Keeping Your Restaurant Busy

As a restaurant owner, there aren't many things more challenging than keeping a steady stream of customers coming in through the front door. Unfortunately, these kinds of challenges can eventually arrest the cash flow of your business, which can cause all kinds of problems in the long run. About three months ago, I decided that it would be a good idea to start focusing more on my own restaurant so that I could improve things. I started small, by changing the way that our team handled a few things, and then eventually worked towards reworking the entire menu. This blog is all about making your restaurant more profitable.

Impress Your Date with Your Knowledge of Unique Italian Pasta Dishes


If you are planning on taking a date to an Italian restaurant, then a fun way to make some conversation would be to know a bit about the more esoteric forms of pasta that might be on the menu. This is a fun thing to discuss and will get you talking about the different regions of Italy, which can lead to other topics such as vacations and other fun stuff. So, if you are only familiar with the classic spaghetti and meatballs, then this little primer will help you out.

Pasta alla Norma

This is a classic dish from Sicily. The most prominent feature of the dish is the lightly sauteed eggplant and the ricotta salata cheese. Eggplants are one of the most important crops in Sicily. Eggplants were first introduced into Italy by the Arabs (specifically into the island region of Sicily). The eggplant in pasta alla norma is prepared in a much different way than traditional eggplant in northern Italy (which is often breaded before frying). In this Sicilian dish, the eggplant is cut into chunks and is not peeled. It is then sautéed in olive oil, garlic, and diced tomatoes. Then the eggplant mixture is added to the cooked pasta. The tomatoes are not cooked down into a "sauce," so you have a very unique texture to the dish. Finally, the cheese used is ricotta salata, not the hard cheeses that you often find with pasta dishes. The dish can be garnished with basil leaves.

Pasta con le Sarde

This dish features a whole array of great ingredients, but most prominent of them all are sardines (hence the name). In addition to sardines, there are pine nuts, golden raisins, fennel, and garlic and olive oil. Interestingly, there is no cheese in the dish. The pasta is dusted at the end with a touch of breadcrumbs. The dish is famous throughout all of Sicily and is even recognized as an official "traditional" meal by the Italian government. As with many Sicilian dishes, sardines play a big role because the island has relied so heavily on fish. You will find fish in dishes less and less as you move toward cuisines such as Roman or Tuscan foods.

Cacio E Peppe

Speaking of Roman cuisine, you should know something about Cacio e Pepe. It's a super simple dish, but it can be found in restaurants all over Rome. This is a deceptively simple dish. Spaghetti is cooked in salt water and then tossed with freshly crushed black pepper and pecerino romano cheese. One important step is to add a small ladle of the cooking water (which has the starch from the pasta) and add this to the dish. This helps improve the texture of the dish and make the cheese achieve an almost sauce-like feel. This dish makes due with Rome's available ingredients (cow's milk) and works around the lack of seafood or eggplants that the region hasn't always had plentiful access to.

Talk to a company such as Villa Romana Italian Restaurant to learn more.


27 January 2017