Food & DrinkFebruary 16, 2012 at 5:29 am

Penn Palate: Alexa Depasquale

She’s the head of the Penn chapter of the NIAF (National Italian American Foundation). Given the theme of this week’s section, we had to get her opinions on all things pasta.

Street: What is your ultimate pasta dish?
Alexa DePasquale: It’s got to be a dish with some type of red sauce, mushrooms and a meat. Most importantly, I always use pecorino Romano cheese when possible. It’s more salty than Parmigiano and complements every dish.

Street: What is your favorite place to get pasta in Philly?
AD: Melograno. The Papardelle Tartufate is out of this world. Anything with truffle oil is incredible.

Street: Do you ever make/have you ever made your own pasta?
AD: From scratch, no. But I’d really like to. I’ve seen demonstrations and watch the Food Network so I’d like to pretend I would be good at it!

Street: Any special family recipes or dishes?
AD: My grandmother makes the most incredible Penne Bolognese. It is nothing extravagant, but I always ate it as a kid and every time we visited her in Florida I would make sure it was on our menu for dinner.

Street: If you were to open an Italian restaurant in Philly, what would you call it?
AD: Casa e Cuore meaning Home and Heart. It kind of alludes to the idea that pasta, and Italian cuisine in general, makes me think of family, home–cooked meals and love.

Street: What’s your favorite shape of pasta? Favorite sauce?
AD: Angel hair is definitely my favorite. Sauce choice would have to be a Bolognese, preferably with Cinghiale meat, which is wild boar. Even though angel hair is my favorite, I prefer Bolognese sauces with a thicker pasta like Pappardelle or Tagliatelle.

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