Portland Pedal Power has had the opportunity to work with Pastini Pastaria, a delectably good Italian restaurant that has graced the Rose City for some time. We have really enjoyed working with Pastini, as we both share an appreciation for sustainability and unique ideas. We wanted to learn a little more about who they are, so we sat down with one of the founders, Susan, to find out what’s been going on over at the Pastaria.
Pastini’s story starts in 2001, when Portland wasn’t exactly the same kind of food scene as it is today. Susan noticed there was a lack of quality affordable food in the Portland area and wanted to remedy that, so Pastini Pastaria was born! Susan, her husband Craig, and business partner Kara Hale decided to open up their own italian restaurant on Broadway and, as they say, the rest is history.
Pastini offers a very wide range of menu items, all of which absolutely mouth-watering. Signature dishes include Baked Manicotti, Farfalle with Asparagus and Lemon, and Susan’s favorite dish: Linguini Pesto Pollo.
On top of all of that, Pastini also offers gluten-free alternatives, which are made a little differently. While most gluten-free alternatives on the market use a corn based flour, Pastini’s gluten free Spaghetti and Penne noodles are made with brown rice. This means the pasta is going to be lighter than your typical pasta, but it’s still going to taste delicious.
Pastini puts a lot of effort into making sure their food comes from the highest quality. To ensure this, they supply their locations using farms that belong to the Food Alliance. The Alliance is a great program and is widely credited as being one of the most comprehensive sustainable food and agriculture programs found in North America.
The Food Alliance certifies farms based on the humane treatment of animals, environmentally safe agricultural processes, and fair working conditions. Some of the local farms from which Pastini sources produce include the Yamhill Mushroom Farm, Howard Calcagno Farm in Aurora, Cal Farms in Oregon City, Fulton Provisions in Portland, and Zenner’s Sausage Company, all of which belong to the Food Alliance.
On top of serving delicious and sustainably sound food, Pastini also helps out in the community with something they call Pasta-Thons. Susan has been a supporter of education for a long time, and feels local schools deserve more support than they receive. So to help out, Pastini decided to take an active role in the education community and started to host these fundraisers on a weekly basis.
Every week, Pastini chooses a school to support, such as Irvington Elementary School. When you visit Pastini and mention the school of the week, 50% of your bill will be donated to that school. Within the last 12 months, over $30,000 has been donated as a direct result of Pastini Pasta-thons, giving schools extra funding while you get some delicious pasta to enjoy. That’s a win-win scenario if I’ve ever heard of one. Take a look at the Pastini Pastaria Calendar to see what school is going to be supported this upcoming week.
Is your mouth watering yet? Check out Pastini’s menu to see what strikes your fancy! And if you feel like sticking around the house, never fear! Portland Pedal Power delivers for Pastini Pastaria, and we would love to help you enjoy a delicious meal!