One of my favorite Italian places in New York is La Pizza La Pasta at Eataly. Often, I can't convince my friends to go with me at whatever random time I feel like eating somewhere, so I went alone. I believe I ordered a salad and two pastas, which was a little strange for someone eating alone. At the end, I asked if I could speak to the chef since I had a couple questions. The waitress brought out the manager and the chef, Denis Dello Stritto (who was visiting from LA at the time), assuming that I had some complaints. After about 5 minutes of excitedly absorbing as much information about pasta as I could from Denis, the manager realized that I was not a food critic who wanted to lodge a complaint or something of the sort, and was just some kid who loves pasta, so she walked away and let Denis and I have at it.

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What salt do you use in the water? Sea salt? Fine? It’s coarse.

Do you finish cooking the pasta in the sauce? Let finish for last three minutes. Put a little olive oil in there as well for just the last minute.

Use the starchy water to water it down a little bit if it’s too dry of a sauce.

Afeltra, go in Gregano. Say I love eataly and they’ll open their doors.

Loved my name. Said Pucco.


Coarse sea salt, 15-18 grams per, 1 cup pasta 10-11 cups of water.

Do you parboil the pasta at all?

What would you say really separates the pasta you serve from what I make at home?

My father’s family is from Sciacca. My mother’s mother from Mezzojuso, her father from Baucina. Mom’s grandmother was from Salemi and her grandfather from Marsala