Ricotta Cavatelli with Broccoli Rabe, Tomatoes & Italian Sausage 

Ingredients                Yield: 2-4 servings

4-5 oz. blanched broccolini spears

Light and Delicious Cavatelli with Braccoli Rabe Tomatoes and a White Sauce

16 each ripe tear drop tomatoes, cut in half

1 quality olive oil

4 Italian sausage, hot or mild your choice

2 finely minced shallots

4-5 garlic clove, shaved thin like in Goodfella’s

2-ounce white wine (something you enjoy drinking)

10 ounces PASTA REA Cavatelli

5 oz. Whole butter

3 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

TT sea salt

TT freshly ground black pepper

3- 4 ounces grated fresh grated Romano cheese

Follow These Simple Steps…. 

  1. Clean broccolini of any excess leaves and cut in spears about 3” long.
  2. Bring 2 quarts salted water to a roaring boil and blanch broccolini in boiling water until al dente. Drain and immediately submerge in cold ice bath to chill then drain well.
  3. Rinse out pot and bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil and hold
  4. Remove sausage from casing. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet, lightly brown sausage, and crumble with fork as it browns
  5. Add garlic and shallots to the sausage and saute until translucent. Then add tomatoes and saute to blister followed by broccolini.  Toss to warm.
  6. Deglaze with wine and reduce by ½ to remove alcohol, hold on a very low simmer.
  7. Drop pasta in water and cook to desired consistency. Your Cavatelli should float when it is nearly done.
  8. Drain the Cavatelli well, reserving some pasta water.
  9. Combine your pasta to the simmering sauce pan and toss it altogether.
  10. Throw in whole butter and toss again until the butter is melted. You can add small amounts of pasta water if needed.
  11. Add parsley and season to taste with salt, pepper and ½ the Romano cheese.
  12. Toss on medium heat to make sure all is hot.
  13. Plate and garnish with remaining cheese.


To Enjoy a Cooking Demo with Chef Rea and our Visitor Frank Guzzo with the Italian Association of Arizona Click the Photo Above, Mangia Bene!

gargati pasta

Gargati Pasta

Have you heard of Gargati? For the past few weeks I have been experimenting with freshly made extruded pastas using eggs and different flour blends. We are famous for our standard semolina blend, but I wanted to try something new. I was aware that adding eggs to extruded pasta had been done before, but I was hoping to discover some new pasta shapes that would match the texture of the dough. While doing some research online for our Italian Catering Menu, I discovered a pasta shape called “gargati”.

What is Gargati?

Gargati pasta hails from the Veneto region in northern Italy. It is a relatively short-cut pasta with ridged, rough edges, and a small, hollow center. The ridged, rough edges allow sauce to cling to the pasta, adding flavor to each bite. Well-salted water will course through the hollow center of the pasta while cooking, adding a great depth of flavor. The hollow center also offers a place where a flavorful sauce can hide out waiting to please your palate. I really enjoy the fact that the sides of this pasta are thick and the length short. When cooked to a proper al dente, the results are simply delicious.

How is Gargati Pasta Made?

Traditionally, this shape of pasta is made using a bigolaro – a type of hand-cranked pasta machine. Since I do not own a traditional bigolaro, I would have to use my standard extruder. I use my standard extruder daily to produce all our other pastas, so I wasn’t intimidated by the challenge, and I soon got to work.  Fortunately, I realized that I had the imported bronze die needed to make a very similar shape, so that wasn’t an issue. I just wanted to be sure I could create the perfect blend of egg, semolina and wheat flours. The correct blend of flour – mixed to perfection – will be integral to the final texture. The use of eggs will add depth and richness. I must admit I was very proud of myself when I was successful on the first try! There is nothing I hate more then wasting a batch of dough. The extruded results were well-formed and slightly curved, forming and holding those perfect textured ridges I was looking for. Now for a recipe!

