Primo Piatto: the school you don’t expect

3 July 2014 Off By Pastaria

Primo Piatto, the school for the production of fresh pasta has been in operation for over two years now. The courses have been extremely well-attended. We have collected a few student appreciation quotes in the article below.

It immediately proved to be a very exciting experience, also in view of the fact that it was the first of its kind. It was not such an easy challenge to win, but those responsible for launching it two years ago knew exactly what they were about, given their many decades of experience in the sector.

The Primo Piatto pasta school – located in Carasco (Genoa, Italy) – is, in fact, the fruit of a brilliant intuition of two veterans in the field, partners in Italgi, a historic company operating in the construction and sale of machinery for the production of fresh pasta.

Credit is certainly due to them for having the insight to sense the pressing need to train professional and aspiring pasta makers and for understanding that the needs of those wishing to try their hand in the pasta sector are not only connected with the use of the machinery but also with knowledge of the legislation, sales techniques and, above all, with the secrets of the production and storage of pasta. Thus the two partners decided to place their expertise and experience at the service of those desiring to make of Italy’s most famous national product their raison d’être and their livelihood.

“As partners of the company, we acquired our skill through the experience of Italgi and now, even although the school is well underway, we are still working in the sector dedicated to the marketing of equipment for pasta production: but you would be wrong to think that the course is a vehicle for selling machinery.  Quite the opposite. Our experience at Italgi has taught us that training and groundwork are primary considerations, also in this trade. We noticed that there was a great hunger for know-how in the fresh pasta sector and so we decided to make a foray into the area, keen to meet the demands of those who, while having little or negligible knowledge of the sector, wish to acquire the tools required to enter this world with confidence” states one of the school’s founding partners.

The courses have been held monthly for approximately two years now, and provide all the information required to make a successful entry into the world of fresh pasta. The course lasts 5 days, full time, Monday to Friday, from 8am in the morning until 5pm in the afternoon and is addressed to a wide audience: from those intending to start up a business in the sector, to professionals of gastronomy and the culinary arts wishing to deepen their knowledge of the subject.

The topics dealt with investigate every nook and cranny of the fresh pasta sector, from the choice of flour and other ingredients, to the different methods of production, from storage to cooking, from legislative to economic aspects.

The subjects taught in the school are, in fact, many and varied: from the characteristics of a particular type of pasta to mathematics, from chemistry and physics to specific product legislation; from special types such as coloured pasta, to sauces and filled pasta. However, since the setting up of a pasta business is not necessarily limited to production, Primo Piatto also trains its students in subjects such as food costs, shelf life and product display on shop shelves, HACCP, yield and weight losses, as well as in subjects such as communications, financial management and on legal requirements for the launching of a new business.

The courses are organised in theoretical modules, demonstrations and practical sessions and provide students with the rudiments for operating in the sector.

Of course the various skills acquired need to be refined, but those leaving the school certainly know where to begin in terms of producing and selling pasta in a professional setting.

The teachers Danilo Curotto, Nadia Boggiano and Gianpaolo Belloni have many years of experience acquired both in Italy and abroad and this factor gives the course a decidedly international scope. The theoretical and practical lessons are carried out in an environment fitted out with the most modern equipment available on the market. Certainly one of the most interesting aspects of the school is the fact that the classrooms are set up in such a way that every day the students can enjoy eating the results of their own work. The many and varied practical lessons, far from being mere experiments, also provide the main dish to be enjoyed in the lunch break of those taking part in the training course.  “One of the things you never forget about this school is the association of the elements learned with the flavours and the aromas. The practical aspect is of fundamental importance. You don’t just learn things sitting at a desk, but through hands-experience in production. The fact of then eating the fruits of your own work during the lunch break is not just a pleasant break; it is, first and foremost, the acid test for what you have produced and it offers immense satisfaction. It is the moment in which you understand whether the work done has produced the desired results. It is the moment in which you can refine your sense of taste and learn to distinguish between what is good and what is not so good”.

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