La Pasta offers a variety of fresh pastas, tomato sauces, pesto and garlic spreads.
La Pasta offers a variety of fresh pastas, tomato sauces, pesto and garlic spreads.

Alessandro Stortini says he can help anyone put together a complete meal with his pastas and the local products he stocks at La Pasta, which recently opened a new location in Queen Anne.

“The response has been really positive,” he said of his Queen Anne shop at 1527 Queen Anne Ave. N. “Everyone who comes in is very happy.”

Stortini began making pastas with Guglielmo Bombaci out of Bombaci’s Nonna Maria Ristorante Italiano in Lower Queen Anne in the early 2000s, mostly as a way for the friends to find time to hang out.

“I would come and help make pasta at night,” he said.

The fresh pastas became so popular that they opened a production center in Wedgwood in 2006, selling their linguine, stuffed ravioli, spaghetti and fettuccine at farmers markets and restaurants around the Seattle area.

Bombaci’s father died a year later, and he later moved back to Italy when his mother was also diagnosed with cancer, leaving Stortini to run La Pasta.

His wholesale market dried up in 2009, following the Great Recession, Stortini said, which he considered a positive. He ramped up La Pasta’s farmers market business to include 14 venues in 2011.

“We’ve been doing the farmers markets in Seattle for 17 years,” Stortini said.

But there are only so many farmers markets that operate all year, he said, so he decided to open a storefront in Wedgwood where he could keep selling pastas through the winter. Realizing other farmers market vendors had the same problem, Stortini said he decided to invite them to sell their products at La Pasta.

“I have been selling these products along other vendors for a long time,” he said, including meats from Skagit River Ranch, which sell out at markets but are not plentiful enough to supply to large grocery chains. “I gladly take requests. In fact, some of these items are from customer requests.”

The Queen Anne shop carries all of La Pasta’s pastas, gnocchi and raviolis, as well as garlic spreads, three tomato-based sauces and pesto, which Stortini said he also tries to produce using as many ingredients sourced from farmers markets as possible.

Stortini said he doesn’t markup the products, so people pay the same price they would at a market. While pasta is the base, three-fourths of what people find at La Pasta is other product, which Stortini said people coming in for the first time don’t always realize.

“You can put together an entire meal, from start to finish,” he said, adding usually a meal for three adults can come in under $20.

La Pasta is now bringing in vendors weekly to provide demonstrations and samples of their products. Follow La Pasta on Facebook.