NewsLocal News


Billings pasta company uses Montana flour

Yellowstone Pasta.JPG
Posted at 12:10 AM, May 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-19 23:57:09-04

BILLINGS - A Billings man started a new company using Montana-made flour made from Montana-grown wheat to make pasta.

Several restaurants in town have started using it and it's recently become available in a grocery store. It's a local businessman manufacturing a local product.

"There's all this texture on the dough," said Henry Kennah about the pasta coming out of the machine. "This is like super important. This is going to cling on all the sauce."

Kennah is the owner-operator of Yellowstone Pasta.

He makes 15 different types of pasta.

"This is as close as you get to something manufactured in Italy," Kennah said.

Kennah uses two ingredients in his Italian pasta machine bought from a dealer in San Francisco.

"A hundred percent Durum Semolina, three to one ratio," Kennah said about the ingredients of semolina and water. "It's kind of like wet sand."

The consistency is loose and the machine compresses it into pasta.

Kennah says this is simple compared to hand rolling the pasta that he had to do as a chef, a job he enjoyed.

"There's birthdays and anniversaries, all sorts of celebrations, business deals and you just get to be a sliver of that in someone's life," Kennah said about the rewards of working as a chef.

The chef schedule has made it challenging for his family, but this pasta company allows him to stay connected with the excitement of restaurants.

He saw an opportunity to make fresh pasta with flour made in Great Falls.

Kennah had been selling pasta at the farmers market for a few years before his most recent successes.

"Spaghetti is the number one pasta shape in the world," Kennah said. "It's so versatile."

"We still do Italian stuff, but we do a little noodle bowl and some Asian foods with his pasta," said Carl Kurokawa,Juliano'sowner and chef.

Kurokawa changes his menu regularly and says this is the freshest pasta he's been able to use in Billings.

"It's from Montana," Kurokawa said. "It's grown here."

Kurokawa said the semolina flour makes the pasta sturdy.

In the last month Town & Country Foods started carrying Yellowstone Pasta.

Four types are currently sold and store manager Wade Anderson says it's been selling well.

He says it's possible the pasta may eventually get sold in other parts of Montana at other Town & Country stores.

"It's pretty cool to see them on the shelves," Kennah said.

Kennah has a lot of ideas but does not want to grow his company too quickly.

"So I just don't have the expectations like that for the future," he said. "We'll see where it goes."