I was at a dinner party last night, hosted by a lovely Italian couple. The hostess was a wonderful cook. Her food was simple and authentic, filled with the fresh flavors of her native cuisine; just the way I like it.
At some point, the talk turned to pasta, and rave reviews were given to Giovanni Rana, a popular pasta maker out of Verona,Italy, who recently opened an outpost in New York City’s Chelsea Market. Since I just live down the street from the market and shop there often, I immediately headed that way to check it out.
The array of fresh, homemade pasta is beautiful to behold. There are about 30 different types, both plain and filled. The dough choices vary from the classic to more creative beet, pumpkin and squid ink varieties. The filled options are vast. There are vegetable and cheese versions, such as radicchio and gorgonzola, spinach and ricotta, and artichoke and smoked mozzarella ravioli. There was also lovely ricotta and fresh truffle raviolini wrapped in a poppy seed dough. Various meat combinations exist as well. In addition, every possible cut of unfilled pasta is available, in a plethora of flavors and shapes.
The freshly made pasta is available by the pound to be prepared at home, or cooked on site and tossed with the sauce of your choice to go. There is also a 140 seat restaurant attached to the shop for a more traditional dining experience.
p.s. We just finished dinner and the pasta did not disappoint. The dough was light and delicate, with the fillings just hearty enough to provide flavor and substance,without overpowering the feathery outsides. With just a touch of melted butter and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and black pepper, both the spinach and ricotta ravioli and the prosciutto tortollini were a hit!! They took just 2-3 minutes in boiling water to cook. It just doesn’t get easier than that!
Verdict:Delicious as advertised.