Naked Pasta: Bringing Inspired Noodles to a Fork Near You
If You Only Have 60 Seconds…
- Naked Pasta is crafting artisan “farm to noodle” pasta and sauces using locally sourced ingredients
- From traditional to adventurous, each recipe is designed to spotlight seasonal ingredients wherever possible
- Ready-to-make frozen pastas, sauces, and tapenade can all be bought in store or at local farmer’s markets for a quick, fresh meal anytime
“Why Naked Pasta?”
It’s clearly a question Christina Barest, owner and chef of Naked Pasta has heard before. We caught a quick grin cast across the room to her husband, Brett, as she mixed and pulled the fresh pasta in the West Greenville kitchen. With such a memorable name, we couldn’t resist making a few jokes about how comical it would be if the couple actually made their pasta in the buff. But, one look at the brightly blushing faces of the neighborhood kids helping in the kitchen and we knew we had to show a little mercy.
“Fresh ingredients, nothing to hide,” Brett explained. Nice and simple, right? What we would learn during our time with the team, however, is that crafting truly fresh, local pasta and homemade artisan sauces is anything but.
Heeding the Call of Pasta
When an opportunity to take over the business from local friends opened in March, Chris, as she’s known by her friends and family, heeded the call of pasta.Though she enjoyed her hospital job of 13 years, Chris had a deep longing to use her creative skills in the workplace. So, with Brett by her side, she made the jump into the culinary industry and entrepreneurship – and hasn’t looked back.
“Her passion and her creativity are in the kitchen,” Brett told us. “This is where her biggest talents lay.” While Chris had almost no experience making pasta, she immediately picked up the creative and culinary skills needed. With a glimmer of pride, Brett told us “She had only made pasta a few times at home before, but jumped right into the pasta making business and has been killing it from day one.”
After trying the delicious wild mushroom ravioli being made for the special of the day, we can see why.
Inspired Farm to Noodle
The secret to their success is weaving fresh, locally sourced ingredients with a willingness to create out of the box options along with the traditional staples. Chris and Brett develop recipes together, with a strict “farm to noodle” approach and no preservatives. That means Chris is constantly seeking menu items that are local or sourced from small farms, and each recipe is designed thoughtfully with seasonal items spotlighted wherever possible. “We want to create truly local, delicious food,” Chris told us as she explained each recipe carefully, from inspiration to ingredients.
A recent seasonal item, the Carolina Reaper, is a favorite of Brett’s and shows how Naked Pasta goes beyond the normal everyday choices. A spicy angel hair pasta developed with the famous Carolina hot peppers, the dish lives up to its moniker without scaring away the typical pasta lover. “It has so much flavor, and we’ve managed to create a recipe where the heat never gets too intense. My son who doesn’t even like spicy food tried it recently, and 15 minutes after finishing his meal told me that he really just loved the way his mouth felt,” Brett laughed.
We immediately attempted to put in a mass order to keep the ITK tribe warm through the winter months, but Naked Pasta does not budge when it comes to using seasonal ingredients. Luckily, the pastas freeze easily, so guess what our freezers are getting stocked with?
From Freezer to Fork
Now, let’s get to the part we know you’ve been waiting on. Where do you find these pasta delights?
During Market Season, you can find Naked Pasta at the TD Saturday Market in downtown Greenville, plus other markets across the Upstate. (Just look for the booth with the long lines, and you’ve found the right place.) Many local restaurants feature Naked Pasta as well, such as Greenville’s Roost, and you can also find them online at Mother Earth Produce and the Clemson Area Food Exchange.
As for our team? We keep our freezers stocked, our appetites ready, and our expectations high. From farm to noodle, Naked Pasta delivers on all fronts. The Upstate is fuller because of it – and you will be, too.