The transparent 9- and 12-oz. packages of RP's Pastas are a familiar sight at local grocery stores, making their way to shelves from the company's factory on East Wilson Street in the heart of the Williamson-Marquette neighborhood. Founded by Italian food fanatic Peter "Pasta" Robertson to supply a now-closed Atwood neighborhood restaurant, RP's has since become an ubiquitous source of fresh pasta throughout the region. Robertson subsequently opened an on-site restaurant at the factory last year -- the Fork & Spoon Café.
Now, he's put together a short documentary about making homemade pasta, produced by Squeaky Wagon Productions. The travel and advertising video company was founded by Sabi Attiyeh and Pete McPartland Jr. to launch the local culinary show Cooking the Casbah. The introduction to the cooking tutorial follows below, along with segments about creating four different types of fresh pasta.
Following the intro, "Peter Pasta" gives step-by-step lessons about making fresh pasta for oneself:
- Part one: How to make egg spaghetti
- Part two: How to make spinach fettuccine
- Part three: How to make cheese ravioli
- Part four: How to make potato gnocchi
This cooking program is in large part a promotion for Ecco La Pasta, a line of specialty flour mixes for pastas and gnocchi produced at RP's and available at cooking retailers and groceries stores throughout the U.S. Nearly 20 recipes (here and here) are provided by RP's, both for cooking the pre-made pastas and for creating sauces to accompany them. Robertson also provides online videos that demonstrate the production of ravioli and spaghettini at the east-side factory.