Primi Piatti

First Courses

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.

Crescia sfogliata marchigiana (Italian Flatbread) – This griddle-cooked unleavened bread is lighter than Foccacia, flakier than a flour tortilla, and used to make wraps that are similar in style to quesadillas.

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.

Gnocchi di patate dolci (Sweet Potato Gnocchi) – Served in Sage-Butter Sauce.

Minestrone freddo (Chilled Minestrone) – Light, yet loaded with veggies, this refreshing twist on an Italian classic has spring & summer days in mind; served chilled.

Orecchiette alla ricotta – We brought this recipe home with us from our October 2015 trip to Montebello and it’s a subtle balance of creamy (ricotta) and tangy (tomato).

Pasta all’uovo (Homemade pasta) – The mouthfeel of homemade noodles alone, makes them taste better than store-bought.  We make ours with imported flour made from Italian wheat.

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.

Pesto alla genovese (Basil Pesto) – My absolute favorite; there aren’t enough adjectives to describe its flavor and color.

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, asparagus, or even radicchio, but we always make it with wine!

Spaghetti aglio, olio, & peperoncino (Spaghetti w/ Garlic, Olive Oil, & Peperoncino) – Once upon a time it was the go-to late night snack in Rome.  Now you can have it anytime of day or night.

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 alici (Spaghetti w/ Anchovies) – It’s not what you think.  We dare you to try it, and see how hooked you get!

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 ai porcini-salsiccia (Mushroom-Sausage Sauce) – Best in winter, but mouth-watering anytime, this sauce is elegant, but rustic; simple yet sophisticated.

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.