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Perciatelli with Shrimp and Garlic Breadcrumbs

Perciatelli with Shrimp and Garlic Breadcrumbs

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  • 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from French bread
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds uncooked peeled, deveined large shrimp
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
  • 6 tablespoons drained capers
  • 4 teaspoons (packed) grated lemon peel
  • 12 ounces freshly cooked perciatelli (long hollow pasta), 1 cup pasta cooking water reserved

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and half of garlic; sauté until crumbs are golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl.

  • Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 5 tablespoons oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and remaining garlic to skillet; sauté until shrimp are just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup parsley, capers, and lemon peel. Add cooked pasta and 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water. Mix in 1 cup garlic breadcrumbs, adding more pasta cooking water if dry. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining garlic breadcrumbs and parsley.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen,Reviews Section

Baked Italian Chicken Wings

Baked Italian Chicken Wings are healthier and a delicious alternative to fried!

Most of the time we enjoy our wings this way and they're so easy to make using less oil and still, have the crispy outside of fried chicken but oven-fried.

I marinade them, then use one of our many styles of 18 chicken wing dipping sauces!

If you have never tried to bake wings, you will be pleasantly surprised just how crunchy and tender these are.

With a little Italian herb and garlic flavor in this terrific easy marinade, these wings will be your next new favorite way to eat them!

Just scroll down to print off the recipe.

Savoring Simplicity

Melissa, over at The Inspired Room, proposed an interesting exercise. In a post entitled Balancing Act: Finding a Beautiful Life, she sought to include her readers by asking them, "Have you set any goals or made any progress this week towards the life YOU want?" A provocative question indeed.

The word I focused on in her post was in the title, "Balancing." What is life if it is not a balancing act? A metaphor - three ring circus - comes to mind.

Balance is essential to a happy and peaceful existence. Within the least insightful among us - those who have never even pondered such things - a primal voice whispers that contentment resides in a life of moderation, variety, balance in all things.

My particular circumstances at this particular time of my life create significant challenges to that end, but can't that be said of almost any life at any given time?

Mind, body and spirit. How can we say that one is more important than another, but there are times when we become so focused on one thing that something else inevitably suffers. I'm not saying this is always bad. There are times in our lives when we must give our complete attention to one thing, but we need to be mindful not to allow those times to continue for too long.

Goals seem too intimidating for me right now, but how about habits. Perhaps I could put a concerted effort toward changing one or two small things. Repetition creates a habit. Perhaps I could find those precious moments to exercise, to meditate, or maybe I'll make sure I find the time to do something I love, something that fills me up.

This is the time of year to take stock, to evaluate, to ask ourselves if we are living the kind of life we imagined for ourselves in our higher moments of consciousness? Are we fulfilled in our careers? Do we feel valued? Are we good with our loved ones? Do we feel comfortable that we're making our choices according to our ethics and morals? Where do we stand financially? Are we spending our money on things that will better our lives, or simply buying stuff without reason and purpose behind our choices.

As I evaluate all these things, I feel more gratitude than stress. I realize these are the right questions, and it's up to me to make sure that I am always working toward a life that will give the right answers this time of year - every year.

Roll and Tie

These stay together pretty easily in the pot when simmering.

I usually tie them with butcher string or use a toothpick like mom used to.

Either way, the stuffing stays inside and the calamari is tender and flavorful.

21 Bucatini Recipes That'll Make It Your New Favorite Noodle

I talian pasta is an American favorite. It's easy to cook and there are so many kinds of dishes you can make with pasta. What you pair your pasta with, whether it's a simple tomato sauce, pesto or a variety of meat and vegetables, depends on the shape of your pasta. One of our favorite pasta shapes is bucatini.

Bucatini is essentially a thick spaghetti noodle with a hole through the center. Like many Italian noodles, bucatini takes its name from its shape. In Italian, "buco" means "hole." So why should you love a noodle with hollow center? Simple - the mouthfeel on these long and lovely strips of carbs is unmatchable.

Like all pasta, it's best when cooked in a large pot full of salted boiling water. The total time you cook bucatini is generally 10 minutes, but it's done when the pasta is al dente, so keep checking. If you plan to finish your pasta in the large skillet where you're making your sauce, keep that cook time in mind for your pasta doneness. Drain the pasta well, but save some of the pasta water some pasta recipes use the pasta cooking water to help the sauce come together.

Your pasta sauce can be as easy as butter, lemon juice, black pepper and parmigiano-reggiano. Or toss the bucatini in a handful of toasted pancetta, drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil and grate pecorino romano cheese on the top. Almost anything you choose to do with these noodles will be delicious, so have fun and be creative.

Need some ideas to try bucatini? Here are 20 great ones.

