Finding a good Italian restaurant without the white linen tablecloth up-charge is hard. Finding one that’s also all about fresh, ancient grain pasta with homemade sauces and local, organic ingredients is a whole other enchilada. Er, lasagna.
Enter Pazzi Pasta. Native to Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood for the past two years, Pazzi Pasta is, in the Italian tradition, a family-owned restaurant, operated by cardiologist Dr. Giovanni Campanile, psychiatrist Dr. Sandra Cammarata, and their children Dan and Francesca Campanile, who manage the restaurant and serve as the head pasta maker, respectively.
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With dishes inspired by the family’s deep Italian and Sicilian roots, the restaurant takes a seriously health-conscious approach to the notoriously heavy cuisine by making fresh ancient grain pastas from farro, kamut, and more, and topping them with your choice of homemade sauces and toppings, all of which are 90 percent organic and locally-sourced. The meats are better for you, too, like grass-fed brisket used in the ravioli.
“More than anything, ingredients matter to make pasta healthy,” Dr. Campanile says. “The ancient grain pasta is high in fiber, protein, and minerals like magnesium, zinc, and manganese. But, we also work from a taste standpoint. All of our pasta is fresh, and all of the sauces and toppings are made by slow cooking everything each morning, which is so important for flavor.”
And the only thing better than a pasta meal that doesn’t make you feel bloated and sleepy for hours is that it’s not insanely expensive, especially for Italian food. You order at the front and pick your pasta, sauce, and toppings, reservations are definitely not needed, and a large serving clocks in around $13, making it an extremely family-friendly restaurant.
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“We have a great core customer base of familiars in the area,” Dr. Campanile says. “So many of our customers’ babies’ first solid food was our pasta. And we get to watch them grow as they keep coming back.” A world where kids crave organic ancient grain kamut pasta with grass-fed bolognese sauce instead of Kraft Mac & Cheese? Only in Brooklyn. For now, at least. —Jamie McKillop
For more information, visit pazzipastabrooklyn.com
(Photos: Pazzi Pasta)