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Appreciation for our Boulder location & some big news!

Appreciation for our Boulder location & some big news!

A serious consideration, but a reflection on the essential bounty of our work.

Indeed the coronavirus has upended our daily lives in many ways we did not see coming. Gone for now are the days when we took simple things for granted, particularly in the realm of being an American consumer. Take, for instance, the simple joy of access to toilet paper! Perhaps we are past that scary toilet paper shortage but currently we are still facing a food shortage situation, brought on by the pandemic: panic buying and hoarding, distribution problems, lack of migrant workers, inability for people to get back to work due to health concerns, and it goes on. This exacerbates the national problems regarding food deserts, empty shelves, volatile commodity prices and the concerns surrounding meat packing operations all over the country.

Our thoughts go out to Americans everywhere who are suffering through these difficult times to stay healthy and ensure they have nutritious foods for the whole family. For our part, Il Pastaio‘s pasta machines have run unabated throughout this pandemic. As our region’s most prominent brick and mortar boutique pasta factory, we will continue to produce our classic quality food products, adhering to our levels of quality, while working with our suppliers to the best of our abilities to maintain our prices where they are.

Fresh fusilli & rigatoni.

In addition to the NEWS that we are selling our Pasta Stimulus Packages at a great discount to the customer,

We decided to bring back our LUNCH SPECIAL!

Our lunch buffet (photograph taken before pandemic).

Our famous Lunch Special is based off a buffet. You choose an entree, a side and it comes with salad and bread for $13. Currently lunch will only be available TO GO. Pick it up curbside, contact us at 303-447-9572. Thank you!

Mother’s Day Care Package

Mother’s Day Care Package

Since we are closed on weekends, here’s a last minute idea, dear friends, in case you need it:

A Mother’s Day Care Package.

With the popularity of our Pasta Stimulus Packages, we figured we needed to design a discounted bundle that would provide an easy and brilliant dinner solution for your STAY-at-HOME needs.

Here’s everything you need for this Sunday, discounted especially for this occasion at $45. Make her day! The care package includes:

  • 2 lbs. of Rigatoni or Fusilli
  • 1 lb. of Ravioli of choice
  • 1 pint of Pomodoro
  • 1 pint of Arrabiatta
  • 1 pint of Three-Bean Salad
  • 1 lb. of Fresh Mozzarella
  • Italian Roasted Peppers
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Call in your order and we’ll have it ready for curbside pick-up.

Sending love, appreciation, and respect to all the mothers and the Nonnas out there, whom we are not much with out. We celebrate you on this day. Happy Mother’s Day!

Get to know your TAKE-OUT possibilities at Il Pastaio

Get to know your TAKE-OUT possibilities at Il Pastaio

Il Pastaio is an authentic Italian restaurant in Boulder, Colorado. We are also a pasta factory and a boutique Italian food market. By now you are aware of our bulk pasta items, such as Ravioli, Gnocchi, and our line-up of fresh sauces, including: Aurora, Pesto and Bolognese. Did you know that we also offer other favorite menu items to-go?

The Three-Bean Salad is one of the unique and delectable components of our popular Insalata Mista. We make our special three-bean blend here in the restaurant and you can even take it home by the pint! Use it to create your own salad or to add protein and flavor to cold pasta salad.

Insalata Mista, featuring our homemade Italian dressing and Three-Bean Salad.

The Three-Bean Salad also comes as part of our Pasta Stimulus Package, version number 1.

With that said, we should also let the secret out that you can buy our homemade Italian salad dressing to-go, as well—Giuseppe’s own special recipe. Get it by the half-pint or full pint.

So, explore our menu! We offer Sautéed Artichokes, Italian Peppers that are roasted in the restaurant by us, and so much more. Get in touch and we can help with meal ideas and solutions for your family’s important dinners. Stay well and stay safe.

We have new Pasta Stimulus Packages!

We have new Pasta Stimulus Packages!

Here’s a great idea, to spark some creativity in the kitchen. All you need is PASTA! The New York Times put out this great article to get you through the culinary doldrums of the pandemic. Invigorate your kitchen with a bright and unique dinner idea: cooking your favorite pasta and sauce in one single pot. This fun and easy technique will keep you trying new vegetable and protein combinations that can make your pasta shine.

The New York Times. Photo by Ali Slagle

Our first Pasta Stimulus Package has been a great success and worthy of an encore. So please peruse our new Package combinations that are at a discounted price to fill your pantry and fulfill those cravings in the kitchen.

The NEW variations of the PASTA STIMULUS PACKAGE are as follows:

Package #1 $35

1 pomodoro pint, 1 aurora pint, 1/2 pint of pesto, 1 pint of three-bean salad, 1/4 lb. of parmesan cheese, 1 lb. of gnocchi, 1 lb. linguini.

Package#2 $34

1 basilico pint, 1 bolognese pint, 2 lbs. ravioli of choice, 2 lbs. rigatoni

Package #3 $30

1 aurora pint, 1/4 parmesan cheese, 1 pint of arrabiatta, 1 lb. linguini, 1 lb. linguini verde, 1 lb. of ravioli of choice.

pasta pasta pasta
Pasta Stimulus Package #1, pictured.

Now you have more options for discounted pasta packages that will please a family of 6! Please place your orders at 303-447-9572, and we can schedule a curb-side pick up as we continue to adhere to our ‘Safer-At-Home” restrictions.

Regarding our COVID-19 changes

Regarding our COVID-19 changes

To those of you who know us and have been to our establishment: thank you for checking in. We are at a loss for words to address the new world we live in, but with hard work and some luck, we’ll be here after the evil virus has its moment.

For the time being, we are still functioning as a “To-Go” restaurant and your “go-to” pasta factory! You can order from our Dinner Menu or select fresh pasta and sauces in take-home, bulk quantities. We’ll take your order over the phone and bring it to you curbside when you arrive. We’re taking every precaution to keep you safe.

Our new temporary hours are 11 am to 7 pm, Monday through Friday.

In an effort to help promote a plurality of flavors and nutritious foods during this time, we created a new menu item that will provide you with a quick solution to dinner or for “stocking up” your pantry.

Allow us to introduce:

The Pasta Stimulus Package

Pasta Stimulus Package Version 1.

Each package is a delicious collection of our most popular menu items bundled together. This package version includes:

-1 lb. of linguine
-1 lb. of gnocchi
-1 pint of aurora sauce
-1 pint of pomodoro sauce
-½ pint of pesto
-1 pint of three-bean salad
-¼ lb. of grated parmesan

All of this is at a discounted price of $35. You can feed your whole family or save the pasta, gnocchi, sauces, and beans for several meals throughout the week. (Or buy it for a friend in need).

We are thinking of making a variety of pasta bundles. Feel free to contact us at 303-447-9572 for more information or to place your to-go order.

We’re honored to serve our community in these difficult times and are grateful for your support and patronage. We will continue to take TO-GO orders and should we need to implement other changes, we will share them here and through social media.

Thank you from our family to yours. Stay safe.

Presidents Day Reflection: Founding Fathers Love Pasta Too

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.

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?

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.

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.

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!