Double-Duty Pasta / Recipes that are easy enough for work-night dinners but special enough for holiday entertaining

1 of 3 One of today's featured recipes combines spaghetti or linguine, flaked smoked salmon, fresh dill, peas and Parmesan cheese in a light cream sauce. Chronicle photo by Kat Wade styling by Ethel Brennan Show More Show Less

2 of 3 Squash, Brussels sprouts, orange and fennel are some of the flavors highlighted in fall pasta dishes that are easy to make but taste special enough for company. Chronicle photo by Jerry Telfer styling by Ethel Brennan Show More Show Less

Pasta is the culinary equivalent of a lifeboat. When the holidays start crashing in and you're about ready to drown, a cache of quick pastas can become your dinnertime lifeline.

Quick doesn't mean spaghetti with a bottled sauce, although most of us have opened our share of jars in desperate times, and easy doesn't have to mean boring.

The Chronicle Food staff, along with some of our contributors and great pasta cooks, have joined forces to give you their favorite fast pasta recipes. Not only are they simple to prepare, they use the best of the season's bounty -- porcini mushrooms, chard, cauliflower, fennel, squash and the like.

Staff writer Karola Saekel combines peas, fresh dill, smoked salmon and Parmesan cheese in a quick and easy medley. Tara Duggan, our Working Cook columnist, likes the combination of fettuccine with shrimp, fennel and orange.

Staff critic Robin Davis creates Brussels sprouts and pancetta with orecchiette, a take-off of the delicious salad served at Gordon's House of Fine Eats in San Francisco.

Our Roving Feast columnist, Marlena Spieler, creates Spaghettini with Autumn Squash and Red Chile Butter, as well as a family favorite -- cappellini with arugula, cherry tomatoes and basil.

We also talked Donna Scala, the best pasta chef we know, into giving us two recipes currently on the menu at her restaurant, Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa. One is Pasta alla Gianni, where tender-cooked cauliflower is mashed with olive oil, garlic and chile flakes to form a simple sauce, rounded out by a hefty dose of Parmigiano-Reggiano. She also shares the rich Pasta alla Lina, a recipe she discovered on a recent trip to Italy with her husband, Giovanni. This luxurious blend includes crumbled sausage, fresh porcini mushrooms and cheese.

Many of these recipes are quick enough for a work-night meal, but they're so delicious they can easily become company fare. Either way, they will free you up for the more pressing engagements of the season.


In this recipe from Working Cook columnist Tara Duggan, shiitake mushrooms and beef match beautifully with earthy 5-spice powder -- a mix of equal parts ground star anise, Szechuan peppercorn, fennel seed, cloves and cinnamon. Five-spice powder and fresh Asian egg noodles are available at Asian markets and many supermarkets.


-- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil -- 4 garlic cloves, minced

-- 1 teaspoon 5- spice powder -- 1 tablespoon butter -- 1/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, caps removed and thinly sliced

-- 1 tablespoon dry sherry or Chinese rice wine -- 1 pound fresh chow mein-style egg noodles

-- 2 green onions, thinly sliced

-- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS: Start bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil for the noodles. Meanwhile, boil 2 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan. Add the dried shiitakes, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain liquid into a bowl, then squeeze the liquid from the mushrooms into the bowl. Set the mushrooms and liquid aside separately.

Salt the steak pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or large saucepan over high heat. Add half of the minced garlic and the 5-spice powder. Stir in the meat and stir-fry until browned and just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pan. Add the remaining garlic and saute, stirring frequently, over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the fresh and the dry shiitakes with 1/2 cup of the reserved mushroom-soaking water. Saute, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes.

Return the meat to the pan and add the soy sauce and sherry. Increase the heat to high and stir for 1 minute. Add the remaining mushroom-soaking water (except the last few tablespoons, which may contain dirt particles).

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in the large pot of boiling water according to package directions until tender. Drain well.

Remove the mushroom mixture from the pan and set it aside. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and place the pan over high heat. Add the noodles and stir for 1 minute. Return the mushroom- meat mixture to the pan. Stir quickly to heat through, then garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

PER SERVING: 708 calories, 37 g protein, 68 g carbohydrate, 32 g fat (8 g saturated), 200 mg cholesterol, 454 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.


To pamper the budget, Chronicle staff writer Karola Saekel uses lox trim (available in many markets), as long as it has no gristle. Flaked leftover poached fresh salmon also works well.


-- 1/3- 1/2 cup cream or half-and-half

-- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan

-- 4-6 ounces smoked salmon, chopped

-- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, optional (do not substitute dried dill)

-- Coarsely grated black pepper to taste -- Salt to taste, if necessary

-- Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil pasta until it is al dente. Meanwhile, pour the cream into a small pan and heat, without boiling stir in the Parmesan and keep warm.

Place the frozen peas in a large colander set in a large bowl. When the pasta is done, drain it into the colander over peas. (The heat of the pasta and water will cook the peas.) Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water discard the rest.

