filtering flours

Gluten-free and Gluten-free Friendly

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Ciao!

Gluten-free isn’t associated with pasta. No, gluten-free seems like the antipasta. Here, at dueminuti we believe our gluten-free customers to be some of our most knowledgeable and, consequently, discerning customers. All our pastas are made gluten-free as an option not a rule. Less gluten means, for some, less inflammation, and enjoying a pasta dish with us means enjoying Italian food once again. The way it is supposed to be enjoyed. Without guilt.

You won’t find rigatoni like this in your local supermarket, but you will find processed versions of gluten-free pastas like spaghetti and lasagna. Our gluten-free options include the benefits of our gluten-partial options. This pasta is healthier than the average and expensive alternatives. We bring you gluten-free protein in every bite. Personally, we recommend the Basil and Pesto and 8-hr Tomatoes to start. The basil and warm tomatoes with pasta will be a remembrance without a reaction for those of you who haven’t had real Italian pasta in years, months, days, or hours . . .
Here are some pictures of the staff creating this masterpiece.

mixing flourfiltering flours

filtering whole grain flours

extruding spaghetti

Ciao!
Dueminuti
indoor grown thyme

Never Enough Thyme

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Our indoor grown thyme

This evergreen herb, sought after by the Ancient Egyptians for its culinary and medicinal properties, has been considered the herb of vitality and courage for centuries. Now, mystical powers aside thyme is truly a culinary treasure used in cuisines all over the globe. Commonly thyme is mixed with oregano and parsley to aid in the aromatics of a particular dish.

Like all relatives of the mint family (Lamiaceae), Thymus vulgarism, the leaves adds a pungent aromatic flavor to dishes. Giving them a slight minty-earthy flavor without being overwhelming. With over 100 cultivars of thyme, you may get flavors of lemon, chocolate, caraway, or even orange. Thyme is an aromatic herb, meaning use as much as you can!

Inclusive of its distinctive and delightful flavor, this herb contains many healthy benefits too. The essential oil of common thyme  (Thymus vulgaris), contains 20–54% thymol. Thymol, an antiseptic, is an active ingredient in various commercially produced mouthwashes such as Listerine. Before the advent of modern antibiotics, oil of thyme was used to medicate bandages. It has also been shown to be effective against various fungi that commonly infect toenails. Thymol can also be found as the active ingredient in some all-natural, alcohol-free hand sanitizers. Brewing thyme as a tea or in a bath can aid in treating respiratory illness and bronchitis.

Thyme is best cultivated in a hot, sunny location with well-drained soil. It is generally planted in the spring, and thereafter grows as a perennial. It can be propagated by seed, cuttings, or dividing rooted sections of the plant. It tolerates drought well. The plants can take deep freezes and are found growing wild on mountain highlands.

*So if your diet doesn’t have enough thyme, come on down to Dueminuti and get your fill of the wonder herb!


Arjun Varma
Sustainability Manager

Creative teamwork in the kitchen: OXTAIL RAGOUT

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At dueminuti, we believe that teamwork is the only path to success, also in the kitchen. As we continuously research new flavor and textures combinations, everyone is involved in the process, from the cashier to the head chef. Everyone tastes a dish during the different phases of its development, leveraging on the diverse culture and tradition of our team. If I had to pick a dish that summarizes our work environment it would be the Oxtail Ragout.

Oxtail is a traditional dish from Rome, “Coda alla vaccinara,” but I only started to cook it during my time in Beijing. At the San Yuan Li market, you could choose your own goods from the continuous small kiosks on the two sides of a long hallway. Shellfish, live fish, produce, fruits, cheese, tofu, tea, nuts of any kind, dozens of varieties of eggs, lamb, goat, pork, game and beef. It was there that I first saw a full oxtail and out of curiosity, I bought one and I cooked it for one of my pop-up dinner events, served with a saffron risotto and sweet and sour cipollini onion.

As soon as the cold weather arrived in Seattle, we knew that it was time to dismiss some of our more summer oriented dishes for more comfortable, warming ones. I am a deep lover of slow cooking: sous vide and brazing are the techniques that I cherish the most.

Noah (our sous chef) and I decided that an oxtail ragout would be the perfect recipe for our winter beef-dish proposal. We sourced Pittman Hills beef from Oregon: an amazing grass-fed and sustainably grown cattle. We braised the meat overnight in the oven, we assembled the dish and then we topped it with some horseradish gremolata for a refreshing zing. The flavors were bold, layered and very distinguished. But something was missing in the equation. We pondered for a while how to add a green note, a refreshing flavor and a note of crunchiness but in all honestly we were a bit stuck. Luckily our policy of having all of our team members taste every dish paid off.

