Primi Piatti

First Courses

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
AND from Montebello:  Crescia Sfogliata

Pasta alla Norma –
In this signature dish of Sicily, it’s the mellowness of eggplant and the pungency of Ricotta Salata that give the tomato-based sauce its tangy taste.

Bucatini all’amatriciana – THE Roman “red sauce”, this classic marinara is both savory like Rome and hearty like a Roman.

Cacio e pepe – Affectionately dubbed “Cheesy Pasta” by our family & friends, this upscale Mac &  Cheese (a Roman classic AND my signature pasta dish) is about to become your new favorite.

Capellini ai pomodorini (Angel-hair Pasta w/ Cherry Tomatoes) – The beauty of this dish is in its freshness (though Italians might say it’s in the fact that the cherry tomatoes, basil & pasta sport the colors of their flag), plus it’s ready in the time it takes to boil pasta.

Gnocchi di patate (Potato Gnocchi) – Easier to make at home than you think, Potato Gnocchi “fatti in casa” (made in house) are really the only ones you want.

Orecchiette alla ricotta – We brought this recipe home with us from our October 2015 trip to Montebello…!

Pesto di pistacchi (Pistachio Pesto) – This Sicilian dish has the same play of tart basil vs. nutty pine nuts as Genovese pesto, but the burst of pistachio actually mellows the flavor ever so slightly.

Pizza napoletana o pizza romana (Neopolitan or Roman Pizza) – Pizza is personal to Italians!  Find out what the difference is, and a little bit about how Italians view pizza, then prepare your own individually-sized and personally prepped pizza by choosing from a variety of Italian standards such as 4 Formaggi, Boscaiolo (salsiccia con funghi), Margherita, Tutto crudo (prosciutto con rucola).

Polenta – Did you know that  steaming-hot bowl of polenta can be served with a number of different  toppings, or cooled, sliced and grilled, and then dipped into various sauces?  We make it both ways, and either way it will warm you from the inside out on even the coldest day.

Risotto – A winter-time favorite, we sometimes make our creamy risotto with Italian sausage & onion, and we sometimes make it with mushrooms, or even radicchio, but we always make it with wine!

Spaghetti ai carciofi (Spaghetti w/ Baby Artichokes) – How the tender baby artichokes compete with the zesty lemon and tangy garlic, we’ll never know, but we CAN show you how to cook the dish, and it will be on your menu for the entire baby artichoke season (which is never, ever long enough!).

Spaghetti alla carbonara – Creamier and tastier than “fettuccine alfredo”,  not to mention actually Italian, Carbonara gets its texture from the egg & cheese mixture; never from cream.

Sugo di pomodoro (Marinara Sauce) – Although its origins are Neopolitan, this tangy, tasty sauce is found topping all types of pasta (and in other dishes) in every region of Italy because, like a great character actor, it supports without upstaging.  We like to use it when serving fresh (not dried) pasta or ravioli, as our pizza sauce, and especially on potato gnocchi!

Tagliatelle alla bolognese – Aren’t wide tagliatelle noodles just the perfect vessel for all that meaty sauce?  So meaty, in fact, that you might never know just how many vegetables are actually in it; until you learn to make it, that is.