Turn the pasta with the peas into a warm bowl. Add the warm cream-Parmesan mixture and stir- toss to coat the pasta. Mix in the salmon and the dill (if using), adding a little of the reserved cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Add a generous few grinds of pepper and taste for salt -- if the cheese and salmon are quite salty, no additional salt may be needed. Serve immediately in warmed pasta bowls, passing lemon wedges and additional grated cheese at the table, if desired.

Serves 4 as a small entree, 6-8 as an appetizer.

PER ENTREE SERVING: 355 calories, 16 g protein, 48 g carbohydrate, 10 g fat (6 g saturated), 37 mg cholesterol, 342 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.


Raw fennel and orange are a wonderful match in Sicilian salads, and those same flavors come together here in a shrimp-tossed pasta from Working Cook columnist Tara Duggan. If you like, save some of the fennel fronds and add them to the basil sprigs as garnish.


-- 1 1/2 pounds rock shrimp or medium shrimp, peeled and deveined -- 10 basil leaves, roughly chopped -- 1 tablespoon minced orange zest -- 1 pound linguine -- 1 cup chicken stock or low-salt chicken broth

-- Juice of 1 lemon -- 1/2 cup whipping cream -- 2 tablespoons butter -- Salt and pepper to taste -- Basil sprigs, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta while you prepare the other ingredients.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fennel and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimp, basil and orange zest and cook just until the shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp mixture from the pan and keep warm.

When the pasta water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until it is al dente. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Pour the chicken stock and the lemon juice into the skillet. Turn the heat to high and cook for 3 minutes, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, add the cream and heat through. Whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce into the pot of cooked pasta and stir over low heat until incorporated, about 1 minute.

Portion the pasta onto serving plates and top with even amounts of the shrimp. Garnish each serving with a sprig of basil. Serves 4.

PER SERVING: 830 calories, 44 g protein, 92 g carbohydrate, 31 g fat (12 g saturated), 263 mg cholesterol, 279 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.


Donna Scala, who owns Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa, is one of the best pasta cooks we know. Here's a favorite of hers.


-- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

-- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

-- 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes, to taste

-- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

-- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

INSTRUCTIONS: Steam the florets over boiling water until fork tender. Remove from heat set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add enough salt so the water tastes briny. Add pasta cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain keep warm.

While pasta cooks, pour oil into a large saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add garlic cook, stirring, until light brown. Add florets season with salt. Use the back of a large, heavy fork to break florets into small pieces. Stir cauliflower well, coating with oil and mashing some florets with the back of the fork. Add cooked pasta, chile flakes, parsley and cheese. Serves 4.

PER SERVING: 765 calories, 24 g protein, 94 g carbohydrate, 33 g fat (7 g saturated), 12 mg cholesterol, 306 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.



-- 1 pound fresh Roma tomatoes

-- 1/2- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

-- 1 small red onion, finely diced

-- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic -- 1/2 pound fresh porcini, diced about 1/4-inch -- 3/4 pound mild Italian sausage meat

-- 1 pound egg fettuccine, preferably DeCecco brand

INSTRUCTIONS: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add tomatoes cook 2 minutes. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, slip off the skins squeeze out juice and seeds. Set tomato pulp aside.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat add onions and cook until soft. Turn heat to medium-high. Add garlic and porcini saute for 5 minutes. Add sausage cook until sausage browns lightly. Add tomato pulp, salt, pepper and white wine. Reduce heat to medium cook 10 minutes more. Keep warm. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add salt. Add fettuccine and cook until al dente drain and return to pot. Add porcini mixture and Parmesan. Toss and serve at once.

PER SERVING: 1,321 calories, 33 g protein, 96 g carbohydrate, 86 g fat (19 g saturated), 73 mg cholesterol, 825 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.


This recipe from The Roving Feast columnist Marlena Spieler is delicious, and nearly foolproof, she says -- "even if you happen to be making it for a crowd of 20 hungry relatives and the stove goes out, as happened to me recently." You can add a few pinches of hot pepper flakes and a handful of seafood, and/or julienned zucchini.


INSTRUCTIONS: Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until it softens. Add half of the garlic and cook until the garlic softens. . Raise the heat to high and add the cherry tomatoes. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the tomatoes soften but don't fall apart.

Pour in the wine and cook over high heat until the liquid nearly evaporates. Add the canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Season with salt, pepper and sugar, and keep warm or over low heat while you cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling salted water until it is just tender or al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving several tablespoons of the cooking water. (This, by the way, is the secret for making it all come together.)

Toss the hot cooked drained pasta with the sauce, the remaining garlic, the arugula, the basil and a tablespoon or two of the cooking water. Toss in as much of the cheese as you like, and serve right away, with -- if you like -- a drizzle of olive oil. Serves 4.

