There’s a good chance you’ve dined on some Pasta Ditoni’s. For over two decades, the local maker has been cranking out fresh pasta in a stunning array of varieties to service restaurants across the city, state and region. Now, Owner Goga Bhattal is making sure foodies and families know their fresh pasta is but a delivery away.
The company started with a few second-hand pasta machines in 1993. Bhattal had come from the India to the U.S. in 1979, attending OSU and spending time in many facets of the restaurant biz before becoming a supplier with his own operation. Bhattal didn’t necessarily set out on the path to entrepreneurship, but often found himself working for small businesses and naturally transitioned into building his own.
Bhattal always enjoyed pasta and would make it for “family meal” at restaurants where he worked, but at the time, the market mainly offered dry pasta varieties. He started learning how to make it fresh, and has been working to perfect it ever since.
“It’s always a learning process, so you always improve on it,” Bhattal says.
He had a hand from the family-run business from which he bought the machines back in ’93. After they helped Bhattal set up the equipment, he jetted off to Italy to watch the masters make artisan pasta, picking up skills to bring back to his business. He also learned about the difference between an Italian and American consumer. Italians stick to the basics, the long-held traditional pastas; Americans want variety, of which Pasta Ditoni’s has plenty.
“We make 30 different raviolis,” Bhattal says.
Pasta Ditoni’s takes the basic forms of pasta and pushes the boundaries into unique culinary creations. The business crafts Six Cheese Ravioli to Lobster Ravioli, and everything in between. Bhattal draws inspirations from the chefs he supplies, working with them on custom creations to keep menus fresh and interesting. Many of Pasta Ditoni’s creations also translate the culinary components of other well-known dishes into pasta form.
The Gorgonzola Pear Ravioli was inspired by a spinach salad. Prosciutto Portobello Ravioli draws its flavors from a pizza, and Feta and Spinach Triangolo is a nod to the classic Greek dish, spanakopita. Bhattal also stays keen to food trends, recently adding a Vegan Tofu Fusion Ravioli with a whole wheat shell enveloping a flavorful vegetable-tofu interior.
Pasta Ditoni’s also makes long pastas – spaghetti, fettuccine, etc. – with flavor profiles ranging from more classic: spinach, basil-garlic, to adventurous: whole grain dijon, black squid ink. Short pastas, like rigatoni and penne, and gnocchis cover the pasta spectrum.
From the fillings to the pastas themselves, all of Pasta Ditoni’s products are made with all-natural ingredients at their James Road facility. Bhattal says diners won’t find any additives or artificial colors in their pastas. With the quality of the ingredients, a little olive oil and a sprinkle of cheese are all that’s needed to round out a dish.
Pasta Ditoni’s has primarily been supplying high-end restaurants with pasta, including Columbus eateries Giuseppe’s and Scali. Brimming bins of pasta also line the cases at Pastaria Seconda in the North Market. It’s that direct to consumer market Bhattal is looking to expand.
“We can save consumer time and give them a restaurant quality product,” Bhattal says.
Again staying abreast of food trends, Bhattal sees a push from consumers to be able to make a nice meal at home. And ravioli provides a perfect vehicle with inherent convince: it literally takes longer to boil the water than cook the pasta itself. Diners will always head to a restaurant for the experience, but now they can also have that taste at home anytime.
Pasta Ditoni’s sells its pasta direct to consumers through its website, with a minimum order of five pounds in one-pound increments. Find out what varieties are available at at pastaditonis.com.