1220 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036 | (202) 835-0459

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The Art of Pasta Selection

Did you know there is an art to selecting which pasta to use with various sauces?  Many Italian restaurant owners have this knowledge and produce better pairings than we would at home.

First of all, recognize the lighter the sauce, the thinner the pasta should be. One example of this is utilizing spaghetti with garlic and olive oil or puttanesca and the thicker sauces like Alfredo or pesto with the medium weight, flatter fettucine or linguine.

Tubular pastas like ziti, penne, and rigatoni cling to the sauce and also allow for the sauce, meat, and vegetables to travel inside creating a tastier bite. Filled pastas like the tortelloni or ravioli are served with lighter sauces or broths so the luscious fillings can be the star of the show.

Overall, consider these pointers to make great pasta at home: Don’t overcook it. Follow the directions for al dente, and remove from the heat immediately. Never rinse the pasta, getting rid of wonderful tastes and nutrients. Gently mix the pasta with the sauce and let it sit so the flavors can marry before you indulge. Lastly, limit the amount of sauce so you can savor the pasta’s flavor and textures also.

For more tips, see this site.

Quality EVOO Makes All the Difference

With its health benefits and wonderful flavoring of food, extra virgin olive oil is a must have in most homes and restaurants. But recent studies show that consumers must be wise in choosing their olive oil and not just assume Italian imported oils are the top quality ones.

In 2010, researchers found 69% of the Italian olive oils did not meet the basic standards to truly be classified “extra virgin.” To lower costs, many olive oil producers in Italy have been adding lower-quality oils from other countries, soybean and other inexpensive oils to the mix, and even in some cases, colorants to vegetable oils. Then they falsely classify their creation as “extra virgin” olive oil.

If you want to choose the best, consider ordering from small producers who sell in bulk or allow you to taste it first. Remember that fresh oils have a grassy or buttery flavor, not a canned taste. Your personal palate will determine whether you prefer the lighter, fresher olive base versus the richer, buttery mature olive base.

Once you have your favorite in hand, be sure to store it correctly to maintain the flavor. Choose a container that keeps light out as much as possible, and place it in a cool, dry place. Be careful not to consume rancid oil which tends to taste bitter or stale because it can lead to a higher risk of heart disease and cancer.

For recommendations of quality olive oils to purchase and more interesting facts about world-renowned olive oils, visit this site. Be sure to stop by i Ricchi to enjoy the top-notch olive oils utilized in many dishes from salads to flavorful steaks and seafood.

Summer on the Patio – Free Appetizers, 1/2 Priced Drinks

Join us for a week of happy hours on the piazza! From Monday, August 17 – Friday, August 22, join us for 1/2 priced drinks on the patio from 5-7pm. Plus, on Monday and Tuesday, enjoy free appetizers from 5-7pm. We hope you will join us for lunch or dinner August 17-22 for DC Restaurant Week to enjoy a special 3-course menu and flight of wine. Visit the events page for more details!

DC Restaurant Week – Celebrating the Flavors of Summer

We’re celebrating Restaurant Week August 17-22 with $22 3-Course Lunches, $35 3-Course Dinners, and a $12 flight of wine!

Enjoy these delicious summer starters from our Restaurant Week menus:

Heirloom tomato caprese with mozzarella, balsamic reduction and basil, sweet corn risotto with thyme, mascarpone, and olive oil, chilled watermelon and tomato gazpacho with Maine scallop crudo, cucumber, and chive oil. Entrees include delicious grilled pork tenderloin, mountain trout and gulf shrimp. Check out the full lunch menu and the full dinner menu. We’re featuring 3 wines for $12 from One Hope Wines – a portion of product sales are donated to important charities. Visit the Events page for more details. Call us to make your reservation!

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