For Monique Deschaine, founder of Al Dente Pasta, passion for food is genetic. As a child she spent summers soaking up European culture and expanding her palate in her mother’s native France. It was there that she first experienced the complexity inherent in the simplest of foods, and it was those early food forays that laid the first foundations for the creation of Al Dente Pasta.
While the days where Monique and her husband Dennis would stay up all night, rolling out pasta dough in a friend’s restaurant kitchen and hoping it would be dry by sun-up are long gone—Dennis and Monique’s dedication to taste and quality is just as present now as it was when Al Dente Pasta started in 1981.
Pasta became a passion for the duo who were intent on creating their now famous “tender, but firm” Northern Italian-style pasta—pasta that cooks up to al dente perfection in a mere three minutes. The Al Dente Pasta dream is a true family affair. Not only do Monique and Dennis work together, but completing the team is Monique’s sister, Nanette Carson, serving as general manager.
In addition, more than 20 long-time employees help to keep Al Dente’s pasta rich in flavor and texture—no shortcuts, no cutting corners—while offering convenience for today’s consumers.
To top it all off, the pasta factory is located on a small lake in Michigan–Whitmore Lake, which is where Al Dente Pasta is made and then shipped all over the country, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands. Locals say that Al Dente Pasta has “put Whitmore Lake on the map.”
All these and more, available at HARVEST MARKET!
Spring Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pasta
Spring means asparagus! Stretch out those tender stalks of goodness by combining with pasta and goat cheese. Super simple and really delicious.
- 1/2 bag Al Dente Pasta
- big bunch of asparagus
- 3 oz. goat cheese
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt for pasta water should taste like the sea, is what they say in Italy!
Put the goat cheese, olive oil and lemon zest in your serving bowl then break up the goat cheese, then cutting your bunch of asparagus on the diagonal. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add your salt. Dump cut asparagus into the pot of boiling water, putting the lid on the pot to bring back to a boil. Add pasta to boiling water and asparagus. After 3 minutes, check to see if pasta is done.
Before draining, ladle about 1/2 cup of cooking water into the bowl with the goat cheese to make the creamy sauce. Drain the pasta and asparagus and toss with the goat cheese mixture adding some lemon juice, salt and pepper. Garnish with pistachios and chopped fresh mint.