PER SERVING: 650 calories, 20 g protein, 103 g carbohydrate, 14 g fat (2 g saturated), 4 mg cholesterol, 223 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.


You can add 2 tablespoons diced red pepper for a touch of color in this recipe from Roving Feast columnist Marlena Spieler. Feel free to substitute fettuccine for the spaghettini.


INSTRUCTIONS: Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the squash pieces.

While the squash cooks, mash the garlic with the butter, chile powder, paprika, cumin, cilantro, salt, pepper and lime juice. Set aside.

When the squash is almost cooked through, add the spaghettini and cook over a rolling boil until the pasta and the squash are al dente. Drain, reserving a couple of tablespoons of pasta cooking water.

Toss the pasta and squash with the butter and the cheese, adding a tablespoon or so of pasta cooking water if necessary to blend the ingredients. Serve at once, while it is very hot. Serves 4.

Savoring Simplicity

I have an ulterior motive for posting this basement laundry room makeover. I'm very interested in trying this product. It's Rust-Oleum’s durable water-base EpoxyShield basement floor coating . It has confetti like chips in it. They also make a formula that resists oil stains for garage floors. That's the one I'm interested in trying. Click on photos for a close up view.

Curtain Call: Cover up basement walls (and suggest the feeling of an above-ground room) with wall curtains stitched from outdoor fabric, in this case a dotted swiss Kravet fabric. Made of acrylic, it’s mildew- and wrinkle-resistant. A skirt sewn from ticking-stripe outdoor fabric (and suspended by wire and eye hooks) lends a farmhouse touch.
Multitasking Table: Using pine boards and 36-inch-tall kitchen-island legs from, I built a long landing spot for clothes that need folding. It’s high enough that the petite front-load washer and dryer tuck right under.
Sink Station: Topped with stainless steel and equipped with a built-in sink and faucet, the sleek Udden console from IKEA balances out the room’s sweet look.

Check out the entire article and all the "before and after" photos at Country Home.

The 44 best pasta dishes you can eat in N.J.

Today is officially National Pasta Day, but isn't pretty much every day pasta day?

Per capita annual pasta consumption is about 20 pounds in the U.S. (It's 51 pounds in Italy.)

There are an astounding 600 kinds of pasta according to the National Pasta Association, the most popular types are spaghetti, thin spaghetti, elbow macaroni, rotelle, penne and lasagne.

Here is a list of my favorite pasta dishes throughout New Jersey, a tasty mix of pastas, sauces and restaurants, from fancy to casual. It's an update of a list that appeared last year, with 11 new dishes added.

Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for

Osso Bucco, Mulberry Street Restaurant, Woodbridge

Mic drop, jaw drop, something. The osso bucco over pappardelle at Mulberry Street is a tasty tower of meat, pasta and sauce - your photo will be a guaranteed Facebook and Instagram hit among envious friends. I also love the baked Bolognese lasagne here.

Di Pomodoro with penne, Augustino's Kitchen & Bar, Hoboken

Getting a table at cash-only, 24-seat Augustino's is not easy, but you'll be rewarded by friendly service and first-rate food. The pork chops are legendary and the zuppe di pesce, shown here, is amazing — but for pasta, try the di Pomodoro with penne, a supremely satisfying combo of pasta, prosciutto and onions in a plum tomato sauce.

Alex Remnick I NJ Advance Media for

Rigatoni alla Disgraziata, Zeppoli, Collingswood

Zeppoli in Collingswood is one of New Jersey's most heralded Italian restaurants chef/owner Joey Baldino is a three-time James Beard award semifinalist. The menu is Sicilian-influenced, and the Rigatoni Disgraziata, with eggplant, tomato, ricotta, salata and basil breadcrumbs, shows off Baldino's rustic yet refined touch.

Saed Hindash I NJ Advance Media for

Pasta with primo sauce, Chick and Nello's Homestead, Hamilton

Chick and Nello's Homestead, in a 19th century house, is one of New Jersey's more unique Italian restaurants. Stubbornly old-school, with a dark-wood bar just inside the entrance and a small dining room one step down, the Homestead offers a small menu - five appetizers, seven sauces, three kinds of pasta - but great food. The primo sauce is a hearty combination of the house sauce (pork ragu) and aglio e olio.

Alex Remnick I NJ Advance Media for

Braised rabbit ravioli, Bottagra, Hawthorne

Rabbit ravioli - kind of rolls off the tongue, no? Once a month on a Sunday, Bottagra throws an all-day, bacchanalian brunch the rest of the week, the restaurant is much more sedate. The melt-in-your-mouth braised rabbit ravioli is one of many standout dishes. Also recommended are the St. Giuseppe pasta and the Sicilian rib-eye. And the zeppole, with dipping chocolate, may be the best you'll ever have.

Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for

Gnocchi pomodoro, Sapore Italiano, West Cape May

Something about tomato sauce and gnocchi always floats my pasta boat. The gnocchi pomodoro at Sapore Italiano was one of the surprise hits of our epic search for N.J.'s best Italian restaurant. The dish is proof you don't need a long list of ingredients to make a deeply satisfying meal.

Saed Hindash I NJ Advance Media for

Pappardelle Rustica, Paisano's, Rutherford

Paisano's in Rutherford offers a range of northern and southern Italian dishes in a casual, comfortable setting. The standout pasta is pappardelle Rustica, shown here, in a hearty Bolognese. Almost as good: the short rib with gnocchi. A dessert must-try: the semifreddo. Don't look it up, just order it.

Sunday gravy, Kitchen Consigliere, Collingswood

We'll set aside for a moment the whole sauce vs. gravy debate. But if you don't want to mess with a former mob guy, you'll call it "gravy'' at The Kitchen Consigliere. Executive chef/owner Angelo Lutz was a Merlino crime family associate. He did prison time on a racketeering charge, now he turns out tasty, unfussy dishes at his casual Italian restaurant. The Sunday gravy is a serious production - fried meatball and sausage, fried and roasted spare ribs, fried braciole, tomatoes, oil, Fontina cheese.

Alex Remnick I NJ Advance Media for

Lasagne Napoletana, Trattoria la Sorrentina, North Bergen

It looks just about perfect, doesn't it? Trattoria la Sorrentina may be better-known for its pizza, but their pasta dishes are not to be missed. The lasagne is lovingly constructed, a saucy, cheesy (both ricotta and mozzarella) success.

Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for

Shrimp scampi, Vic's Italian Restaurant, Bradley Beach

You don't have to go to a fancy-pants restaurant to get great Italian food. Vic's is a legendary thin-crust pizzeria, but don't sleep on their pasta dishes. The shrimp scampi is a simple, unqualified delight - the shrimp and pasta cooked just right. For an appetizer, the mussels marinara are highly recommended.

Agnolotti di cacao, Luca's Ristorante, Somerset

Almost hidden in a ordinary-looking highway strip mall, Luca's, run by Andrea DiMeglio, is not your average neighborhood Italian restaurant. It would easy to pick the Gnocchi Genovese here as my standout dish, but Iɽ rather recommend the agnolotti di cacao, a cocoa ravioli stuffed with roasted butternut squash.

Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for

Linguine with white clam sauce, LuNello, Cedar Grove

LuNello is one of Jersey's hallowed Italian restaurant shrines, but they don't mind having some fun every once in awhile this is the restaurant, after all, where Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice went bonkers and flipped over a table in one episode. There are fancier pasta dishes at LuNello, but the linguine with white clam sauce is a simple dish perfectly executed.

Beautiful Courtyard Weekend! Space is limited and reservations are recommended so please visit us on Open Table now.

Posted by Bistro di Marino on Friday, July 6, 2018

Gnocchi misto, Bistro di Marino, Collingswood

Probably no N.J. restaurant obsesses over gnocchi like Bistro di Marino a mere seven kinds are on the menu, including gnocchi pomodoro, gnocchi gorgonzola and gnocchi eggplant. Take the easy way out and order the Gnocchi Misto, where you can choose any three.

Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for

Malloreddus, da Filippo, Somerville

Filippo Russo and his wife, Berti, opened a tiny storefront in 1988. Today, da Filippo is more spacious, and white tablecloths cover the tables. But stuffy it's not when he's done in the kitchen, Russo often comes out and plays the piano for his patrons. Try the Malloreddus, a special, Sardinian-style gnocchi topped with shrimp.

Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for

Spaghetti arrabiata, Scalini Fedeli, Chatham

Call Scalini Fedeli the perfect place for that Italian restaurant power lunch, with its hushed, rosy-colored, columned setting. The spaghetti arrabiata is a lovely, lively marriage of mushrooms, black olives and Spanish anchovies in a spicy tomato and basil sauce.

Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for

Bucatini Amatriciana, Spano's Italian Restaurant, Point Pleasant Beach

Spano's, the reader's choice winner in our N.J.'s Best Italian Restaurant showdown, offers almost 20 pasta dishes (not including specials), drawn from owner Joe Spano's background. (His mom's family is from Naples, his dad's from Bari.) Bucatini Amatriciana takes one of my favorite pastas, adding guanciale (cured pork jowl) and onions in a rich tomato sauce.

Saed Hindash I NJ Advance Media for

Pappardelle con ragu di cinghale, ITA101, Medford

Local boy-made-good Kevin Maher cooks simple, authentic dishes from throughout Italy at ITA101 each weekend a different region is featured. I could easily pick a half dozen dishes here. I'll go with the pappardelle con ragu di cinghale, handmade pasta tossed in a slow-cooked wild boar ragu.

