If there’s one fact that best defines Evan Funke, it’s this: His literal job is to make pasta, but he refuses to eat the stuff in America. His fear, he says, is that American pasta might sully his sensory recall of the revelatory pasta-eating experiences he’s had in Italy. And for the chef-owner of L.A.’s handmade-pasta temple, Felix Trattoria, that’s simply not acceptable.
Funke is a man obsessed, on a self-assigned lifelong mission to save obscure pasta shapes from the brink of extinction. It all began 13 years ago with an apprenticeship in Bologna, where he worked alongside pasta maestra Alessandra Spisni. Since then he has returned to Italy twice a year to find small-town sfoglini, or pasta makers, each of whom has perfected one particular passed-down-through-the-generations shape. He documents their anthropology, masters their technique, and brings each shape back to L.A. with him, from floppy diamonds of testaroli to ruffled squares of quadrefiore. In fact, no pasta shall grace the menu at Felix if it hasn’t been physically taught to Funke by the hands of a native Italian.
Which is to say, I was a bit intimidated when I flew out to L.A. to meet Funke—especially since I had gone to ask him for five regular old store-bought dried pasta recipes that one could easily make at home. Walking past the glass-walled pasta laboratory and catching a glimpse of a plaque that read “F*#% Your Pasta Machine,” I was worried that when he heard my request he might throw a vat of perfectly salted pasta water straight at my face.
But no! Turns out Funke is nearly as enthusiastic about cooking dried pasta (as long as it’s very good dried pasta—made in Italy, of course) as he is the fresh stuff. His favorites? When you’re on the hunt for those obscure, lesser-known shapes, look no further than Rustichella D’Abruzzo, a nearly century-old brand, which started in Penne, Italy, in 1924. Molini Del Ponte is made using an ancient grain called tumminia. (Twisty busiate is Funke’s preferred shape; he likes to pair it with pesto.) And Garofolo, born back in 1789 in Gragnano, Italy, where natural spring water flows and the climatic conditions are apparently ideal for drying pasta (legit!). This brand has mastered the art of texture at an accessible price point.
And though Funke’s meticulousness may be slightly maniacal, he’s also pretty down-to-earth. Over the two days we spent together, he enlightened me, surprised me, humbled me, and proved to me that with a little finesse, a lot of respect, and adherence to the five simple rules you’ll find corresponding to the recipes below, even dried pasta has the potential to transcend.
Source: Thanks https://www.bonappetit.com/gallery/evan-funke-pasta-rules