Casarea, Italy has been a highlight of the Italian adventure thus far. The Rea’s had a wonderful time last weekend in Casarea, a neighborhood of Casalnuovo di Napoli about 20 minutes east of Naples and in the shadow of Mount Vesuvias.

The Rea Family and Casarea

Casarea is the birthplace of Chef’s paternal grandfather. It was in 1906 that his grandparents, Salvatore and Nancy (de Falco) Rea, immigrated to the US.  They settled in Mount Kisco, New York and had seven children.  Chef has many first cousins in New York, but all other relatives are still in Casarea which derived its name from his ancestors.

While true for most Italian families, in Casarea it is abundantly clear that cooking with fresh ingredients and love of family is in Chef’s genes!  He has so been enjoying meeting family and learning about their business ventures, predominantly in the food industry.  Antonio Rea (yes, many relatives with that name!) who is a nephew of Chef’s grandfather, was a produce purveyor. His daughter, Felicia, still works a patch of land in the communal gardens.  In addition, Chef and family have also met a cousin (another Antonio Rea), who operates the family pizzeria, Pizzeria da Rosa.  Antonio’s sister, Maria Maddelena manages Magda Cakes, a fabulous cake and pastry shop.   Can you imagine keeping all the Anthony’s, Antonio’s and Tony’s straight on this trip?

In the photo gallery below you will see Chef with his cousin at Pizzeria da Rosa, images of the fantastic pizza at Pizzeria da Rosa, and Maria Maddelena serving a pastry from Magda Cakes.

Magda Cakes , Chef with Cousin, pizza whole and by the slice, and (below) Chef in front of pizza oven


For information on Pizzeria da Rosa please visit

The family has been in Rome and enjoying another week of Italian adventures before heading home.  Stay tuned for updates and follow on Facebook!

As the Italian adventure continues, Chef Tony and family are staying at an agriturismo, Il Selvatico, in Poggi del Sasso, a hilltop town near Grosetto in the Maremma region of Tuscany. The owner of Il Selvatico, Guilin, restored and expanded his grandfather’s original farmhouse by himself over a 6-7 year period. It’s quite extensive and includes a vineyard, olive farm, garden and more. Guilin and his mother are hosts, caretakers, hunters, farmers, and chefs. The agriturismo is half-board with breakfast & dinner included with everything coming from the land. The Rea’s first meal was antipasto with polenta & ragu (From a mix of meats including fallow deer) bruschetta with portabellos, housemade pasta, wild boar, tiramisu, espresso & grappa. Yesterday they visited a sheep farm and enjoyed an assortment of cheeses.

About Il Selvatico – A Restored Farmhouse & Vineyard

The owner of Il Selvatico, Guilin, restored and expanded his grandfather’s original farmhouse by himself over a 6-7 year period. It’s quite extensive and includes a vineyard, olive farm, garden and more. Guilin and his mother are hosts, caretakers, hunters, farmers, and chefs. The agriturismo is half-board with breakfast & dinner included with everything coming from the land. The Rea’s first meal was antipasto with polenta & ragu (From a mix of meats including fallow deer) bruschetta with portabellos, housemade pasta, wild boar, tiramisu, espresso & grappa. Yesterday they visited a sheep farm and enjoyed an assortment of cheeses.

Antipasto at Il Selvatico

Antipasto at Il Selvatico

Six month old Harper enjoying pasta with her father!

Six month old Harper enjoying pasta with her father!

A refrigerator case with a selection of Italian cheeses

Selection of Italian cheeses

Enjoying the Wines of Tuscany

Chef and family are also enjoying wines that are becoming quite well known from this southern region of Tuscany, Montecucco. The wines in Montecucco are primarily made from the sangiovese grape as in many other Tuscan regions.  Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Chianti Classico are all made from the Sangiovese grape and yet they are all unique.

Sangiovese is an impressionable grape variety that easily takes on characters from the specific soil or terroir so although most of the wines from Tuscany have this grape as a base there is a never ending flow of different styles, flavours and aromas. Sangiovese is one of Italy’s most widely grown grapes but it is in Tuscany that it is most prominent. The conditions are right to make really excellent wines unlike any others in the country of Italy.

In Montecucco you can still find excellent wines at a very reasonable prices but as the wines from the region become better known, no doubt prices will increase.


Chef Tony and his family are about to embark on an Italian adventure of pasta, pizza, and family! The adventure begins after completing two catering events today. We’re not sure when he had time to pack! Chef Tony, Susan, and their young children, Nicolas (Nicky) and Lilianna (Lily); adult son, Anthony, fiancé’ Alisha, and their 9 month old daughter, Harper, (Chef’s granddaughter) depart for Italy tomorrow. The last family trip to Italy was in 2011 to visit Chef Rea’s mother’s ancestral home. This is a long anticipated family trip to visit relatives in the Rea ancestral town of Casalnuovo di Napoli (Village of Casarea). They are looking forward to meeting and spending time with distant cousins, exploring the area, eating fresh pasta and seafood, and enjoying pizza at Pizzeria di Rosa, a pizzeria owned by Chef’s cousin.

