Pasta gets a bad rap. Maybe we should blame Mr. Atkins for villanizing carbohydrates? Or perhaps the blame lies with all those school cafeterias for flooding the market with bland versions of spaghetti and meatball. The overabundance of pasta has turned many of us off to the dish entirely. After all, how many of you dreaded the dinner doldrums of “Pasta Night” growing up? In the end, pasta’s affordability and non-threatening cooking instructions proved to be its undoing. Which is unfortunate, because pasta can be truly delicious and original.
Case in point—Dave’s Fresh Pasta. After my sweet potato gnocchi in St. Louis, I decided to finally hop on the DFP bandwagon. This shop sells day-fresh pasta and ravioli along with plenty of homemade sauces. The flavors of pasta and types of ravioli fillings range from the traditional (egg pasta and spinach ravioli) to the unique (squid ink spaghetti and Butternut Squash ravioli). Along they way there are pasta flavors like Lemon Basil, Saffron, and Chipotle. The homemade sauces are equally eclectic. With 5 different kinds of basil and a myriad of red and cream sauces, the number of “pasta-bilities” is endless.
I imagine Charlie Bucket’s experience in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory was quite similar to my trip to Dave’s Fresh. While there wasn’t a river of red wine or a tribe of orange-skinned midgets singing as they pressed paninis and cut pasta, the vastness of the store and options proved astounding. There were gourmet cheeses and chocolates and wines galore. And the samples! The free samples! Screw Sam’s Club—if you want free samples, go to DFP. A big basket of bread, flanked by cheeses and oils a plenty, was just begging to be sampled. Between the daps of avocado oil to the homemade tzatziki sauce, I took my fair share of free food. I could’ve spent hours gazing at the shelves of food, but in the end I decided on the chicken sausage and fennel ravioli with the arrabiata sauce.
The only bit of advice I can give is that you should separate the ravioli prior to cooking. The prescribed cooking instructions directions told me to drop the ravioli in and stir to separate. This didn’t work. I ended up splitting some of them open in my feeble efforts to detach them. The ravioli itself was decent, but the sauce was incredible. If you’re looking to pair your pasta with a spicy red sauce, this is the one to get.
So don’t give up on starches! Go eat pasta! Show all those low-carb sissies what’s what.