Pastificio Andalini22 February 2014
Continuous technological innovation and close bonds with Emilian traditions underlie the international success of the historic Pastificio Andalini of Cento (Ferrara, Italy)
When we hear stories of people like the Andalini family – which we are happy to be able to tell today – it is hard to believe that Italy can have so much difficulty in recovering from the economic crisis. In the Bel Paese, in fact, as in many other places in the Western world, family and business often join forces, creating a winning combination of passion and commitment. If, to all this we also add the proverbial Italian creativity, always striving to attain what is good and what is beautiful, it is easy to imagine that the result will be excellent on many fronts. But above all, that it will be a business success. What can be more fascinating than the art of making pasta, an art that has been modernised over the decades, with the introduction of various innovations? Perhaps only the perseverance of a family who, now in their third generation as pasta producers, continue to work with a sole purpose: constant improvement, but without ever straying from the authentic roots of their Emilian tradition. A story like this, almost a fairy tale, conjures up a little shop where father and son make the product by hand, as in times gone by. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that being faithful to tradition means keeping everything frozen in time, without hazarding the tiniest change. If the family had not used machinery and equipment with the capacity to guarantee large quantities while maintaining the excellent product quality, they would not have been able to make their egg pasta a household name in a large part of Europe and in many other foreign countries.
The lines are, of course, different: each has a special characteristic and suggestive, mouthwatering names that trigger the desire for a good plate of pasta: Veloce con gusto, Giorno di festa, Scelti per voi, Cuor di Semola, Antica Tradizione, I Garganelli, Biobuonissima and Integrale (Quick & tasty, Holiday, Just for you, Heart of Semolina, Age-old Tradition, Garganelli, Good & Organic and Whole wheat). This catalogue, in which the egg has pride of place, includes a variety of shapes and colours to suit all tastes, even the most demanding. Pastificio Andalini also produces under a private label for several leading large scale distribution chains in Italy and abroad.
The production is significant both in terms of quantity and quality. The enterprise has three continuous cycle production lines that run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although they never work to full capacity, they produce 2000 kg of pasta per hour, short- or long-cut pasta alike. It is not the Andalini family who endorses the quality of the product, but the market itself. It goes without saying that these Emilian specialities are sold the world over. Perhaps this is due to their organoleptic properties, or perhaps it is due to the expertise of the company’s sales and marketing teams. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that Andalini pasta is now available on the shelves of supermarkets all over Europe as well as in the United States, Brazil, Africa, Bermuda, Australia, China and Japan. It has been awarded numerous certifications among which BRC, IFS, and ISO 22000, but the most striking feature of this Ferrara-based pasta factory is the Andalini Food Industry, a line designed for catering professionals, and the Andalini Lab, which is dedicated to customers who produce ready meals. Both of these lines entail a study of the specific requirements of the clientele and take cooking and pre-cooking requirements into account. Both of the lines make excellent pasta, starting from high quality durum wheat semolina kneaded and dried in such a way as to guarantee extraordinary results. Thanks to the extremely high quality of the semolina used and to the meticulous, technologically state-of-the-art production process, the pasta maintains its body, elasticity and porosity, so as to enhance the taste of all types of preparations, from the simplest to the most elaborate. The Andalini Lab section is no less impressive. Known also as the “couture house” of pasta, it sets the Pastificio the difficult challenge of preparing a product that is excellent not only in terms of taste, but also firmness during cooking. It is especially designed for customers who require “custom-made” pasta, and is normally used for the production of ready meals. The Research & Development department of the Pastificio Andalini develops solutions directly based on customer requirements. It selects and doses the ingredients, chooses the dies and shapes, defines the time intervals and drying processes in order to ensure that the quality of the final product will be guaranteed.
Massimo Andalini, owner of the pasta factory and second generation pasta maker currently runs the company with his daughter Simona, managing director and his son-in-law Stefano Venturi, sales and marketing manager. Since 1956, the distant year in which the company was founded, one element has never been lacking, the bond between the product and the territory. And even now, when the pasta factory has taken on international dimensions, and is presenting its products on the global market, the Andalini family’s desire is still to effectively convey the Italian spirit through its pasta. Massimo Andalini, defined by some as a “keen localist”, never misses the opportunity to use raw materials from the local territory. His exhortations to Italian farmers to sow durum wheat has become a Leitmotiv, as has his famous appeal to use local eggs. Not content with this, Andalini launched nettle pasta. Developed partly for fun and partly by chance, this product, which is both innovative and traditional at the same time, seems set to achieve success on the market. In fact, nettles used to be widely used in these areas in the past, so their return to the limelight represents a piece of local history repeating itself. The product also presents an appetising combination of what is pleasing to the eye, good to eat and – as experts maintain – also healthy. So it goes without saying that nettle pasta is the most recent example of what Pastificio Andalini is capable of achieving: excellent pasta that embodies craftsmanship, territory and innovation. Always striving to create new and delicious specialities, the Andalini family can congratulate themselves for having contributed, over several decades, to making good Italian food great, and to making Andalini a household name.
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