A few days later Arjun, our sustainability manager, was playing in the garden with various seeds that he avidly collected. It was also a few days that he was pushing us in the kitchen to use his sprouts. I called him to taste the oxtail ragout and he joined the brainstorm of how to add some crunchiness and lightness to the dish. Later on, meanwhile rinsing his seeds he yelled: “Dude, sprouts! Use this sprouts….” They were alfalfa sprouts: the perfect healthy/green note to the dish.

RECIPE (serves 12 people)

For the oxtail sauce

10 lb       Beef Oxtail

2 lb         Red onion (minced)

12 oz       Carrot (minced)

12 oz       Celery (minced)

8 oz         Parsnip

2 oz         Garlic

2 sprigs  Thyme

1 sprig     Rosemary

1 cup        Tomato paste

3 cups      San Marzano Tomato

5 tbsp.     EVOO

4 tbsp.     Salt

2 tbsp.     Black Pepper (ground)

2 tbsp.     Bay leaves

4 quarts  Brown beef stock (see recipe on the blog)

Full body red wine, one bottle (we use a Chianti ’14)

Procedure

  1. Cut the oxtail at the joints, season it with salt and pepper and let it rest overnight in the fridge.
  2. Take a thick bottom sauce pot, on medium/high heat sear the oxtail pieces on all sides until dark brown.
  3. Decreased the heat to medium/low. Add the minced onion and sweat until translucent, around 8/10 minutes. This will make the vegetation water evaporate and you will be left only with the sweet flavors of the onion.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the carrot, celery and parsnip. Cook until the vegetables are soft.
  6. Add the tomato paste and cook it until the tomato turns to a rusty red color.
  7. Add the San Marzano tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the thymes and the bay leaves.
  9. Add the red wine, the meat and then the brown beef stock.
  10. Bring to the simmer, transfer to oven trays, cover with aluminum foil and braise for around 8 hours at 250 F.
  11. The meat should be now fork tender. Using tongues remove it from the braise and place it to cool on a rack until it is cool enough to handle it.
  12. Shred the meat and remove all the bones. Return the meat to the braising liquid, reduce it and adjust the seasoning.

For the horseradish gremolata

1 tbsp.     Horseradish (grated)

3 tbsp.     Italian parsley (minced)

1 tbsp.      Orange zest (grated)

  1. Mix the horseradish, the parsley, and the orange zest.

For the rosemary garlic EVOO

3 sprigs      Rosemary

1 cup           Garlic (peeled cloves)

4 cups        EVOO

  1. Place the ingredient in a tray and roast in the oven for 25 minutes at 300 F.
  2. Filter the olive oil and reserve it.

Finish the plate

2 tbsp.      Parmigiano reggiano 24 months aged

2 tbsp.      Alfaalfa sprouts

1 tbsp.        Horseradish gremolata

  1. Cook your favorite pasta in boiling salted water.
  2. Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding some pasta water. Off the heat fold in the cheese and keep tossing until well incorporated.
  3. Plate and top with the horseradish gremolata and a round mound of the alfalfa. Drizzle some rosemary olive oil and serve.

Happy holidays from dueminuti!

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After two very hectic months, this holiday period was a great occasion to rest a bit and spend some quality time with friends and family.

As some family flew in from Italy to spend these holidays with us, we organized a Christmas eve dinner party to honor their arrival. We prepared a three-course meal based on fish and shellfish (no oxtail ragout this time!) inspired by Southern-Italian recipes. We started with stuffed mussels and stuffed calamari as an appetizer, then rigatoni “alla polpa di granchio” (Dungeness crab) and shrimps cooked “alla catalana”. For dessert, Italian panettone, followed by a shot of espresso and a selection of Italian liqueurs including limoncello and amaro (Italian herbal liquor).

Cooking for the people we love the most was a memorable way to spend Christmas. We are blessed for being surrounded by such a large and supportive family, and we are more energized than ever for what’s coming next year. We truly hope that you all had a chance to spend Christmas with the people you love and celebrate with a joyful home-cooked meal.

Happy holidays from the dueminuti team, and see you all again starting from December 27th!

Filippo & Davide

 

 

Painting our story on canvas

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We haven’t exactly done a great job in updating the blog lately. We have been incredibly busy building the team, connecting with farmers and evolving our menu, and these efforts are not over yet! Nevertheless, we’ll try to do better moving forward as lots of stuff is happening at dueminuti and we want to share it with you.

For instance, this week we started working with Morgan Gilbert, a very talented artist who is helping us illustrating our story on the  empty 13 canvases that are hanging out in our dining room. You can preview some of her work here.

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artist in store

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P.S. You can see Morgan’s portfolio here: https://morganelizabethart.carbonmade.com/

Dueminuti’s back… stronger than ever :)

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Dear all,
It has been a while since we last updated this blog. Some of you might have wondered: what happened to the dueminuti project?

