Pasta Felicetti, in the heart of the Dolomites
Pure air, crystal-clear water and a generous helping of passion and dedication make a product known and loved around the world.
Can pasta go from everyday staple to gourmet ingredient in the public imagination? So it would appear, for that’s exactly what Pastificio Felicetti has done. Channelling their love for their home region, they’ve created the gourmet pasta of choice for the finest international chefs. That’s people of the calibre of Gualtiero Marchesi (for his cold squid-ink spaghetti with yogurt cream and salmon roe), Davide Scabin (conchiglioni sushi), Antonia Klugmann (spelt ditali with beans), Carlo Cracco (spaghetti with green tea and tuna roe) and many more besides.
Based in Predazzo in the Val di Fiemme, in the foothills of the Dolomites, the factory began with a small range of pasta shapes. Such as bandnudeln, a local name for nastri or ribbons, and tubez, little tubes eaten with a grating of cheese or in a traditional Austrian soup. Today, the three brands (Felicetti, Felicetti Speciale Gastronomia and Monograno Felicetti) offer around 100 varieties of long and short pasta for export to 40 countries.
What are the secret ingredients in this success?
The first is foresight, and Valentino Felicetti had that in spades. In 1908, he bought a factory that made various products, including pasta, and decided to focus solely on this. He invested in technology and innovation while staying true to his values and his home area, on a constant quest for excellence.
The second secret is using spring water to make the dough and pure mountain air to dry it out. Along with the grain, these two ingredients lend the pasta a balanced, well-rounded flavour that’s full yet fresh. But this is no ordinary grain, either. They use only Italian grain from top producers who share Felicetti’s values and use only responsible farming methods. Wholemeal and organic durum wheat semolina along with spelt and Kamut® Khorasan (a non-Italian flour) are selected against the strictest quality standards. With the sensitivity of the master pasta makers and the continual pursuit of a perfect balance between these three elements, the result is a superior quality pasta.
Another key factor is the personalised array of formats and dough mixes, launched to meet customer needs and to follow the ever-evolving trends in today’s food world. That and the flexible production strategy have helped to make Pastificio Felicetti the lodestar of the international pasta world. The company has made several important yet delicate organisational decisions, like handing on control to the younger generation and investing in high-tech systems, R&D, branding and marketing. And they’ve done all this while staying true to their ethos and strengthening the business by pushing hard on the international markets.
Nothing is left to chance in this family, not even the appearance of the factory. The building looks modern and interesting, with a silk-screen design with the word PASTA in five giant letters, each representing a core value with an explanation underneath. It fits naturally into the surrounding environment, and over 90% of the factory’s energy is self-generated from solar sources or cogeneration.
Every decision is made with an acute sensibility for its repercussions, to respect the family’s values, safeguard the environment and the local natural resources, encourage biodiversity and foster harmony in the ecosystem.