TwisPasta housed at former Twisp River Pub
By Natalie Johnson
Mike Schiesser started making lasagna more than 30 years ago, over the years adding to and personalizing his recipe in a quest for pasta perfection. He’s pretty happy with the end result.
“I would enter this in a state fair if they had a lasagna contest,” he said. “I don’t like to brag too much.”
Thanks to a gentle prod from his daughter – a longtime eater of Schiesser’s hand-made pasta noodles – he’s moving into the professional realm, and gearing up to open TwisPasta in the former Twisp River Pub.
The business will start on a supper club model – with people enrolling and ordering pasta in advance, then picking up the assembled but not-yet-cooked lasagnas to cook in their own ovens. Each item will come in a glass baking dish with a lid. They’ll have an incentive to bring back the dish, Schiesser said.
“They’re going to buy the first one,” he said. “They can have it if they want but if they want another lasagna they’re going to have to bring it back.”
A small lasagna costs $25, and a regular costs $33.
Schiesser envisions the supper club gradually ramping up into a much larger operations. Starting with a few simple offerings each night – lasagna will always be available, along with salads, homemade focaccia bread – though he hopes to expand to a larger menu, sit-down service when the pub reopens and a lunchtime takeout option as well, through the pub’s garage-style back door.
Other pasta options will be available, but for Schiesser, the lasagna is the star.
“I figured lasagna was my best foot forward,” he said. “This is a very special thing.”
Lasagna takes a long time for a person to make at home, especially if you’re making the noodles (with organic flour) and ricotta from scratch, as Scheisser does. In past recipes he’s used thyme and tomatoes from his own garden, though he’ll have to use commercial ingredients for the business until he gets the proper farm certification to use his own ingredients.
“Any time I encounter local suppliers that have a compelling offer whether it’s garlic and shallots or milk or whatever it is, I’m happy to incorporate it,” he says.
The recipe grew over time, he said. His first attempt at the pasta classic came from a cookbook and though he says he’s never used another recipe, his lasagna now doesn’t look much like his first attempt.
“It’s just kind of morphed into what I do and now my lasagnas are, they’re somewhat unique I think compared to other lasagnas,” he said.
TwisPasta is currently signing up supper club participants in anticipation of its opening day. To sign up, email email@example.com.