Thursday, March 28, 2013

What is pasta cake?!

The new fried cappellini cake at Tufino Pizzeria Napoletana
“I have so many ideas in my head,” smiles Stephen Menna, pizzaiolo and owner of Tufino Pizzeria Napoletana, Astoria’s newest artisan pizza joint on Ditmars. Well, recently, some of those ideas Menna has been harboring have been spilling out in the form of weekend specials...

The cross-section reveals the al dente pasta with a blend of ricotta, fior di latte, and caciocavallo 
Like this cappellini cake, a breaded round of angel hair pasta tossed with ricotta, caciocavallo, and fior di latte cheeses, which is then deep-fried and served surrounded by a moat of creamy alfredo, all garnished with shavings of grana padano. And yes, it is every bit as indulgent and delicious as it sounds.

 Though Menna upholds that Tufino is definitely a pizzeria, he has started offering a few pasta specials on the weekends, due to several customer requests. He makes all of the pasta as well, and since the focus is on specialty pies (try the ‘pistachianco’ with roasted pistachios, red onion, and ricotta), the pasta selection is limited. This weekend patrons can enjoy a unique rendition of pesto fettucine, the basil sauce studded with sautéed artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and paper-thin slivers of goat cheese, which add a velvety creaminess to the pesto.

Also, be sure to check out Tufino’s new brunch menu, served on Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Dishes include blueberry ricotta griddle cakes, a Texas toast fried egg grilled cheese, and a brunch pizza. And don’t forget, Tufino is open daily for lunch, with some fantastic specials. They are closed on Mondays.

Tufino Pizzeria Napoletana | 36-08 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria | 718-278-4800 |

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