Presidents Day Reflection: Founding Fathers Love Pasta Too

On this Presidents Day we reflect that indeed a holiday is in order to celebrate our Founding Fathers and the men that have heretofore lead this great nation throughout its illustrious history. With that said, did you know that we can pretty much guarantee that unless there was a secretly gluten free leader-of-the-free-world,  pasta has been on the presidential diet since the inception of the United States. The proof comes straight from the journals of Thomas Jefferson.

Importing European traditions

Our famously multi-talented, renaissance man-executive officer, was not just an architect, writer, intellectual, but in addition he had an avid interest in winemaking, as well as pasta production. During his ambassadorial work in France, Jefferson became very acquainted with the fruits of Europe’s culture, artistic and gastronomic, and he sought to transplant these interests to America. His efforts lead him to important Italian plants such as apricots, olive trees and grapes, for his own gardening and wine production on his homestead in Virginia: Monticello (Italian for ‘little mountain.’)

Jefferson’d drawing of a ‘maccaroni’ machine with notes. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

A pupil of Jefferson’s, William Short, wrote to the future president that he had procured a “mould for making maccaroni” in Naples, and would subsequently have it shipped to his mentor. In hand written notes by Jefferson (image included) we can see this pasta machine is much like our modern day industrial extrusion pasta makers, which are the kind we use at our restaurant. Jefferson wrote:

“The best maccaroni in Italy is made with a particular sort of flour called Semola, in Naples: but in almost every shop a different sort of flour is commonly used; for, provided the flour be of a good quality, and not ground extremely fine, it will always do very well.”

Jefferson was most likely not the first to introduce macaroni to America, there are records of his purchases of pasta products from a John Sartori of Trenton (1809). However, Jefferson did have a small hand perhaps in popularizing it by serving it to dinner guests during his presidency

Thomas Jefferson’s surviving pasta recipe

The science of “making macaroni” has not changed much over the centuries. Good, hard semolina flour, fresh ingredients, the power of forced extrusion machinery and old world know-how will create the allure and irresistible taste of fresh made pasta. A formula for drawing in the everyday dinner guest or the most V.I.P. statesman alike. As Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, we are endowed with certain ‘unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ So, declare yourself free eat pasta on Presidents Day too, in honor of the foresight of one of our greatest leaders. Included below, is a surviving pasta recipe held by Thomas Jefferson that mirrors all the qualities of our fresh pasta techniques. I guess some things never go out of style.

TJ’s surviving pasta recipe.

6 eggs. yolks & whites.
2 wine glasses of milk
2 lb of flour
a little salt
work them together without water, and very well.
roll it then with a roller to a paper thickness
cut it into small peices which roll again with the hand into long slips, & then cut them to a proper length.
put them into warm water a quarter of an hour.
drain them.
dress them as maccaroni.
but if they are intended for soups they are to be put in the soup & not into warm water

Source: “Maccaroni Recipe and Press Design,” n.d., Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress. Manuscript available online (see image 2 for recipe).

Valentine’s Day Dinner Boulder. Seats Still Available.

Our last post shared the details of our upcoming Special Valentine’s Day Prix Fixe dinner. Sure “Prix Fixe” is a French term, but consider it a global restaurant term for “great opportunity to eat well for a good price.” Certainly that is what we are offering with our four course event that features among many good notes our fine ravioli making skills, delicious pork belly option and a singular opportunity to enjoy a white chocolate mousse, hand made by our Chef and captain: Giuseppe Oreamuno.

Our past Prix Fixe meals have always been a success, and we plan to yet again bring our “A” game. Our goal is that when you think Valentine’s Day Dinner Boulder, we want you to think: Il Pastaio! We are also working on a special surprise that is almost locked in, hopefully it will come to fruition. The food is happening, the setting is ready all we need is your reservation to create a memorable night for our lovely diners.

The settings start at 5 pm, 7 pm, and 9 pm. This gives diners a good amount of time to enjoy their courses while also leaving plenty of room for your other evening plans. We are a small restaurant (only setting for 35 people at full capacity) so, that is why we stress the need for reservations, to ensure that we can get you and your special date seats. You can also contact us through out Facebook page.

We will have vegan options, but sadly, the ravioli will not be vegan. We will not have an on hand vegan pasta and there fore will not have a pasta substitution (this also means we cannot alter the price due to the demand of these dinners seats), but we will have gluten free gnocchi for anyone with a wheat allergy that cannot eat pasta.

