The International Pasta Organisation reports that the United States is the leading consumer of pasta, followed by Italy. The United States alone eats approximately 2,700,000 tons of pasta annually, over one million tons more than Italy. During the month of October, making a point to try a new pasta dish, whether at home or in an Italian restaurant, to help celebrate the month.
Pasta in Italian translates to dough, the main ingredient in pastas. The dough can vary widely from wheat to rice, depending on preference or ethnicity. Centuries after the invention of pasta, noodles come in hundreds of shapes and sizes, from the traditional spaghetti to lasagna to rotini.
“There are so many great pasta dishes to try that people don’t think about or aren’t familiar with,” affirms Ryan Fichter, the executive chef at Rialto, a new Italian restaurant in Georgetown, DC. “For example, here at Rialto, we offer both the traditional lasagna, but also some less well-known dishes that the adventurous foodie might like to try.”
The best part about eating pasta out at authentic restaurants, such as Rialto, is that it’s all made fresh daily. Here are four authentic Italian pasta dishes to seek out this month, along with a special dessert, in order to give your taste buds a great culinary experience:
· Ravioli Al Formaggi. House made cheese ravioli sautéed with sage butter.
· Gnocchi Al Pomodoro. Light potato dumplings covered in tomato sauce and sprinkled with cheese.
· Pappardelle Al Funghi. Fresh pappardelle with sautéed seasonal mushrooms and herbs.
· Spaghetti Alle Vongole. Clams, garlic, parsley and white wine over spaghetti.
· Chocolate Ravioli. For dessert, fried chocolate hazelnut ravioli with zabaglione cream sauce.
“Visit a restaurant that encourages sharing so that you can try several different dishes,” affirms Chef Fichter, “This is a great way to celebrate a food that we all love and is so versatile. Make a it a fun month for trying pasta!”
Rialto is the third restaurant that the trio of entrepreneurs has opened, and is located in the heart of Georgetown at 2915 M Street NW, in an historic building that provides world-class Italian food and an upscale atmosphere. The décor is unique, custom made, and most of the items have been imported from Europe. The restaurant features partially open kitchens, fresh pasta, imported specialty ingredients, fresh seafood, and a cheese counter. The menu offers a variety of meat, seafood, and vegetarian options, served in both family style and piattini style (small plates) to encourage sharing. To learn more, visit the site at: www.RialtoDC.com.