Dagostino Pasta's Story

From Lemons to Premium Pasta

Many believe that the start of Italian influence in the South began with the Muffulettas in the 1880’s.


In reality, authentic Sicilian families had roots in the lemon groves around Palermo, Sicily which lead to Italian families migrating in the 1830’s to the New Orleans port as citrus traders.
Sicilian Pasta Makers

100 Days to New Orleans

The Sicilian lemon was globally famous in the 19th century, and due to international shipping being inexpensive at the time Sicily would farm its lemons while they were still green and let them ripen in cargo.  The lemons were actually improving during long voyages, and since New Orleans was at least 100 days travel and connected to Midwest ports it became the best destination for citrus trading. Lemons being such an important staple in cuisine, preservatives, and vitamins, made Sicilian families successful and lead to their settlement in the South.

Lemon Farmers


Few Americans enjoyed pasta before the 1900’s and because of the strong Sicilian community in New Orleans, the French Quarter manufactured such large quantities and propelled it into popularity by the 1920’s.
Fresina Family


The Fresina family’s Italian-Louisianan roots trace back to the 18th century where many of their ancestors migrated as citrus traders to fill the shortage on Louisiana plantations. While some Sicilians returned to Italy after harvest, the Fresina family felt familiar with New Orleans’ sub-tropical climate, Catholic history and lust for food and drink. In 1926 the Fresina Macaroni Manufacturing Company was born.


Since then, they’ve relocated to Baton Rouge and was renamed “Fresina Pasta Company”. The Fresina family brought traditional Italian methods of making pasta from Sicily to south Louisiana and worked hard for 3 generations to perfect hand-made pasta and sauces.
Fresina recipe


In July 2013 Fresina’s was acquired by Baton Rouge-based D’Agostino’s Italian Specialties. D’Agostino’s were committed to preserving the Italian heritage and customs for generations to come. They described the Fresina family’s decision to retire and sell as a passing of the torch to another well-known Baton Rouge family.
Dagostino Fleur de Lis Pasta


The torch was passed again to the famous 96-year-old packager of Camellia Brand beans, L.H. Hayward. L.H. Hayward is a fourth-generation company and understands the value of family and cultural tradition. After all, they’ve been advocating for the longstanding tradition of Red Beans and Rice on Monday since 1923.

The acquisition of D’Agostino is part of L.H. Hayward & Company’s ongoing efforts to expand its legendary portfolio while providing consumers with authentic high-quality products. L.H. Hayward continues to make the same pasta and sauces developed in 1926 by the Fresina family.

Our pasta is still made the old-fashioned way, in our New Orleans pasta factory, using the “delicate” method developed centuries ago.  Small quantities of pasta are extruded through bronze, carefully looped over wooden rods, straightened, and then air-dried in wooden cellars.  Celebrated for its delicate texture and classic flavor, our pasta is handmade, all-natural, and preservative-free, producing the best tasting pasta available on the market today.   Our sauces are some of the most authentic sauces available outside of Italy.  The sauces are handmade in small batches with a unique blend of fresh herbs and spices.  

Made without preservatives, each batch is carefully examined by our chefs and food scientists to ensure our sauces are the best tasting on the market.  You will experience our time-honored family treasure in every meal.



CEO of LH Hayward, Vince Hayward

CEO of LH Hayward, Vince Hayward