Casalnuovo di Napoli

Casalnuovo di Napoli is a municipality in the Metropolitan City of Naples in the Italian region Campania, located about 13 kilometres northeast of Naples with a population of about 50,700. The municipality of Casalnuovo di Napoli contains the frazioni Casarea, Tavernanova, and Licignano.

Follow the Family

Experience the Rea’s vacation with us as we will keep you updated with posts along the way. We wish Chef Tony and his family a safe and fun-filled much deserved vacation. It has been a very busy year and we hope they can relax, enjoy time with family, and indulge in wonderful Italian cuisine and wine. We’re looking forward to new ideas for pasta recipes.

In the meantime, our kitchen will, of course, be rolling out our delicious fresh pasta available at the Uptown Farmers’ Market every Saturday and available by special order by calling us at 602 485-9924. Special orders can be picked up at Uptown Market or at our kitchen at 1825 West Crest Lane. We can live vicariously by eating Chef Rea’s pasta here locally!

We receive a lot of requests for meatless meals. We think you’ll enjoy Chef’s Cheese Cannelloni recipe. Serve with a Caesar salad or mixed greens and you have a delicious meatless meal.

Cheese Cannelloni
Serves 4-6
3 each PASTA REA Spinach Lasagna Sheets – 6.5” x 8.5”
3 each PASTA REA Egg Lasagna Sheets – 6.5” x 8.5”
2.25 lb. PASTA REA Ravioli Cheese mixture
24 oz. PASTA REA Vodka Sauce
6 oz. Mozzarella Cheese
8 oz. Grated Romano Cheese
1 oz. PASTA REA Basil Pesto

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Lay out pasta sheets one at a time on a flat surface with the shorter side facing you.
3. Fill a pastry bag with PASTA REA Ravioli Cheese mixture. Do not use a pastry tip.
4. Pipe in about 3 oz. of Cheese mixture in an even line from one side to the other.
5. Roll pasta over the cheese to form a cigar shape tube then cut. You should end up with 2 each 6.5” tubes per pasta sheet.
6. Repeat this process using both spinach and egg pasta sheets resulting in 6 each spinach and 6 each Egg cannelloni 6.5” long and about 1.5” thick.
7. In a 9 x 9 baking dish ladle 6 oz. of PASTA REA Vodka sauce.
8. Place 3 spinach and 3 egg cannelloni on top of sauce alternating colors.
9. Top cannelloni with 6 ounces of PASTA REA Vodka Sauce.
10. Top sauced cannelloni with 2 ounces of mozzarella, 2 ounces of Romano cheese
11. Repeat process.
12. Cover with plastic wrap then foil.
13. Bake in 325 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until sauce bubbles on the side.
14. Remove wrap and foil and bake to melt top layer of cheese, about 5 minutes.
15. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
16. Cut into 4 or 6 portions. Place a portion on each plate and garnish with Romano Cheese and a drizzle of PASTA REA Basil pesto.

Spinach tagliatelle with hot smoked salmon, tomatoes, and lemon cream is a quick and delicious meal. The contrast of the green pasta with the red tomato creates a pleasant looking dish. We are pleased to offer this recipe from Chef Tony. If you are not a fan of smoked salmon, you may eliminate it or use fresh grilled salmon or shrimp as a substitute.

Spinach Tagliatelle, Hot Smoked Salmon, Tomatoes, and Lemon Cream Recipe

2 portions

1 gallon boiling water
1 tbsp + ¼ tsp Sea Salt
1 Ripe Red Roma Tomato
1 Lemon, zest then juice and hold in separate containers
½ tsp Chopped Parsley
½ tsp Olive Oil
¼ tsp Cracked Black Pepper
12 oz. PASTA REA Alfredo Sauce
12 oz PASTA REA Spinach Tagliatelle
8 oz Hot Smoked Salmon, flaked

1. Bring water to a strong boil, add 1 tbsp sea salt
2. Remove stem from tomato and cut a thin x at the opposite end
3. Drop tomato in water, allow to boil for about 1 minute, remove and cool
4. Remove skin from tomato, cut in ¼ remove seeds, fine dice
5. Toss diced tomato with ¼ tsp sea salt, lemon zest, parsley, olive oil, black pepper, hold
6. On a low flame simmer PASTA REA Alfredo ( you may reserve some pasta water after pasta is cooked to thin the sauce if needed)
7. Cook Tagliatelle in boiling water until al dente, drain well and toss with warm sauce
8. Add salmon, lemon juice to pasta and toss again to incorporate
9. Season to taste with Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper if needed
10. Evenly portion pasta on 2 plates making sure they are well sauced and have equal amount of salmon
11. Garnish each dish with ½ of the tomato mixture and serve

Mangia Bene’!

Spinach tagliatelle with hot smoked salmon tomatoes and lemon cream reduced

Enjoy this delicious meatless pasta recipe utilizing fresh Pasta Rea gemelli. (derived from the Italian word for “twins”) Other small pasta shapes such as cavatappi may be substituted for gemelli.  Be sure to not over-cook the fresh pasta!

