For many of us, pasta just means spaghetti. But the varieties are literally gobsmacking: stuffed caramelle bowties, the hollow tendrils of bucatini, the flattened purses of agnolotti dal plin. Add some heritage grains and surprising fillings, and you could build an entire store around artisanal noodles.
Priscilla and David Strenio have done precisely that: their new shop, Prica Farina, sells house-made pasta and other specialty foods in the heart of Warren.
“We’ve always loved making pasta, always with a little hand-crank machine,” says Priscilla. “David and I have been in the food business for over 40 years. All of a sudden, we realized we love nothing more than famiglia food. Pasta is so flexible. You can do anything with it.”
The couple has taken a long and winding road. David worked for the Ritz-Carlton in Boston, then became the head cheesemaker for Great Hill Dairy in Marion, Massachusetts. They spent a couple of years in Brazil, where Priscilla grew up. But eventually they decided to return to the northeast.
“New England called us back,” recalls Priscilla. “And we thought, ‘What do we do now?’”
The Strenios live in New Bedford, but they spotted their location on Market Street during an autumnal drive through the East Bay. They hit it off with the landlords and decided to set up their charcuterie.
“Every day we have a nice variety of pasta shapes and grains,” says Priscilla. “And you buy it by the pound. We will have some cheeses, some sauces, and some little pantry items. We love the location. When we first came here, we thought, ‘My goodness, what a lovely little town.’” Warren