Alex Remnick I NJ Advance Media for

Rigatoni Bolognese, Cafe 2825, Atlantic City

The winner of our N.J.'s Best Italian Restaurant showdown, Cafe 2825 remains relatively under the radar 30-plus years after opening. Old-school atmosphere, high-end dining, Cafe 2825 is small and cozy. You absolutely must order the mozzarella made tableside, then a meat or pasta dish, such as the terrific Rigatoni Bolognese.

Spicy Jumbo Soft Shell Crabs today .Are in season NOW !

Posted by Di Palma Brothers restaurant on Friday, July 27, 2018

Sunday gravy, Di Palma Brothers Restaurant, North Bergen

A frontrunner for the most delightfully eccentric Italian restaurant in New Jersey, Di Palma Brothers is both a restaurant and antiques store. Paintings, cabinets, urns, figurines and more surround the white-clothed tables. On Twitter, one fan spoke of the "fantastic'' Sunday gravy special, a huge bowl of red sauce, usually ziti or rigatoni, packed with meatballs, sausage and braciole.

Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for

Polpette della Nonna, Senza, Bayville

Hey, don't turn up your nose at strip mall Italian restaurants some of the state's best cooking can be found there. Joe Gramaglia, shown here, is the affable chef/owner of Senza. Despite the surroundings, there are no cliched dishes here. The polpette della Nonna are slow-baked meatballs over Sardinian cavatelli in a tomato ricotta sauce.

Saed Hindash I NJ Advance Media for

Gnocchi Osso Bucco, Toscana Ristorante, Bordentown City

Bordentown City is an overlooked dining destination Oliver A Bistro and HOB Tavern are highly recommended. The butterfly pork chops at Toscano are phenomenal, but this is about pasta, so I'll rave about the gnocchi osso bucco. Great side dish: Emma's Meatballs.

Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for

Pappardelle with pork ragu, Laico's, Jersey City

Laico's is on the short list of Jersey old-school Italian legends, although good luck finding a parking space in the residential neighborhood (valet parking is available). Lou Laico, shown here, presides over the kitchen, making simple, straightforward but never boring dishes, including the pappardelle with pork ragu.

Alex Remnick I NJ Advance Media for

Filetto pomodoro, Vidalia, Lawrenceville

Vidalia was one of 10 finalists in our N.J.'s best Italian restaurant showdown. "My philosophy is simple food - don't drown it in sauces,'' says chef/owner Salvatore Scarlata. I can never get enough tomatoes in my life, so the filetto pomodoro is a good choice here. Save room for the incredible creme brulee pie.

Fusilli with broccoli rabe and sausage, Guerriero's, Morristown

"It is just like being at Grandma's house'' is the motto at Guerriero's, another one of those old-school Italian haunts Jersey seems to do better than anyone else. Braciole is the special on Wednesday, pork osso bucco on Thursday. Neapolitan-stye dishes dot the menu the fusilli, with imported fresh Italian pasta, is a great place to start.

Bootzin, Porta, Asbury Park

It sounds like cheap table wine, or maybe some trendy imported shoe, but Bootzin is a delectable dish with oriechette, San Marzano tomatoes, sausage, cherry peppers, olives and parmigiano Reggiano at Porta, a lively space with exposed ductwork and picnic table seating. Porta made its rep on pizza, but you'll want to try the pasta, and the housemade meatballs and mozzarella.

Saed Hindash I NJ Advance Media for

Gnocchi, Filomena Lakeview, Deptford

Don't mess with Grandma. Filomena DiVentura, 80-plus years old and stay out of her way, makes the gnocchi every Sunday for Filomena Lakeview and two sister restaurants. The gnocchi features mini-heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and parmigiano cheese. Grandma knows what she's doing.

Maltagliata Pugliese, Pasta Dal Cuore, Jersey City

Pasta Dal Cuore, owned by Elena Cartagena, offers both fresh pasta to go and sit-down dining. Maltagliata are a thin-strip pasta often used in minestrone soup. The Maltagliata Pugliese features the "whimsically cut'' thin pasta with sausage, broccoli rabe, pecorino and red pepper flakes.

Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for

Shrimp and pasta with chile pepper, Via 45, Red Bank

It's difficult standing out in restaurant-mad Red Bank, but Via 45 does just that with its country-rustic decor and singular food. The compact menu belies the depth of the dishes. The calamari, for one, turns that most cliched of appetizers on its head, and the shrimp and pasta with chile pepper makes an ordinary-sounding dish something special.

Pappardelle, Tutto A Modo Mio, Ridgefield

Broad, flat noodles similar to wide fettucine, pappardelle may lurk in the shadow of linguine, lasagne and other popular pastas, but it's great at enveloping sauces and meat. ("Pappare'' means "to gobble up.'') Tutto A Modo Mio is a BYOB restaurant showcasing southern Italian dishes. The homemade pappardelle rests in a braised short rib ragu.

