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P. 10

  Food and Farming
  Pure enjoyment
Paolo Barilla with the company’s classic products (above). Chef Roberto Bassi conjures dishes out of ingredi- ents that are discarded in many kitchens.
Abowl with a wide rim, a simple cloth napkin, and a sil- ver fork. Paolo Barilla does not need anything else to present his product. Wearing an open-necked shirt, sweater, elegant blue sports jacket, and analogue watch on his left wrist, he is showcasing something typically Italian at his Academy—pasta made with his family’s top-se- cret recipe. The culinary institute, which is a cooking studio, is located in Pedrignano, Italy, north of Parma. Back in 1877, great-grandfather Pietro opened a bread and pasta shop (the first factory was built in 1910). The Barilla name quickly be- came synonymous with pasta. Paolo Barilla (58), a former race-car driver who won the 1985 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Porsche 956B, leads the pasta empire with the blue logo in what is now the fourth generation. Its products are not only the number one pasta in the kitchens of Italy. The company has twenty-eight production sites—half of which are located outside of Italy—and currently ships to around one hundred countries. Bakery and sweet goods have been added to its portfolio under a number of brand names, as well as sauces.
The heart of the company is located right outside Parma: the world’s largest pasta factory. Over 2,000 tons of durum wheat arrive at the company’s own rail station every week. The grain is ground around the clock and then com- bined with water, and in some cases with eggs, to make pasta. No spic- es, flavors, or other substances are added. The quality is ensured by three factors. First, the ingredients: Barilla sets high standards, which are reflected in the contracts it signs primarily with local suppliers. Second, the shape: this determines which sauces go best with which products. For the world-famous Bolognese sauce it is not spaghetti, by the way, but fresh tagliatelle. And third, the drying process: classic spaghetti—product number five— spends fourteen hours in the oven
at constant levels of heat and moisture. Barilla has long since perfected these parameters. One might think that pasta of- fers little leeway for innovation. But Paolo Barilla would beg to differ.
At the Academia Barilla, chef Roberto Bassi is preparing two unusual dishes today. He puts almond milk into the sauce instead of cream. And he is using the parts of artichokes, leeks, and celery that most people would throw away. The pasta itself is made of red lentils or chickpeas instead of durum wheat. These plants return nutrients to the soil and thereby help reduce the use of chemical fertilizers. The mes- sage behind today’s menu is clear: our meals need to become more sustainable and environmentally aware. The innovations
“I’m an epicurean.
But my pleasure should
not come at the expense
of our environment.”
Vice Chairman of the Barilla Group
10 Porsche Consulting The Magazine

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