made with fresh, organic ingredients. Pictured in foreground are (left) Tortellini Cacio e Pepe, a traditional dish from Rome, stuffed with Roman Pecorino cheese and black pepper. The black stripes are achieved using black squid ink. Each one-of-a-kind tortellini is handmade and has its own design. (right) The little tortellini containing dollops of mortadella, prosciutto, lonza (paper thin sliced n air-dried cured pork loin), parmigiano and nutmeg. Simply cook for 90 seconds in chicken broth.

Red linguini is made with beets. Right, linguini made with flour from chick peas, which is a legume.

Left, Il Pastaficio’s unique creation “Rapici aglio, olio e peperoncino con muddica atturrata”, is an organic pasta made with red beets. Right, linguine made with flour from chick peas, which is a legume.

On Thursday, GFP sampled several dishes including Perandin’s delicious spin on Lasagna Alla Bolognese, made from a recipe that originates in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy.

Next, the Ravioli Ricotta e Spinach, with potato and pesto, was divine and literally melts in your mouth.

Another tasty dish was the chick pea linguini made with chick pea flour, broccoli cream and anchovies. The dish is topped with toasted pine nuts. If you don’t think you like anchovies, give it a try because the anchovies provide just the right amount of saltiness.  The dish is rich in protein and has a different consistency than typical linguini.

“It’ll never be al dente because of how it is made,” Perandin said. “It is low in carbs, high in protein and extremely easy to digest.”

Perandin said Il Pastaficio is set to revolutionize the local perception of pasta. In addition to its classic offerings, every week Il Pastaficio will offer a unique regional specialty dish.

Customers will embark on a “Giro d’Italia,”  a culinary journey to explore the true flavors of faraway corners of Italy.

An example of the adventures will be sweet & sour pasta cupcakes with a shell made from pasta dough incorporating ground coffee and filled with fluffy foaming tiramisu cream.

“It’s one bite,” Perandin said. “The taste is both soft and crunchy.”

Il Pastaficio also sell items including olives from Sicily and three different olive oils made in a limited quantities.They sell hard and soft biscotti  three different aged balsamic vinegars: three years aged, five years aged and eight years aged. They also sell white and black truffle spreads that are perfect on a toasted baguette, as a condiment on pasta or white rice. They sell porcini mushroom oil, and truffle honey which makes pasta elegant for dinner at home.

Perandin has connected with many of the local Cos Cob merchants, including the folks at Fjord Fish Market. “We use their fish for our sauces,” he said.

While Perandin and Nouhi have recreated some of what’s best from their home country, they said they love living in Greenwich.

Nouhi, who lived in Greenwich for 20 years before meeting  Perandin in Italy, confessed, “I dragged him back here.”

“I love the beach and watching NBA games,” Perandin said of living in Greenwich. “People here are very friendly and respectful. The community here tries to help you with everything.”

“Come to Il Pastaficio and explore Italy,” Perandin said. “You’ll never have to leave Greenwich.”

Il Pastaficio is located at 213 East Putnam Ave in Cos Cob.

Il Pastaficio is located in Mill Pond Center at 213 East Putnam Ave in Cos Cob.