Fettucini with artichokes, escarole, roasted peppers, olives, tomatoes, Caffe Aldo Lamberti, Cherry Hill

Aldo Lamberti is a South Jersey restaurant legend he owns Caffe Aldo Lamberti and is a partner in eight other restaurants. There's a ravioli of the day, and other enticing pasta dishes, but go with the fetttucine with artichokes, escarole, roasted peppers, olives and tomatoes. It tastes as great as it sounds.

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Linguine Fresche con Nduya, Il Capriccio, Whippany

Il Capriccio has long been regarded as one of the state's premiere Italian restaurants Cody Kendall, in her review, called the food "beautifully prepared but not contrived.'' It's not easy picking one pasta from the wide-ranging menu, but we'll go with the Linguine Fresche con Nduya, with garlic, oil and spicy Calabrese homemade nduya (sausage).

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Duo gnocchi, Annata Wine Bar, Hammonton

Hammonton is not just the blueberry capital of the world, it's one of the state's unheralded dining destinations. Annata Wine Bar - youɽ never guess this was a former auto parts store - features hundreds of bottles of wine, reds on one side, whites on the other. The Duo Gnocchi is my favorite dish, housemade potato gnocchi in a sage brown butter sauce and housemade spinach and ricotta gnocchi in a creamy basil tomato sauce.


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Pasta al Forno, Brando's Citi Cucina, Asbury Park

Brando's is one of the Shore's most highly regarded Italian restaurants it earned the top spot on Bobby Olivier's ranking of all 35 Asbury Park restaurants. Pasta al Forno is a delectable dish of fusilli pasta, pancetta and shallots in a brandy cream sauce, topped with radicchio and baby shrimp, finished with mozzarella and basil - and served in a foil pouch.

Rigatoni vodka sauce, Al Di La, East Rutherford

"Best vodka sauce in New Jersey'' is the modest claim at Al Di La, an intimate Italian restaurant. It's a time-honored family recipe, so you know they haven't changed it one bit over the years. Steps away is Vesta Wood-Fired Pizza, one of the state's best pizzerias.

Casarecce Arrabbiata, Angelica's, Sea Bright

Angelica's was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and re-built from the ground up, re-opening nearly a year later. Chef Ray Lena, who grew up in Long Branch, said he "never left the kitchen'' when younger, learning the culinary arts from his mother, grandmother, aunts and great aunts. Pastas are homemade, and the casarecce (short rolled-up noodles with a groove down the middle) arrabbiata is an eye-opening delight, with spicy pomodoro sauce, hot cherry peppers, basil and pecorino.

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Tagliolini bolognese, Brick Oven, Westfield

Tagliolini is not the same as tagliatelle the former is cylindrical and thinner. The tagliolini Bolognese at popular neighborhood spot Brick Oven is Italian comfort food: green noodles in a meat sauce with parmesan cheese baked on top.

Spaghetti and white clam sauce, Merrill's Colonial Inn, Belcoville

Spaghetti and white (or red) clam sauce screams New Jersey, and few do it better than the rambling old-school Merrill's Colonial Inn. Dorothy Merrill, known to all as "Mommy Merrill,'' opened the restaurant in 1959 with her husband, Alfred. "Mommy'' passed away last October. (Her husband had passed years earlier.) Angel, her daughter, has taken over, and nothing has changed. "I LOVE theirs.'' @pubappetizers tweeted. "Even better than my own and my mama's! (Thank god my mother's not on twitter LOL).''

Bowtie Rustiche, Justin's Ristorante II, Wood-Ridge

Wood-Ridge is one of the state's great under-the-radar food towns, with Justin's II adding refined fare to the town's great casual dining vibe (Buffalo's Chicken, Jersey Pizza Co., Chok-Dee, Thai Corner, etc.). Justin's Bowtie Rustiche takes the under-appreciated bowtie pasta and pairs it winningly with broccoli rabe, sun-dried tomatoes and sweet sausage in a light olive oil and garlic sauce.

Bucatini al filetto di pomodoro, Davia, Fair Lawn

It would have been so easy to go with the Capellini Genovese at Davia, but instead I'll choose the bucatini, also known as perciatelli, one of my favorite pastas. Its thickness makes for a textural delight. The bucatini al filetto di pomodoro combines prosciutto, garlic, onion, basil and plum tomato for a simple, savory dish.

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Stuffed rigatoni and sausage fra diavolo, D'Italia, Avenel

Ignore the diner-like atmosphere there's some good cooking going on at D'Italia. The stuffed rigatoni (you had me right there) and sausage fra diavolo is my favorite dish here.

