Artisanal pasta is the heart of Chef Patricia Inman’s retail and takeout operation at Maui Pasta Company in Waikapu. Her path to opening her pasta business and cooking was an unusual one.
“My background is in art and architecture,” says Inman. “I was getting my undergraduate degree in architecture and I spent a year in Italy in Rome. I just fell in love. Our farmer’s markets here are still catching up to their farmers markets 20 years ago. That is just how they live. I loved Italy so much, I went back to get my masters degree in architecture in Florence. I decided to also take some culinary classes just because i loved it. Here on Maui, I’m teaching at the college–art history and drafting.”
Yes, she’s a professor of architecture on the side. I met her in her kitchen to get the full story. Inman was wearing a chef’s coat as we chatted in the kitchen next to her pasta machine. She says her venture started simply to raise money for her daughter’s Spanish Club school trip.
“I set up a stand in front of my house, we had a baby monitor out there, with a cow bell,” says Inman. “People would ring the bell and I would run out with my cooler of pasta in these little bags. It was going pretty well so I decided to expand to farmers markets. I went into Pukalani Superette, then Foodland. Our dream was always to have our own retail operation and commercial kitchen.”
She found the Waikapu location and had it for 10 months before the county would give her the permits to run her takeout and retail operation. She opened her doors in May. Maui Pasta Company is very grassroots, growing using a lot of their own elbow grease. At first they were just a takeout window, but then about two months ago she got the display cases and materials from the Re-Store to build out her retail spot.
There’s a chilled case that holds grab-and-go items, like prepared marinara and fettuccini sauces, and a variety of fresh artisanal pastas, a few already prepared dishes and artichoke and spinach dips. On the counter, a variety of lavosh, crostini and breadsticks for dipping. They also make many desserts and baked goods like chocolate chip cookies, biscotti, tiramisu, cannoli, cheesecake and panna cotta with fruit.
“This was my original vision to have a place where people can come and see all this manufacturing going on while they buy their pasta, bread or dessert,” says Inman. “People can see that everything is fresh and made right here. We couldn’t have a sit down restaurant here because there’s not enough parking, and that is a whole new permitting process.”
Her process is organic. She says if it’s not made with love, it’s not Italian food. She’s on her third pasta machine, and is very proud about that, but hopes one day she’ll have an even larger one. Her specials will vary day to day depending on the season, her herbs and vegetables and what dishes catch her fancy. The day I went it was fried bread with marinara and cheese, something she says she used to see and eat at carnivals on the east coast. Recently it was gnocchi.
“I love what I do,” says Inman. “I love coming up with new dishes and being creative and using that artistic side for my food. This is my creative outlet. I made bread knots the other day and put them on the counter and people were just loving them. I get so excited when my specials sell out.”
Inman and her team make their own mascarpone cheese in the tiramisu, their own ricotta in the lasagne and all their pasta. Everything is handmade except for the mozzerella, she says she would make that too but wouldnt be able to keep up. Basil for the sauces and pesto come from Kumu Farms across the street. Some of their most popular dishes are the spaghetti and meatballs, ravioli, and the specials.
“It’s really important to me to use local ingredients,” says Inman. “I do whenever I can. Kumu Farms is right across the street growing oregano and eggplant. I couldn’t get it any fresher. They call me and say we just picked it! I pick it up and it’s in the kitchen and in a dish right away. That’s how it works. To me, if we could eat food that comes right from Maui utilizing the farms, we can keep the money here in the local economy.”
Their menu is full of pasta entrees like Fettuccini Alfredo, eggplant parm and baked ziti, but they also do hot sandwiches like meatball subs and Philly cheesesteak, pizza, family-size meals for four, sides of garlic bread and meatballs. They also make breads, salads like caprese, breaded zucchini, roasted beets and Parmesan Brussels sprouts.
“When we first opened, we didn’t have the Fettuccini Alfredo with chicken, but everyone wanted that,” says Inman. “I had to add some of the classic Italian-American dishes. Then I also added desserts, and who knew? People really want dessert. I sell a lot of that caramel crusted cheesecake. My pesto sauce is made with macadamia nuts I get right down the road. It’s really popular.”
Their retail store opens at 7am, and you can get baked goods and breads, grab-and-go lunch and coffee. Their catering menu looks delicious and reasonable. They are open until 7pm.