Cooking with Gargati Pasta

With a little more research, I found most recipes for gargati used meat and seasonal vegetables. This was another plus for my Italian catering clients because I could create several recipes using this shape around seasonal ingredients. For instance, during the spring and summer months I could use garden fresh zucchini, asparagus, basil, fresh peas or green beans. I would pair these vegetables with lighter meats such as chicken and pork. I imagined those ingredients in a quick sauté then finished with whole butter, cracked black pepper and local EVOO. During the cooler months I would pair this pasta with braised meats, earthy flavored mushrooms and tomatoes. You would probably find me topping both with shaved Romano cheese. So, when you are in need of Italian catering for any occasion, weddings, a family gathering or a celebration at work be sure to ask for an Italian menu item prepared with gargati pasta! Contact one of our Event Specialists to place your order today! 

If you love seafood and you love pasta, then this dish is for you!  Find the freshest shellfish available at the local market and you’ll prepare a delicious pasta entree, frutti di mare, (translation:”fruit of the sea”).  This is definitely an impressive dish for a special occasion!  If you are not a fan of cod, other fish may be substituted for the cod.  Allow yourself to get creative, or try the recipe several times with different fish.  There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the seafood ingredients.  Regardless, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to the coast of Italy!  Mangia bene’!

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon garlic, fine dice
  • 16 Littleneck clams
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 16 black mussels
  • 1 cup PASTA REA Frutti Di Mare Sauce
  • Red pepper flakes, Pinch or To Taste
  • 8 shrimp, shelled (tail intact) and deveined
  • 12 sea scallops
  • 8 ounces Cod Pieces
  • 1 – 1.5 # PASTA REA linguine
  • 10 ounces calamari, cut into thin rings and tenticals
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Gremolata


  1. Boil salted water in a large pot.
  2. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook garlic until it begins to sizzle. Add red pepper flakes to taste; cook 1 minute. Add clams then wine cover and raise heat to medium-high; cook 5 minutes or until clams begin to open do not evaporate liquid, keep moist.
  3. Add Mussels and simmer for about 3 minutes
  4. Add PASTA REA Frutti Di Mare Sauce, shrimp, scallops and cod, bring to simmer and cook until shrimp and fish are just done.
    Phoenix Fresh Pasta Brand Pasta Rea Debuts with Chef Tony Rea of Creations in Cuisine Catering

    fresh linguine pasta with shellfish

  5. Add linguine to boiling water. Cook until al dente.
  6. Uncover sauté pan; simmer 1 minute more, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, making sure clams and mussels open, about 3 minutes. Toss with linguine.
  7. Garnish with Gremolata and divide evenly among 4 bowls. Garnish with Gremolata

Bucatini, the thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through it is the perfect pasta for Bucatini all’Amatriciana, the simple, flavorful tomato sauce which legend has it is from the town of Amatrice in Italy.    The noodles (which by the way, the word bucatini comes from the Italian word buco,  meaning “hole”) soak up the flavorful sauce and what many people love is the fact that the sauce actually runs through the hole, imparting additional flavor.  Enjoy chef’s recipe – it is one of his favorites and his children love it!  What kid wouldn’t love spaghetti with holes?

4 Servings


  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. guanciale, pancetta, ¼” dice
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup minced shallot
  • 2 cloves slivered garlic
  • 32 -oz. PASTA REA Marinara Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Sea salt
  • 12 oz. PASTA REA bucatini
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Romano Cheese



  • Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add guanciale or pancetta and sauté until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes.
  • Add red pepper flakes and black pepper; stir for 10 seconds.
  • Sauté shallots and garlic in oil with peppers, stirring often, until soft
  • Add PASTA REA Marinara, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally about 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring 1 gallon of purified water to a boil. Season with salt; add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente
  • Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water
  • Add drained pasta to sauce and toss vigorously until well coated.
  • If needed slowly add the 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water or as much as needed and cook until sauce coats pasta
  • Stir in ½ the amount of cheese
  • Pour pasta out onto warmed bowls and garnish with remaining cheese


Mangia Bene’!


