Image by Ashley Sears
They’re the hottest young Italian-America chefs, if you’re judging by the buzz. But Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli are anything but traditional. It’s well known by now, that their Quality Italian chicken parm pizza gave them instant Instagram street cred, and inspired copycats across the country.
Now, with the opening of their new Don Angie in the West Village, the husband and wife “power” couple are proving once again they are not afraid to shake up the old school. The airy and popular corner spot is allowing their inspiration to shine, on a neighborhood that certainly loves creative, intimate restaurants.
Angie recalls, “Last fall we did a pasta Omakase pop-up that was right below our apartment and [made a dish] using Japanese ingredients.” And the buffalo milk caramelle pasta at Don Angie is a riff on that dish: a traditional ricotta filled pasta dough, tie-dyed with sesame paste ribbons and egg-yolk pasta. Dotted with a house made persimmon jam and purple basil, it’s easily one of the most original Italian dishes in a very Italian NYC.
Scott Tacinelli & Angie Rito, by Nicole Franzen
“We sort of take it in a different direction,” she says. “The West Village is pretty saturated with traditional Italian, so we try to make food that’s delicious and interesting. If we find an ingredient that we really like, we’ll make it work.”
Even Chinese? Yep. The Caesar salad is done up with chrysanthemum greens.
What’s next? “A play on a tortoni,” Angie reveals, “an ice cream dessert, where the chefs will fold in cookies from the family owned bakery in Cleveland.”
Like all true Italians, Don Angie’s loves family style dishes, and, like all great Italian cooks, were happy to share their delectable “Lasagna For Two” recipe with BlackBook.
Don Angie’s Lasagna For Two
For the Pasta
1 C plus 2 tablespoons “00” flour
7 tablespoons durum flour
8 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
Mix dough in a food processor until it comes together into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Roll dough into large square sheets with a pasta roller to desired thickness. Cook pasta sheets in salted, boiling water, submerging in the water for one minute then immediately placing into an ice bath. Remove from ice bath and set aside to cool.
For the Besciamella
1# unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 pint “00” flour
2 quarts cold whole milk
2 shallots, sliced
2 pieces bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add shallots, bay, thyme and peppercorns. Cook over low heat until shallots are translucent. Add flour and stir well. Cook over medium heat for five minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and stir. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt to taste. Remove from heat and strain through chinois. Place in refrigerator to cool.
For the Bolognese
1# sweet Italian sausage
1/4# pancetta, ground or processed in food processor
1# ground veal
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 C tomato paste
1 C white wine
1-pint whole milk
2 pieces star anise
2 Spanish onions, chopped coarsely
4 cloves garlic
5 ribs of celery, chopped coarsely
2 carrots, peeled and chopped coarsely
2 small cans San Marzano DOP Tomatoes, processed in food processor
Process onions, garlic, celery and carrots together in a food processor. Set aside. Sear sausages and veal in olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Remove from pot and set aside. Add pancetta to the pot and cook over medium heat until crispy. Add processed vegetables and cook over medium heat until soft. Add tomato paste and stir. Cook for five minutes. Add wine and allow to cook until fully evaporated. Add veal and sausage back into the pot. Add milk and San Marzano tomatoes. Stir well and cook over low-medium heat for two hours. Season with salt to taste. Remove from heat and place in refrigerator to cool.
For the Tomato Sauce
2 cans San Marzano DOP tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs basil
4 tablespoons olive oil
Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add garlic and cook over low heat until soft. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and add basil. Season with salt to taste. Place in refrigerator to cool.
To Assemble the Lasagna
Cooked Pasta Sheets
Lay out a pasta sheet on a clean countertop. Spread a thin layer of béchamel evenly across the pasta sheet. Place another sheet of pasta on top of the béchamel. Sprinkle with parmesan and mozzarella. Spread a layer of bolognese evenly across the second pasta sheet. Roll the layered pasta into a log. Place in refrigerator to cool.
When cool, slice the lasagna log into pinwheels. Remove garlic and basil from the tomato sauce. Ladle the sauce into a casserole dish to cover the entire bottom of the dish. Lay lasagna pinwheels into the casserole until the dish is full. Bake in a 400-degree oven until pasta edges are golden brown. Serve.