Pasta Gurus: Q&A with Little Rock Pasta Company Owners

They may be new to the pasta business, but Little Rock Pasta Company has already gained a few local fans with their unique, Arkansas-shaped stuffed pasta- something they call Arkansaoli.

LRPC’s pasta is made with locally-sourced ingredients and is hand-crafted. Their pasta is available at Westover Hills Farmer’s MarketBernice Garden Farmer’s MarketHillcrest Farmer’s Market  and Arkansas Local Food Network. They will not have a storefront, but they take special orders via email at

Recently, owners John and Rachelle Walsh were able to talk with us and answer a few questions about their unique products. Here is what they had say:

Q: How would you describe Little Rock Pasta Company to someone who might be unfamiliar with it?

A: Little Rock Pasta Company is a local company dedicated to the art of pasta-making. We use as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible to beautifully craft fresh and dried pastas. We use traditional bronze dies to extrude the pasta into an array of shapes and sizes. This gives our pasta a rich texture and our slow drying process helps develop a deeper flavor. We have a variety of pasta flavors available, including cracked black pepper, sea salt and garlic and spicy red pepper. We also juice fresh vegetables to make healthy and flavorful pastas like our beet pasta and kale pasta. In addition, we will have a variety of gluten-free pastas available. Our favorite product, though, is our Arkansaoli– the Arkansas-shaped ravioli. We plan on having a lot of flavors available in our Arkansaoli shape, such as mint ravioli with goat cheese filling.

Q: How and why did you get started?

A: John and I have been “foodies” for a while. However, two years ago, we went to Italy for a vacation and it completely changed our lives. We fell in love with the simplicity and deliciousness of their food and were inspired by their passion and dedication to flavor. After that, we started making our own pasta with bread at home on John’s grandfather’s old machine. Friends and family raved about our fresh pasta and we decided that we should start selling it to the rest of Arkansas! 

Q: What are some of your favorite personal recipes that you have made in the past, and how do you incorporate them into your company dishes?

A: I love fried ravioli as an appetizer and now I can make fried or baked Arkansaoli! I also make a pasta dish with goat cheese, walnuts, bacon and roasted beets. Now I use our beet fusilli in the dish to add another level of flavor! I also love pasta carbonara with zucchini and now I use the cracked black pepper tagliatelle and it makes the dish even better! Honestly, it has really enhanced all of my pasta dishes because the texture is so amazing. 

Q: What would you say makes you different than other Italian-style food venues and why should people give LRPC a shot?
A: Little Rock Pasta Company is different from other venues because we are offering an array of flavored pastas. We will have seasonal varieties and flavors available, which makes meals more interesting. We are also providing some great gluten-free options, which are also available in a variety of flavors. I think people should try LRPC because the flavored pastas will add so much to your favorite pasta recipes. Also you should try fresh pasta. You’ll be amazed at the difference!
Q: Where do you see yourselves and the company being in five years? Do you plan to remain only around Little Rock?
A: We would love to be in all local grocery stores, and eventually the bigger stores like Whole Foods and Kroger. We would also like to partner with local restaurants and maybe offer a delivery service. We might eventually expand out of state, but for now we are focusing locally. We love Little Rock. We live downtown and are dedicated to making it an even more amazing place to live. We are thrilled to embark on this new venture and are excited to see where it takes us!
For more information, contact LRPC at (501) 454-9702 or visit their website.

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