Rigatoni with Broccoli Florets and Sausage is one of chef’s favorite pasta dishes and he has graciously shared his recipe so you can prepare it at home for family and friends.  Our fresh rigatoni is available at the Uptown Farmer’s Market on Saturdays or you may call to place an order for pick-up at our kitchen.  We’d love to hear from you so let us know how you enjoyed this recipe!



Serves 4 -6  


1-gallon purified water

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 # PASTA REA Rigatoni pasta

4 cups broccoli florets, raw

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 # sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon minced shallots

¼ tsp of red chili pepper

½ cup white wine


2 teaspoon chopped parsley

4 tablespoon Romano Cheese

Sea Salt

Cracked Black Pepper  

  1. Bring water to a rolling boil, add salt and hold on medium simmer
  2. In a large heavy bottom pan heat olive oil, add sausage and sauté until just cooked, do not brown, break up sausage as it cooks to avoid large chunks
  3. Add garlic, shallots and chili pepper, finish sauté until garlic is tender
  4. Add white wine and bring to a boil to reduce alcohol
  5. Add PASTA REA VODKA CREAM sauce and simmer on low heat
  6. Return water to a rolling boil. Drop pasta in boiling water and cook to al dente about 3-5 minutes
  7. In the last 2 minutes of the pasta cook time add the broccoli florets to the pasta water and cook to al dente
  8. When pasta and broccoli are cooked drain, reserving about 1 cup of pasta water
  9. Add pasta, parsley, Romano cheese to the vodka sauce, toss well and adjust sauce consistency with pasta water as needed
  10. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper



Pasta Fra Diavolo has enough “fire” to ignite the passion for Valentine’s Day!  Chef shares his recipe for Pasta Fra Diavolo.  Serve with our cured tomato, red beet, and chili tagliatelle or pasta of your choice.

½ gallon purified water

½ tablespoon sea salt

2 each 6 ounce lobster tails

2 ounces olive oil

2 tablespoons shallot, garlic minced and combined

4 ounces white wine

2 tablespoons minced sundried tomatoes


1/4 teaspoon chili flakes

1/4 teaspoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

10 ounces PASTA REA Rigatoni, Tagliatelle or pasta of choice

Pasta Fra Diavolo


  1. Bring 1/2 gallon of water to a low simmer. Add 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt and hold


  1. With a sharp pair of scissors cut down the center of the bottom of the lobster tail. Separate shell with fingers and remove tail meat. Cut into ¼ pieces.


  1. In a heavy bottom sauté pan add oil and sauté the garlic and shallot mixture until soft, do not brown


4.         Add lobster meat and sauté lightly for 2 minutes. Deglaze pan with white wine, reduce by half


5.         Add all remaining ingredients except pasta to sauté pan, mix well and check for seasonings then reduce to a very low simmer


6.         Bring water back to a rolling boil add pasta and cook to desired texture, we suggest Al Dente


7 .        Drain well and add the pasta  to the sauce mixture. You may use a little of the pasta water if the sauce mixture has become too thick


8.         Toss until all ingredients are well incorporated


9.         Plate evenly in 2 portions, serve immediately.


Cured tomato, red beet and chili tagliatelle











Sunday Gravy

Italian gravy on pasta with Italian sausage on top.

Every Italian American household has a version Sunday Gravy sauce and everyone will tell you theirs is the best. We all guard the recipe with our lives so don’t expect to see one here, but what I will give you is the story of one of the most treasured family traditions and a few tips on how to get it done. And if you don’t want to cook your own, PASTA REA sells it by the quart so just give us a call.

Sunday Gravy is more Italian American than Italian and features generous portions of beef or veal, pork, and sausage. Most Italian families who immigrated from the old country rarely prepared recipes with beef. Once they settled in the states and prospered financially, beef became more of a staple ingredient and you will often find beef braciola included in many recipes. Our family’s gravy relies on the flavors of the family meatball recipe which includes quality pork shoulder and handmade sausage.

