Artisan pasta has returned to Washtenaw County in the buzzing community of Dexter at Carosello Pasta Pastificio and Market.
This is one of the best curated fresh or dried pastas in this area. Outside of a few restaurants in Detroit, this is a niche product that requires a deeper dive to locate in Southeast Michigan.
Mike Carosello and his wife Chelsea Lisiecki opened their boutique pastificio market in 2022 and word-of-mouth spread fast. Carosello, a St. Louis native, spent over eight years in Italy, primarily Florence, working in neighborhood restaurants and taking classes to learn the craft of pasta-making. He returned stateside and worked at an Italian restaurant in Washington and later met Lisiecki in Seattle.
Lisiecki is a Brighton native with a graduate degree from the University of Michigan (the couple relocated to Michigan in 2015); she started this whole operation by selling her wares at Dexter’s Farmers’ Market. Mike decided to sell his homemade dried pasta at the farmers’ market alongside Chelsea’s items and the demand for the pasta became such that they needed to open a small brick-and-mortar storefront at 3126 Broad St, Dexter.
“Mike usually has about 10-12 varieties of pasta freshly made in our case and we do dried pasta as well,” Lisiecki said.
Carosello adds, “We’re in 18 stores now: Sparrow Market, Plum Market, Produce Station, Argus Farm Stop and Zingerman’s mail order is another big partner.”
“We work with local distributors. But there’s no durum grown in the state of Michigan. All the durum grown for the United States is in the Plains States, the North Dakota region primarily. The semolina (durum) comes from there. Heirloom wheat is all regionally grown and milled. We’ve typically used Granor Farm on the West side of the state,” Carosello said.
Carosello’s does one house sauce, a pomodoro with certified organic U.S.-grown tomatoes. All of the onions, garlic and basil come from Chelsea’s farm when in season.
“Our most popular shape is gigli (or campanelle) which is an emblematic Florentine pasta, the (lily) is the city symbol of Florence and also St. Louis,” continues Carosello.
They also sell a wide variety of Italian specialty products and Michigan-made items ranging from olive oil and olives to cheese to tinned fish. Basically, the Carosello model is to carry everything you need to make a from-scratch meal for any sized group of people.
“For thirty bucks or so you can get a meal for four from just this room that would cost you a hundred at a restaurant,” Carosello said.
That’s the Italian way. Carosello Pasta has everything you could possibly want, take a trip out to Dexter and live la dolce vita.