A North East restaurant owner is expanding into food production to give people with food intolerances the chance to enjoy fresh pasta.
Roberto Pittalis, otherwise known as The Pasta Man, is launching his latest venture – organic, gluten-free, and vegan, UK-sourced legume pasta, the first fresh product of its type on the market.
This new venture came about because of the coronavirus pandemic, when Roberto, who owns Café Lilli in Norton, Teesside, was forced to close his restaurant during the lockdown.
Roberto said: “One day during lockdown, my wife, who is coeliac, asked me if she could eat pasta made from different flours. This got me thinking, and I decided to dedicate all my time and effort to a product that was new to the market – fresh, not dried, pasta, made from legumes.
“Having worked in the restaurant business for over 40 years, I realised there were a lot of people who couldn’t enjoy traditional fresh pasta due to food intolerances. So, my research started in the UK to see what legumes were available.
“I then moved to my home country of Sardinia, where legumes are often used in cooking, to continue my research. I knew I was onto something when I came across an old recipe of my grandma’s which she used to make bread from chickpeas.
“From there, I experimented until I found the best recipe.”
The Pasta Man uses legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, yellow peas and broad beans to make his organic, UK-sourced pasta.
Roberto added: “It’s pure pasta, there are no additives or colourings, the ingredients come from UK suppliers, and it’s gluten-free and vegan. As it is made from legumes rather than traditional wheat, it is also full of protein and fibre, as well as being low in carbohydrates and calories.”
After initially finding success selling the pasta at his now reopened restaurant, The Pasta Man is launching the product to the market.
Roberto said: “I hope to see our legume pasta in stores and restaurants across the country. It’s an exciting product and means individuals with food intolerances and preferences no longer have to miss out on great-tasting fresh pasta.”
For more information about The Pasta Man’s legume pasta, visit https://www.thepastamanshop.co.uk/