Sunday Gravy is so much more than just another day’s meal. Typically the sauce was placed on a slow simmer for hours early in the day. The Sunday meal was usually served around 2:00 in the afternoon. While the gravy simmered on the stove various family members would arrive to the house in anticipation of the meal allowing us time to catch up on the past week’s activities. The house would fill with the aroma of garlic, garden fresh tomatoes and basil. Of course the gravy had to be tested for quality insurance. This process would include a small plate with a ladle of gravy mopped up with a generous portion of crusty Italian bread passed around to whoever was in the vicinity. On occasion a meatball might make it to the tasting plate but very rarely. If you were caught “tasting” on your own while Mom stepped away from the stove you would receive a swat from the same wooden spoon used to stir. God forbid we ran out and there was not enough to go around. But that was the funny thing about Sunday Gravy, there was always enough to go around for those invited and for those who just dropped in and usually there were leftovers.

Two or three times a month we would enjoy our meal and then head out to visit our aunts, uncles, and cousins. My mother’s father lived with us and her brother and sister would usually join us at our home.  My father was the youngest of 7 and being the youngest, he would show his respect by packing us into his car and making the 30-minute trip spending about 45 minutes at each home. No matter how full you were from your mom’s gravy you were still expected to eat more. Each of my father’s sisters married a man from a different part of Italy so each home had a different preparation. One was spicy, one had raisins and pine nuts in their meatballs, one preferred boxed pasta and one handmade and so on as traditions dictated. Our tradition on those visits was to always visit Auntie Ann’s home last because she was the baker in the family. To this day I have never seen a larger display of Italian cookies and pastries than the ones that were displayed at many cousins’ weddings.

Here are a few tips when preparing Sunday Gravy which is a very simple recipe to create. Be sure to use only fresh ingredients. Brown the meat, (but never the meatballs) in a quality olive oil, allow simmering for hours until the pork is fork tender and then add the meatballs and sausage until just done. That is a very important step because the flavors imparted from those meats during the simmer make the sauce. The final product should be thicker than marinara so a little paste is ok if you like but the slow reduction will help with consistency. Be sure to have lots of quality bread, grandpa’s wine and of course PASTA REA pasta. I don’t know why they call it gravy instead of sauce but that is a great topic to debate while it simmers.

Mangia Bene!!

Chef Tony


Roasted Beet Pasta With Chevre Cream, Garlic & Chive is a beautifully colored Fall pasta dish and it is equally delicious!  We particularly like the chèvre cream, garlic,  and chive sauce to enhance the flavor of the ever so subtle beet flavor of the pasta.  Our fresh Pasta Rea pasta cooks in only 3-4 minutes so this is a quick and easy dish for busy week nights or it’s impressive as a dish for entertaining guests.  A simple salad and a crusty loaf of bread is the perfect accompaniment to Roasted Beet Pasta.

Roast beef pasta on a white plate.

And if you want to get fancy, mimic the chive “spikes” in our photo! 

Roasted Beet Pasta Recipe:

4 servings

½ gallon water

1 tbsp sea salt

10 ounces PASTA REA Roasted Purple Beet pasta

4 each cloves of roasted garlic, mashed into a paste

2 tsp olive oil

3 ounces white wine

6 ounces heavy cream

5 ounces of a quality soft chevre cheese

2 tbsp. fine grated Romano cheese

2 tbsp. chive, chopped

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Sea Salt

Cracked Black Pepper


Bring the water to a rolling boil and add sea salt.

In a medium sauté pan, add the olive oil and garlic. Sauté stirring constantly so not to burn for about 1 minute.

Add white wine and reduce by half.

Add heavy cream and reduce to thicken, add cheese and stir to a smooth consistency.

