“If the young brides no longer have time to make tortellini, I will do them for them!” A precursor of the times, a fresh pasta artisan who has become a successful entrepreneur, the reassuring face of Italian pasta that enters every day in homes all over the world with a smile and a dish full of history and tradition. Today IEX Stories tells the story of Giovanni Rana, the king of Italian stuffed pasta that has transformed a passion into Italian excellence.
The story of Giovanni Rana
Little desire to study and many ideas for the head. On October 15, 1937, in Cologna Veneta near Verona, born Giovanni Rana who at the studio prefers, since he was child, manual work. In 1950, just 13 years old, he joined the brothers in the family bakery in San Giovanni Lupatoto. Here the young Rana learns all the tricks of the trade but never really gets passionate about the world of Italian bread. In a rapidly evolving society, Giovanni did not find himself unprepared and so in 1960, in full economic boom, he decided to make the big jump and start a professional business on his own. 18,000 lire invested for a used Guzzino and then off to deliver in person to the first customers fresh pasta made at home by him. Giovanni Rana enters the homes of Italians, enriches the tables and gains the trust that will be the basis of his success. On March 28, 1962 the Rana Pastificio was officially born. And two hands to knead the great requests for tortellini are no longer enough. The production of Italian fresh pasta becomes industrial, but Giovanni Rana’s recipes remain strictly traditional. In the first person that pasta maker became an entrepreneur chooses and designs the machines that respect the craftsmanship without altering the quality of the raw materials of its products. After the hands, Guzzino is no longer enough: we are getting ready to travel all over Italy.
In the ’70s, however, it is time for a new plant in San Giovanni Lupatoto and the opening towards international markets. Italian cuisine conquers Europe. The publicity of Giovanni Rana began to spread, famous for the presence of the Italian entrepreneur in first person on the small screen: a face that is not forgotten, a reassuring face. For his fresh pasta this is what Mr. Rana does: put his face on it. A man who knows so well the Italian gastronomic heritage cannot fail to open a restaurant and so, in 2007, the first Giovanni Rana restaurant was inaugurated in the province of Brescia, called “Da Giovanni” for its familiar and good-natured atmosphere. The Italian dream becomes the American dream: in the new millennium Giovanni Rana conquers America: in 2012 he opened the first fresh pasta and sauces factory in Chicago and the first restaurant in New York, inside the exclusive district of Chelsea. Years go by and the pasta factory Rana is ready to welcome new challenges, always keeping in mind the founding values of the company. Giovanni Rana and his collaborators continue to work as many years ago, as a large extended family, united by the same passion for good food.
The products of Giovanni Rana
From “simple” tortellini to the most varied types of the best Italian pasta: the production of Giovanni Rana has grown exponentially and diversified. Many lines of products to satisfy the increasingly complex needs of Italian and international palates, without betraying the trust of housewives always attentive to the freshness and quality of what they put on the table.
Stuffed pasta Giovanni Rana
The most famous tortellini and ravioli in Italy bear the signature of this friendly gentleman with a broad entrepreneurial vision.
Recipes from the world: The flavours and aromas of distant culinary traditions reinterpreted in the form of Italian stuffed pasta.
Duetto: Two different fillings, inspired by the excellent Made in Italy raw materials, two different colours for a unique pleasure.
Sfogliavelo: The name says it, a very thin, almost impalpable puff pastry that delicately dresses a rich filling.
Rustici: A full-bodied and rough paste, patented by Giovanni Rana, contains the taste of the past, of the real “homemade” like a precious casket.
Gioiaverde: And if children do not want to eat vegetables, it is enough to hide them inside these delicious dumplings.
Giovanni Rana fresh pasta
From fettuccine to tagliolini, passing through regional specialties like orecchiette and trofie, without forgetting tagliatelle, pappardelle, straw and hay pasta and the undisputed Lasagne di Giovanni Rana. The typical rough, full-bodied and traditional sfogliagrezza is perfect to retain the sauce and exalt all the flavours present in the dish: every bite is a piece of Italy with all the weight of an unprecedented culinary history.
Giovanni Rana’s Gnocchi
Velvety potato chunks loyal to the tradition of tricolored housewives who woke up early in the morning to knead with joy and sacrifice the “Thursday” lunch. Oh yes, Giovanni Rana has also found a way to make stuffed gnocchi, for a taste that goes beyond the surface and get straight to the heart.
Giovanni Rana ready meals and sauces
And if Italian brides no longer had time to cook tortellini in the ’60s, in the contemporary era it is just the time to cook that is missing. There are those who in the hectic daily life do not want to lose the healthy habit of eating well with ingredients of first choice: Giovanni Rana has also thought of them with a line dedicated to dishes and ready sauces. Fresh sauces created with the best Italian raw materials to embellish first courses, main courses and side dishes. Who said that eating quickly means eating badly?
Over fifty years of history, the awareness of responsibility, the experience of the practice, the passion for own job. Bringing quality to the table every day is the mission that Giovanni Rana chose as a future prospective as an adolescent dreamer. Today, at 81, that aspiration has become a lifestyle, a trademark, one of the symbols of Italian cuisine in the world. And that man initially so concerned to appear on video to advertise his products has become an icon of the Made in Italy flavour: a smile that tastes of goodness, tradition, family, home.