Maui Pasta Company
1476 Honoapi`ilani Hwy., Waikapu
Pasta with Marinara Sauce $ 8.
Substitute Tomato Cream, Alfredo or Pesto $ 9.
Ravioli of the Day $ 8.
Spaghetti and Meatballs $ 9.
Bolognese (Meat) Lasagna $ 9.
Baked Ziti $ 8.
With Italian Sausage $ 9.
Fettuccini Alfredo $ 9.
With Chicken $10.
Mac and Cheese $ 8.
With Pork Belly $ 9.
Eggplant Parmesan with Spaghetti Marinara $ 9.
Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Marinara $10.
Shrimp Scampi $10.
With Fettuccini in a Garlic, Lemon & Butter Sauce
Sausage & Peppers with Spaghetti Marinara $10.
Pasta Salad $ 8.
Pizza Square $ 3.
Cheese, Margherita, Meatball, Salume
HOT SANDWICHES Served with chips
Meatball Sub $ 9.
Sausage & Peppers Sub $ 9.
Philly Cheese Steak Sub w/ onions & peppers $10.
Turkey, Provolone & Avo Panino w/Pesto Aioli $ 9.
Prosciutto & Mozzarella Panino $ 8.
Tomato, Avo & Mozzarella Panino w/ Pesto Aioli $ 8.
FAMILY MEALS FOR 4 Includes salad and focaccia
Bolognese or Pesto Lasagna $28.
Spaghetti and Meatballs (8 meatballs) $24.
Four Cheese Ravioli w/ Marinara $24.
Baked Ziti $20
With Sausage $24.
Fettuccini Alfredo $22.
With Chicken $28.
Side of Pasta w/ Butter, Marinara, or Alfredo $ 5.
Garlic Bread $ 3.
Two Meatballs $ 3.
Side Green Salad $ 4.
Side Pasta Salad $ 5.
SMOOTHIES Locally sourced fruit
Pineapple Coconut $ 5.
Papaya Ginger $ 5.
Strawberry Banana $ 5.
Pineapple Banana $ 5.
Strawberry Mango $ 5.
Aloha Juice, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite $ 1.
Lg Water, Arizona, Monster, Lemonade Pellegrino $ 2.
Tiramisu $ 5.
Two Cannoli (Cinnamon or Mac Nut Choc. Chip) $ 5.
Cheesecake Square Topped with Caramel $ 5.
Panna Cotta with Fruit Compote $ 5.
CALL IN YOUR ORDERS FOR QUICK PICKUP
SHAVE ICE Made with Homemade Syrups
Choose up to 3 Flavors: $ 4.
Vanilla Strawberry Pineapple
Lemon Blueberry Cherry
Coconut Mango Cherry Coke
FRESH PASTA Cook Your Own Meal at Home
Pasta, Ravioli, Wheat Free Pasta
FRESH SAUCES Cook Your Own Meal at Home
Tomato, Tomato Cream, Alfredo, Pesto Sauce
Lavosh, Crostini, Grissini Breadsticks, Biscotti, Pizzelle
Artichoke Heart, Sundried Tomato, Spinach Dip
Please allow 2 days’ notice on all catering orders.
20% Discount on double-orders or more of any
Free delivery for orders over $75.
$10 Delivery fee for orders under $75.
Minimum Delivery Order: $36.00
ENTREES Serves 10 – 12
Bolognese or Pesto Lasagna $56.
Spaghetti and Meatballs (20 meatballs) $48.
Four Cheese Ravioli w/ Marinara $48.
Baked Ziti $40
With Sausage $48.
Fettuccini Alfredo $44.
With Chicken $56.
SIDE DISHES Serves 10 – 12
Organic Salad w/ Balsamic Vinaigrette $15.
Parmesan Brussel Sprouts $15.
Breaded Zucchini $15.
Caprese Salad $18.
Broccoli with Pesto Dressing $18.
Stuffed Mushrooms $18.
BREADS Serves 10 – 12
Focaccia Bread $12.
Garlic Bread $15.
Grissini Breadsticks $15.
DOLCE (SWEETS) Serves 10 – 12
Tiramisu (10 pc.) $40.
Cannoli (Cinnamon or Mac Nut Choc. Chip) (20 pc.) $40.
Cheesecake Square Topped with Caramel (10 pc.) $40.
Panna Cotta with Fruit Compote (10 pc.) $40.
Catering Menu item.