Crisp Brussels Sprout & Cremini Mushroom Gemelli  

Serves 2

12 each Brussels sprouts

2.5 tablespoons EVOO

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 tsp Cracked Pepper

6 oz. Cremini Mushroom

2 tsp Garlic

4 ounces white wine


1 ounce whole butter

½ Lemon, juice only

8 ounces PASTA REA Gemelli pasta

2 ounces Romano cheese

2 tablespoons chives

  1. Pre heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Remove the outer thick leaves of the Brussels sprout and discard. Remove the next layer of leaves until the hard center of the Brussels sprout remains, reserve core.
  3. In a small bowl toss the tender outer leaves with ½ tsp EVOO a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of pepper, reserve the remaining salt and pepper for later use.
  4. Place seasoned leaves on an oiled pan and place in oven. Roast until golden brown, about 5 – 7 minutes. Remove from oven and hold to the side.
  5. With a sharp knife thinly shave the cores of the Brussels sprouts, hold to the side.
  6. In a large sauté pan heat the remainder of the EVOO, add the cleaned mushrooms, garlic and shaved Brussels sprouts. Sauté until tender. Deglaze with white wine and simmer to reduce by half.
  7. Add PASTA REA Alfredo, butter and lemon juice, simmer on low.
  8. Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente, drain well.
  9. Add pasta to sauté pan with sauce, ½ of Romano cheese and chive. Toss well.
  10. Divide finished pasta evenly on two plates, top with remaining cheese and roasted Brussels sprout leaves
Gemelli Pasta with Crisp Brussels Sprout & Mushrooms

Gemelli Pasta with Crisp Brussels Sprout & Cremini Mushrooms



Gigli Pasta, Cremini Mushrooms & Lemon Mascarpone
1 gallon purified water
1 tbsp. + ¼ tsp sea salt
2.5 tbsp. mascarpone
2 oz. heavy cream
1 Lemon, zest then juice and hold to the side
1 oz. olive oil
6oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
1 tsp fine minced garlic
1 tsp fine minced shallots
¼ cup white wine
10 oz. PASTA REA Gigli pasta, raw
6 each large sage leaves, thin julienne or chopped
½ tsp chopped parsley
¼ tsp cracked black pepper
2 oz. Romano Cheese

1. Bring water to a rolling boil add salt, lower heat and hold
2. In a small bowl mix the mascarpone and cream to smooth making sure there are no lumps. Zest lemon then juice, hold to side
3. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan, add mushrooms and sauté until just tender
4. Add the garlic and shallot, sauté until shallots are translucent
5. Add wine and reduce by half, then simmer on low
6. Bring pasta water back to a rolling boil and add pasta
7. While pasta cooks add mascarpone and cream to white wine and mushrooms, stirring to incorporate. Add about 2 oz. of pasta water to season and thin sauce, continue to simmer
8. Cook pasta to al dente, strain well and add to simmering sauté pan
9. Add sage, parsley, pepper, 1 oz. cheese, ½ of the lemon zest and ½ of the juice to pasta and toss well
10. Adjust seasoning if needed with sea salt, pepper. Add lemon juice and zest if needed
11. Top with remaining cheese and serve

Gigli pasta 60x60


A simple, traditional olive oil and garlic bucatini for the hot summer months!

Sea Salt
1 pound PASTA REA bucatini
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves whole garlic
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¼ cup rough-chopped Italian parsley
4 ounces of grated parmesan cheese
Cracked pepper (optional)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a hard rolling boil.

Heat the olive oil (on medium) in a large thick bottom skillet. Add the whole garlic cloves and cook until golden brown. Remove garlic, discard or save for garnish in the finished dish or another preparation. Keep oil on low heat or remove from flame.
Add the pasta to the boiling water, stirring to prevent the pasta from sticking to the pot.

While the pasta is cooking add the sliced garlic to the warm oil. Turn heat up to medium and cook garlic to a golden brown. Add some of the pasta water to the oil to stop the cooking process. Add the red pepper flakes and continue the cooking allowing the flavors to combine.

Cook the pasta to al dente, drain reserving a small amount of the water to use if needed to add to the sauce to increase volume. Add the parsley and season to taste with more salt and or cracked pepper, toss and incorporate well. Garnish with fresh cracked pepper and parmesan cheese.

Bucatini alio olio with parmesan crumbs

If you have questions regarding the preparation, please contact Chef Tony at or call 602 485-9924. He is always happy to discuss recipes!

Chef Tony Rea of Pasta Rea Presenting Fresh Pasta Cooking Demonstration at the Phoenix Uptown Farmers Market

Fresh Pasta Rea Photos from Phoenix Uptown Farmers Market

This recent blog post welcoming Pasta Rea also includes some cool live action photos of Chef Rea preparing fresh Pasta Rea pasta! Chef Rea recently providing a public cooking demonstration to promote our new line of fresh Pasta Rea pastas and sauces available for purchase in Phoenix at the Uptown Farmers Market every Saturday!

Check out the lovely welcome post Phoenix Uptown Farmers Market wrote up on their blog to welcome Chef Tony Rea and Pasta Rea!