Truth is, during the past two months we worked relentlessly to bring healthy pasta to Seattle. But we also had quite a few setbacks, so to say 🙂
Before we tell you the full story, here’s the good news: 2 weeks ago we took possession of our restaurant space in Capitol Hill (412 Broadway E). Constructions to remodel the space have already started, and we’re on track to open the store on October 1st. We couldn’t be more excited to bring our vision to life!

Now, here’s what happened during the last two months.

In mid-May, after signing a contract to take over our new restaurant space, Filippo went back to Italy to apply for his visa. All our paperwork was ready, and our immigration attorney was confident that everything we could get everything approved by early-June. This estimate didn’t account for Murphy’s Law. Firstly, Filippo’s visa interview was scheduled with one month of delay. But the worst part was the interview itself: after a few minutes of Q&A, the officer told Filippo that due to his academic background (PhD in Nuclear Science) his visa would be denied to allow additional “administrative processing” (just another word for Security Advisor Opinion, SAO) to be done on his account. What’s worse, even his tourist visa was suspended until further notice.

Shocked by this news we did some research online and we found out that such processing generally takes 6-8 weeks, but in some cases it could go on for months, even years. Disaster! With Filippo unlimitedly stuck out of the country, we were about to start paying rent. Meanwhile our constructor, tired of the uncertainty around our project (and also certainly not excited by our tight budget) decided to drop the project.

We went through several options. We considered carefully what would happen if Filippo’s visa would not be approved. Could we still bring this vision to life? Maybe somewhere else, outside of the US? It was just mind blowing to us how being overeducated could actually be a challenge – we had always considered Filippo’s scientific background as a key asset. During those stressful weeks the support of our families, friends and investors has been priceless, and it gave us the strength not to give up, if not for ourselves, for all the people that believed – and invested – in us.

Luckily we didn’t have to take any crazy decision – the background checks closed faster than expected, the visa was issued and Filippo arrived in Seattle on August 8th – with a gigantic smile on his face.

This is all we have to say about those crazy weeks. Now we’re working 24/7 to launch the store as soon as possible. Our constructor is fantastic, and so is our architect. The place is starting to take shape, but more on that on the next post.

P.S.
Follow our journey on FB: facebook.com/dueminutipasta and Instagram: dueminuti

Lesson learned from MIT

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My two weeks at MIT are over. The time flew by. We talked to people, presented our ideas and received positive feedback. Day by day, we developed a clearer idea of our concept.

During this time, we also received our first extruder machine: our little “Monferrina Dolly”. The Dolly machine allows me to push my experiments to the extreme. The strength of the machine is such that the starch molecules of the different flours I use assume a structural role in place of the gluten. Our nutritionally balanced pasta is now at a point that was hard to imagine just a few weeks ago. It feels good to see that the months spent experimenting our flours mixes are finally coming to fruition. Our pasta has 25% less carbs, three times the amount of fibers and 50% more proteins compared to the normal pasta. The flavor is complex, nutty and sweet. It is never boring and always intriguing, like savoring a glass of red wine. When I taste our pasta I like to close my eyes as I do when I taste a newly open bottle of Chianti. Why I close my eyes only with the Chianti wine? It is the wine of my region, the one I grew up with, the wine that flows in my veins, and the only one that starts an emotional reaction inside myself when I drink it. My pasta is the same, the flavor is pleasant and very distinctive from anything else I have tried before. It is about the people that produced those flours, and of the soils that nourished those berries gently grounded in flours and powders. It represents my cooking. My Italian heritage is only the start, on top of that I add skills, experience, techniques and ingredients unheard back home, skills that I had the luck of learning during my many trips around the world. In the same way our pasta starts with the Semolina from the best durum wheat available as in the Italian tradition, but incorporates flours from different part of the world, each adding a particular nutrient and flavor to the final product. Pasta 2.0.

We run user tests and focus group to confirm that our product was what people want. We iterated based on the feedback and we will continue to do that to improve the product and adapting to the modern palate and lifestyle.

It seems like everyone wanted to be part of our testing, unfortunately the time was limited, as were our flour supplies. We got the final confirmation that we have something potentially big in our hands. Incredibly people are already asking if we can ship our pasta to the east coast. The judges of the two panels competition at MIT showed strong interested in our product and they got excited about it after tasting it. The main feedback from the two panel was: “Forget about the restaurant and go and sell fresh pasta to restaurants and groceries”.

It was not easy to defend our idea of a fast casual restaurant based on pasta, but this is what we are passionate about. We remain fully committed to start the first Italian Fast casual chain, but I won’t be surprised if you will find our fresh pasta, the same that we will use in our stores, at your local supermarket or at the restaurant down the road. To give a bigger contribution to society and to help spreading a healthy Mediterranean diet among the population we have to be easily available to everyone. I envision professionals coming to our store for lunch and going to buy our pasta to the local grocery so that they can share the advantages of our products with their family once home.