Mafalde with vodka sauce, Pasta Volo, Asbury Park

Ignore the Chinese food-like takeout containers at Pasta Volo the store has attracted a fanatical following for its homemade pasta, which you can buy dry or prepared with choice of nine sauces, seven cheeses, and 10-plus toppings. Can't decide? Order the mafalde (a ribbony noodle) with vodka sauce.

Spaghetti alla chitarra, Osteria Morini, Bernardsville

Osteria Morini is in the top rank of Italian restaurants, and for excellent pizza, you need go no farther than next door to way-more-casual Nicoletta, with the same ownership. (You can get several of Nicoletta's pizzas at Osteria Morini.) Start with the Calabrese wings and proceed to the spaghetti alla chitarra, with lobster, shrimp pomodoro, chile and garlic. "Fresh pasta, perfectly cooked shrimp and then they stir in some fresh herbs at the end,'' @granolamonsoon enthused on Twitter. "It tastes bright and fresh.''

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Ravioli, Boniello's, Riverdale

We must include ravioli somewhere on this list. (As a kid, I set a family record for most ravioli in one sitting.) Boniello's makes just about the biggest ravioli on earth, but this is more about taste than size. The marinara sauce is just right, and don't forget to order Vikki's homemade rice balls.

Aglio e Olio: The One Pasta Sauce You Absolutely Must Know

If there were a pasta bible, the first line would read, "In the beginning, God created aglio e olio." Historically, that line wouldn't really be accurate, since the evidence doesn't support the idea that garlic (aglio) and oil (olio) were the original accompaniments to pasta. But structurally—and by that I mean the way most pasta sauces today are cooked—aglio and olio are almost always the first step. From arrabbiata to marinara, alle vongole to puttanesca, each sauce begins by gently cooking garlic in oil. Even pesto, which is never cooked, has at its base a purée of garlic suspended in oil.

The beautiful thing about those two building blocks, though, is that not only are they essential components of so many other sauces, but they also make one of the greatest pasta sauces all on their own. Aglio e olio, I think it's safe to claim, is the simplest pantry-staples-only pasta sauce in the entire Italian canon. You don't even need cheese—in fact, some would argue cheese isn't a welcome addition. If you have spaghetti, garlic, salt, and oil, you can make this pasta right now.

Given its ease, you'd think aglio e olio would be a much more widely known pasta sauce. In Italy, it is. Most Italians I've met get misty-eyed when they speak of it, recalling childhoods full of after-school bowls of aglio e olio whipped up by their beloved mammas. In the United States, though, it's not on most people's radar, despite this country's deep pasta obsession—which is a shame.

Making it couldn't be easier, though it still requires attention to the basic method for finishing almost any pasta dish. It starts by gently cooking garlic in a skillet with olive oil until it's very lightly golden. I often add a pinch of red pepper flakes, which technically makes the dish aglio, olio, e peperoncino. They add a pleasant, warm heat without overcomplicating the basic garlic-and-oil flavor.

While the garlic quietly sizzles, the pasta should be boiling away in a separate pot of salted water. (Not salty like the sea, which is 3% salinity 1%, or roughly one tablespoon per quart or liter of water, is about all you want.) You need only enough water to sufficiently cover the pasta and give it some room to move around. That can mean a large pot with the pasta dropped in vertically, or a wide, large skillet with the pasta on its side.

As soon as the pasta is just shy of al dente, transfer it to the skillet with the garlic and oil. Then add a few tablespoons of the pasta water and cook it all together over high heat, stirring and tossing rapidly, to emulsify the oil with the starchy pasta water.

It's ready when the sauce reduces to a creamy coating on the noodles. If you over-reduce it and the sauce becomes too oily, you can always add a little more pasta water to get it back where you want it. A drizzle of fresh olive oil reintroduces its uncooked, fruity flavor.

If you're dead set on adding grated cheese, this would be the time to do it, though I'd encourage at least trying it without first. I'll sometimes add a little minced parsley if I have some on hand, but even that is optional.

If a recipe calls for bucatini and you can't find it at the store, you can substitute with spaghetti, spaghettoni (thicker spaghetti), or fettuccini in a pinch. While you won't be able to slurp up the pasta in the same way, the sauce and pasta will still be a satisfying meal. For heavier, meatier sauces, swap in penne or another tubular pasta. The wide holes will help capture the thick sauce.

One of the most common sauces to serve with bucatini is the classic Amatriciana sauce (making a dish called bucatini all'Amatriciana). It is traditionally made with guanciale, a type of Italian cured meat taken from the pork jowl. Bucatini also pairs wonderfully with a creamy carbonara sauce or cacio de pepe (cheese and pepper).

Watch the video: Αρωματικές γαρίδες με σκόρδο, βούτυρο και λεμόνι. (June 2022).