Mitch Fagan is a bit of a purist when it comes to crafting pasta by hand. His traditionalist mentality formed during his many trips to northern Italy where he experienced an awakening on pasta. Inspired by the simple seasonal ingredients and awareness of how pasta shapes can influence their accompanying sauce and even wine pairings, Fagan created a fresh pasta delivery and subscription service, Zero Zero, alongside his longtime partner, Leah.
“I learned a lot about different pasta shapes, different sauces, and how to pair things in more of a purist sense like how they do in Italy. That’s how I built my repertoire of all my different shapes.”
Recognizing the lack of fresh pasta options in Kansas City, Zero Zero began with a mission to elevate home cooking. Lemon garlic agnolotti, spinach ricotta ravioli, and crab mascarpone cappelletti were just a few of the options one could have delivered right to their doorstep. The parmesan cream sauce was such a hit, people would buy it in bulk. Every single pasta was filled, shaped and cut by hand.
Zero Zero now officially resides in the Westside neighborhood sporting a quaint storefront that allows customers to pick up fresh pasta through online orders. On Saturdays, a handful of pasta dishes are offered to enjoy in-house along with freshly baked squares of fluffy focaccia.
Mitch Fagan is an emergency room doctor by day, his rigorous medical background lends itself as the ideal precursor to becoming a disciplined and well-studied pastaio. Fagan describes the tedious repetition of enveloping creamy cheese and savory meat fillings with egg-based pasta sheets as a process that requires feeling.
When you see a bed of flower-like campanelle noodles drenched with a thick, aromatic mushroom sauce or squid ink spaghetti lightly tossed in a nutty parmesan cream sauce, you can trust the pairing was the product of a decision rooted in old word ideas and subjected to Fagan’s rigorous process.
“What we try to do is use the Italian mindset of using local ingredients,” Fagan says. Zero Zero features an exclusive flour blend milled fresh each week from Marion Milling Company as well as Campo Lindo eggs, produce from Urbavore farm, and Barham Farm meats.
Tyler Shane is a contributing editor focused on food and drink.
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