Filippo

Entrepreneurship: an emotional roller coaster!

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The idea of an Italian fast casual chain based on pasta came to us almost four years ago in Sydney. Davide and I, both tired of having sandwiches or Asian food for lunch, identified what was missing – Pasta!  After toying with the idea for over a year, we came up with a plan: we would open in Melbourne in Australia soon after finishing my PhD! However, after a year we decided that San Francisco would be a bigger market and also a possibility to realize the California dream. I had to convince Janet, my wife, that it would be great to live in California!

In November 2015, we carefully re-evaluated the location of our first store, considering only the business side of the decision without getting influenced by personal preferences. Among the different USA hubs considered, the city of Seattle emerged as the clear winner.

I had to convince Janet again! This time it took a little bit longer, but what a great wife I have, in about a week she was supportive and ready to go, again! Then, my thoughts were that we had not even started the company yet and we were already experiencing many ups and downs. I now know that those were only a harbingers of what was laid ahead of us.

Starting a company and investing every resource that you have is a big decision. Having to change continent and uprooting your family has I had adds just a little bit more “excitement” to the whole process. The path itself is an emotional roller coaster. One day you are happy, confident and optimistic. On other days, you are completely uncertain and overwhelmed and it takes a great will and effort to bring yourself out of that emotional state. Emails and phone calls become the judges of your emotional swings. You wake up in the middle of the night to check your emails for the seller’s signature on the purchase offer you sent. You obsessively control your phone to see if the architect, the lawyer, the real estate agent, the advisors, the immigration lawyer, the Embassy.. called you for that update that you are longing for. It is very though, you even hear your phone ringing when no one is calling you!

We have had many bad news in these years as well as some good one. Bad news hit you like a stone in the head, they leave you stunned. You stand there, like in a coma,  unable to react for a few minutes until you rationalize what has happened. Then you realize that you need to react and you find the strength to fight back. You frame the problem, and quickly find a solution. It drains your physical energy and your soul. The good news are sadly not as powerful. They are just small achievements in comparison to the big picture. In the end, you need to believe in what you are doing and believe in yourself like never before. You can find the support of your loved ones, but the truth is that you are fighting with yourself and with your own emotions. You dream during the day; your venture becomes your dream and you no longer dream at night. If you are lucky, at night, you get good ideas that wake you up but rarely do you have sweet dream.

For those of you out there that are deciding whether to start your own company, I can only say – go for it! Enjoy the roller coaster ride! After all, the worst thing that could happen is that you learned the biggest and best lesson of your life.

Filippo

Flight ticket to MIT

Two weeks at MIT, fears and excitement!

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It’s 5am in the morning in Chicago but my body is still on Seattle time, so it’s basically 3am. I am at the airport waiting for a connecting flight that will bring me to Boston then Cambridge-MIT area for about two weeks. My suitcase is full of many different kind of flours. I’m wondering what would happen and if a cop stops me and I’ll have to explain what am I doing with so much white powder! I still cannot believe that dueminuti is doing so well that is participating to two start up competitions at MIT.

We started to talk about a pasta restaurant three years ago. We first planned to open in Melbourne, Australia. Davide was working in Sydney and I was still a PhD candidate in Nuclear Engineering in Beijing. Right, Nuclear Engineering! During all my studies MIT has been a reference point as for almost all the engineers in the world and I was no exception. When I was evaluating schools for my PhD I considered MIT carefully, as some of my fellow colleagues went there. I met students and professors and I almost got admitted, but I did not want it enough (and they did not want me as well!) so I ended up in China at Tsinghua University. And now, a few years later, I am finally coming not as a student, but as a part of the innovation that permeated that environment!

Our company received a lot of great feedback and some of the industry leaders we’ve met have shown a great deal of interest in our idea. We are competing against some of the most brilliant student startups in the US for 100K of funding, crazy stuff. When we feel the pressure of living up to such high expectations we tell ourselves:We are MIT’s first pasta start up! This has already been a success for us and no matter how these competitions will go, we’re energized to make this healthy pasta company true.

Davide has been amazing and organized so many things for us: focus groups to refine our products, groups of students working on our branding and strategy, meetings with possible mentors and advisors. I could not have a better partner, when it comes on how to play the cards that he receive in a hand he never miss a good call. I am going to learn a lot. I am going to work with smart people, smarter than me and even more prepared. Some of them will expect me to provide guidance, leadership and motivation… When it comes to creating expectation Davide is unfortunately a master so I am a little concerned of what this bright people will expect from me. It will be a hell of a two weeks!

I am ready not to sleep much, to cook a lot and to collect as much sincere feedback as possible. There is still a long way to go for our venture but I am sure over the next couple weeks we’ll move a few steps in the right direction!

Filippo