Cook pasta to al dente and strain, reserving some pasta water. Add strained pasta, salt, lemon juice and chives to the cream and cheese mixture stirring with a large pasta fork until well coated with sauce. You may use some of the pasta water to adjust sauce consistency if needed.

Season to taste with Sea Salt.

Portion pasta evenly on four plates and top with a generous portion of cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

Pasta Puttanesca  is an Italian pasta dish invented in Naples in the mid-20th century. Its ingredients typically include tomatoes, olive oil, anchovies, olives, capers and garlic making it a very cost-effective dish.  Chef Tony has created a “twist” on the Italian favorite with this delicious version which includes smoked shrimp, capers, and Kalamata olives.  This Pasta Puttanesca version with shrimp is also cost-effective and prepared with our fresh Pasta Rea pasta, it is sure to please.  As pictured here, the dish was prepared with Pasta Rea fiore but any of our fresh pasta will work, including long noodles such as spaghetti.   Our fresh pasta cooks in 3-4 minutes so be sure to not overcook, preparing it to al dente.

Fiore Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca With Shrimp

Serve Pasta Puttanesca with a simple green salad or Caesar salad and focaccia or crusty Italian bread.


1 tbsp.   sea salt

1 gallon purified water

3 tbsp.   olive oil

1 tbsp.   shallots, minced

6 med.   garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp.   red-pepper flakes, crushed

1 can      Italian plum tomatoes, drained and reserved juice, seeded then rough chop

12 oz.    smoked shrimp, chopped

3 tbs.     capers, drained

½ cup   Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

2 tbs.     fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1 lb.        Pasta Rea fresh pasta

Bring 1 gallon of water to a rolling boil, add 1 tablespoon sea salt.

Heat oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Add shallots, garlic, red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring 1 to 2 minutes. Do not brown or char pepper. Add tomatoes, reserved juice, capers, and olives. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 5- 8 minutes or until sauce slightly thickens. Add shrimp and simmer until shrimp is firm.

Add salt and pasta to boiling water and cook until fresh pasta is al dente, about 4 minutes. Drain well.

Stir pasta into sauce. Cook, stirring, until sauce clings to pasta, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and serve.

Serving size: 4




A pomodoro sauce is the perfect light tomato sauce for a side pasta dish to accompany a protein such as steak, chicken, fish (particularly “meatier” fish such as swordfish), or pork.  Prepared in just 15 minutes, and with ingredients you most likely have in your kitchen pantry and refrigerator, pomodoro sauce is a wonderful quick, simple, and delicious sauce that the entire family will enjoy.  It will work well with any shape pasta, and please remember that anytime you “sauce” a pasta to toss the pasta lightly in the sauce, coating it well, but not “drenching” the pasta in sauce!  And lastly, our Pasta Rea fresh pasta only takes 3-4 minutes to cook and be sure to cook it al dente’ to appreciate the texture and flavor.

Serving Size:  2 (consider doubling or tripling the recipe and freezing excess sauce for later use)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes


2 oz. olive oil

2 carrrots, peeled and cut in large pieces, about 2″ long and 1/4 thick thick

2 celery stalks, cut in large pieces, about 2″ long

3 tbsp. shallots, fine mince

3 garlic cloves, minced to paste

2 oz.white wine

2 cups tomatoes (peeled and seeded) chopped

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 pinch red pepper flakes

2 basil leaves, ripped

1 tsp.parsley, finely chopped



Cooking Directions

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot.

Caramelize carrots and onions.

Reduce heat and add shallots and garlic, and saute’ until translucent.

Add white wine and reduce.

Add tomato, salt, and red chili flakes. Bring to a slow simmer until carrots and celery are fork tender.

Remove carrots and celery, discard or serve on the side with the pasta.

Add basil and parsley. Season to taste with sea salt, chili flakes or cracked pepper if desired.

Cook pasta to al dente, (3-4 minutes for fresh pasta), coat well with sauce and garnish with romano or parmesan cheese.