Some time ago, one of the readers of this blog commented that I should try a place called Pastaland in Leominster. I really should have taken her advice sooner! Pastaland’s tiny storefront in a nondescript strip mall at 557 Lancaster Street (route 117) hides a first-rate operation run by a husband and wife team.
The couple makes fresh pasta from scratch and sells it directly to a steady stream of customers. The linguini I purchased over the weekend had literally just been cut, and the owner had to clean fresh homemade sauce from his hands before coming to help me with my order. The store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, as the owners realize that many people prefer to purchase and cook their pasta on the same day to ensure optimal freshness. Pastaland also sells homemade sauce, meatballs, raviolis (I can’t wait to try the spinach!), and lasagna. The entire kitchen is visible from the counter, and it was fascinating to see the array of old-fashioned machines in use.
I’m thrilled to have discovered a source of outstanding, fresh, homemade pasta so close to home (and without the parking hassles of the North End). Prices are incredibly reasonable – for less than the cost of a single entrée at a low-end restaurant, Pastaland offers enough food to feed a family. So I’m hereby starting a new weekly tradition at my house: a stop at Pastaland to pick up ingredients for dinner. Many thanks to reader GTK for the recommendation!