Step Up Your Pasta Game: Benedetto Cavalieri and Marinara Sauce

Not all pasta is created equal. I think most people know that in theory, but getting a taste of really good pasta puts things into perspective. I confess that I have been guilty of buying mediocre pasta mainly because it was on sale. It’s hard to resist.  It was during my recent trip to Italy on the Gastronomy Experience with Zonin1821 that changed my palate for pasta.

During the experience we stopped at the Benedetto Cavalieri Pasta Factory. It’s a family owned company than has been producing pasta by old-world artisanal methods since 1918. Using semolina wheat, they do what is known as the “delicate method” to produce their pasta. For centuries this tradition has been passed down to ensure quality and flavor.

Eating pasta in Italy is a whole other level. However you don’t have to be in Italy to step up your pasta game. Wonderful pastas like Benedetto Cavalieri are sold around the world. The best part is when you have good pasta, you don’t need to add a lot to it, just a little sauce.

I’ll  be making Benedetto Cavalieri’s Fusilli and serving with homemade marinara sauce. I use a sauce recipe from, Pinot, Pasta, and Parties, by Dee and Paul Sorvino. I was sent a copy of the book to review and it’s a yummy one. The book is packed with authentic Italian recipes so I can take my palate on a trip to Italy any time I want to. I totally recommend the book if you want to make Italian food at home or for entertaining.

Long story short, when it comes to having good pasta, make sure it’s actually good pasta.  It may cost you a little bit more, but it’s so worth it.  Good pasta+good wine= Bliss.


Marinara Sauce

(from Pinot, Pasta, and Parties by Dee Dee & Paul Sorvino)


2 ( 28 ounce) cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes or 24 roma tomatoes

¼ cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

4 fresh basil leaves

⅛ teaspoon dried oregano


If using canned tomatoes, pour the tomatoes and their juices into a large mixing bowl and use your hands to break up the tomatoes until chunk.

If using fresh tomatoes, cut into an X into the bottom of each tomato. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 25 seconds, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water. When cool enough to handle, peel off the tomato skins and remove the stems. Then use your hands to break up the tomatoes in a bowl until chunky.

Put oil in a large saucepan, heat over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and saute’ until light brown. Add the tomatoes and their juices, basil, and oregano. Simmer until the oil rises on the top, 30 to 40 minutes.

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