Once again, thank you for your consideration and we look forward to seeing those of you who have made reservations at the meal. We wish you all a splendid day for lovers. Grazie Mille!

4 Courses, three time slots for your most convenient dinner hour.


Got plans for Valentine’s Day?

Sure, it’s still January, but take it from us… time flies and your Valentine’s Day plans needs to be in check. Allow us to offer a great option for a memorable and delectable dinner which will have you and your date glad that you made reservations with Il Pastaio. Nearly every year (we are only open Monday through Friday) our restaurant serves up a special Prix Fixe meal that includes four stunning courses that highlight the best Il Pastaio has to offer.

4 Courses, three time slots for your most convenient dinner hour.

The dinner will begin with individual antipasto plates.  Next comes the pasta plate, which will feature a brand new ravioli variety that makes the dinner a home run hit: lobster ravioli.  The entrée plate offers three options for the diner, select from a baked pork belly, a pistachio crusted salmon or the vegetarian option, eggplant parmesan, which will be accompanied by two vegetables sides. A romantic and delicious special dessert will round out the meal. The price is $50 per person.

Dinners will take place on Wednesday February 14th, 2018, Valentine’s Day. Tables are available at 5 pm, 7 pm, or 9 pm. Make your reservations right away, spots book fast. 303-447-9572. With your dinner plans locked in, you’ll be able to focus on what matters, each other.



Happy New Year! Starting 2018 right.

Il Pastaio is happy to serve our community for our 18th year. Fresh pasta and homemade sauces will be available in abundance as is our tradition. As we start this new year, we were very happy to receive the good news that Yelp has deemed our establishment as a “People Love Us On Yelp” location, earned throughout the year 2017. A badge we’ve can boast for, two years running.

We appreciate the time and valuable input that our clientele has shared. We have been paying attention and aim to apply the input and recommendations accordingly.

In addition to this highlight, we also received some welcome local press in the Boulder Weekly. This standard of Colorado journalism, commentary and exposés, has in the past written about Il Pastaio, but in this latest article, by talented writer Matt Cortina, spotlights our owner and captain Giuseppe Oreamuno.  For those looking to learn more about the man behind this local culinary institution, and the origin of the restaurant, this is a great intimate resource.

We look forward to another year of fulfilling our mandate, to produce for our community quality fresh pasta products and sauces, and to provide a warm and welcoming venue to enjoy these delights with our friends and loved ones. It will be our honor to share this experience with you, dear readers. Avanti!


Fresh Pasta Versus Dry Pasta: Cooking Times & The Basics.

If you are reading this you must be a fan and curious observer of all things pasta. It’s easy to love the delicious texture and versatility of one of the world’s most well-known carbohydrate rich foodstuffs. One of the qualities that make pasta a successful food product for centuries now, millennia even (with no signs of waning popularity) is the products’ ability to be consumed either fresh or dried.

Pasta can be made either with eggs or without depending on the recipe for its production.  This brings about the contemporary luxury of ‘vegan’ pastas, when in effect a variety of recipes can be traced back to the simple reality of having eggs on hand or not. Dried pastas have a longer shelf life due to their lack of egg content. These pastas rely heavily on the gluten found within wheat flours to create a bonding agent that solidify the pasta’s form and shape of choice. Think of the world’s largest pasta maker, Barilla, a company that churns out hundreds of pasta shapes and noodles globally that lack eggs as ingredients and are processed with industrial machinery. The dough, once extruded into its final form, will be dried for packaging and shipment.

At Il Pastaio, our family-operated pasta factory, we make fresh pasta which contains eggs. Fresh pasta is the ‘first-class,’ or ‘top-shelf’ in pasta products because of the taste, quality and above all, freshness. Fresh pasta must be consumed relatively quickly after it’s creation. It’s a living food source that has an expiration date, a work of art with an ethereal existence that is purposeful and honored by its final use in preparation for consumption. The perfect combination of quality ingredients and the short life-span of fresh pasta makes it all the more special and coveted in the culinary world.


The term ‘al dente‘ only refers to dried pasta because it is hard and stiff and can be served in it’s dry form, with a crunch to the bite, when undercooked. This is popular in Italy and in certain global enclaves of Italian traditions. Fresh pasta can be eaten raw (if that’s your thing), or served near raw if undercooked (whether baked or boiled) and it will still deliver it’s evocative and unique flavor. Yet, the best way to enjoy fresh pasta is to cook it properly so as to taste the infusion of seasoning derived from the boiling, salted water and oil. Sauces become a device to add flavors, proteins, vegetables and more, in an endless array of recipes that enhance the cuisine category of pasta. Nevertheless, fresh cooked pasta, in our opinion, is a delight on it’s own, matching its attributes versus any carb the world has ever dreamed of.

