Pasta Evangelists, the direct-to-consumer business owned by Italian pasta and sauce heavyweight Barilla, is to open its first UK factory this month.

London-based Pasta Evangelists said the new 47,000 sq-ft facility, located in its home city, will produce more than 50 tonnes of fresh pasta each week as well as sauces.

It said it will showcase “the treasured craftsmanship and artisan tradition of pasta-making” by producing not just well-known pasta varieties but more unique lines, including ‘porcupine ravioli’ (crestoni), corzetti, anolini, saccottini and busiate.

The facility has been built at a cost of £13m ($15.9m).

Pasta Evangelists said the factory – which will employ between 60-70 people – will house “state-of-the-art” pasta-making machinery from Italian manufacturer Italgi.

Alessandro Savelli, the company’s CEO, said: “The launch comes after years of planning and innovation, as we aim to expand our pasta offering to thousands of consumers across the UK. Utilising the latest technology and machinery will help us on our mission to experiment with new flavours, high-quality seasonal ingredients and a variety of pasta shapes to expand our growing pasta portfolio.”

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Gianluca di Tondo, CEO of Barilla, added: “The demand for freshly made, premium pasta has dramatically grown over the last decade and we want to take consumers on a journey of taste exploration and discovery. We believe the new Pasta Evangelists factory will fulfil the growing demand for restaurant-quality, fresh pasta dishes, bringing the best of Italian food to the UK.”

Pasta Evangelists was bought by the Barilla Group in January 2021. The deal marked Barilla’s return to fresh pasta after leaving the segment in the late 1990s.

The company now delivers more than 50,000 pasta boxes nationwide each month. It also runs a fresh pasta counter in the Harrods’ Food Hall in London and operates The Pasta Academy.