Here is a list of the cooking times for the fresh pasta products you can find and take home in bulk from Il Pastaio. Also, check out this helpful guide on cooking pasta from a notable pasta artisanal chef, Silvana Lanzetta, should you decide to take home our pasta sheets and make your own pasta creations. When cooking a pound of fresh pasta, make sure you have a large pot (at least 5 cups of water), 1 hardy tablespoon of salt and an equality healthy tablespoon of oil (we recommend olive not, Extra Virgin is not necessary).

Capellini, cooks in 30 seconds to 1 minute. The thinnest pasta, is very delicate and cooks very quickly.

Spaghetti, cook time: 1 minute, no more than 2 minutes.

Linguini, cook time: 2 and a half to 3 minutes.

Fettuccini, cooks in 3-4 minutes.

Papperdelle, our widest noodle, cooks in 4 minutes.

Fusilli and Rigatoni: We slightly dry our short pastas due to their shape. These will cook in 5-6 minutes.

Gnocchi: 2-3 minutes. These delectable dumplings will float to the top of the water when ready. make sure they are throughly cooked. Should have the consistency of soft pillows.

Ravioli: Our 14 varieties of stuffed pastas, which come in three different shapes, will also cook in 4 – 5 minutes. Wait until they float to the top of the boiling water. Make sure they are cooked throughout.

We like to say, you can build a civilization around pasta, and wouldn’t you know it…. it’s already happened, and of course, how could it not? It’s one of the world’s most perfect foods. So ‘Mangia! Mangia!’ as the Italians say, and be merry! Bon Appetit!



Making fresh pasta, by hand or machinery

Making fresh pasta is what we are all about at Il Pastaio. Our pasta production traditions are informed by the experiences and know-how imparted upon my father throughout his four decades in the restaurant business, as well as his upbringing with family members in Pisa, Italy.

Giuseppe’s process was fast tracked when in Boulder, Colorado he had the opportunity to learn to work with Italian-made industrial pasta making machines of the highest caliber. The imported equipment; Pama Roma machinery, is revered for its power, durability and ingenuity; and they are the tools that have been helping us make pasta for our community in Boulder, for nearly 20 years. Pasta processed from a bronze-die extrusion industrial process, is considered the “Gold Standard” of pasta products.


In America, pasta production has now hit home and it is fashionable to make it fresh, with local ingredients, hand kneading techniques and small kitchen machinery. Aside from the fun and satisfaction derived from making your own pasta at home, it cannot be denied that the process is difficult and time consuming. Everyday, the internet can provide you with culinary experts sharing their tips on at-home “hacks” to make the process simpler or more inexpensive. In summation, the simple luxury of eating and experiencing fresh pasta is available to us all, wether you take action in your own hands, or find a simpler route…

Here in Boulder, Colorado we are lucky and happy to have a pasta boutique right in our city, our neighborhood, that makes numerous pasta products for an extremely reasonable price. Give our friends and family a memorable culinary experience by sharing our fresh pasta products. Cooking instructions are simple and quick. Check out our line-up and get creative. By acquiring our fresh pasta sheets. you can make your own lasagna or even try your hand at creating your own ravioli. the fun begins with a visit to our location.

From our family to yours, make any dinner experience, a connection to the Old World, and our ancestors.

Let the Pasta conversation begin.

Testing One… two, testing one… two…  Il Pastaio, restaurant and pasta factory, seventeen years in service, is happy and proud to start blogging about our adventures and stories, which make up the daily on-goings of our world.

Stay tuned as we learn to refine and express our message. To inaugurate of online story we’d like to invoke a very special Italian toasting expression: “Cent’ Anni!” Which means 100 years. A century of good wishes and hopes to all our friends and supporters throughout the years. We hope that through this medium we will be able to communicate our story better in order to extend our bonds in a new way.

Here we tell the story of our family’s journey in search of the American Dream. The expression of our passion is reflected in the pasta and food dispensed at our restaurant, located in our beloved community of Boulder, Colorado.



Monday through Friday at, we make and serve fresh pasta products and sauces. Wether you dine in, or take our, you’ll experience a part of story. Which we’d like to share here.