Pasta is one of my kids’ favorite foods, but I generally try to limit their intake due to its high calorie and high carb content. However, since it’s usually on the top of their list, I’m always looking for ways to accommodate their request and I recently found one.
It’s called Pazzi Pasta, a Southern Italian restaurant in Carroll Gardens, one of my favorite parts of Brooklyn. “Pazzi” literally means “crazy” and I’m not kidding when I call their food crazy delicious! It’s rare to find a restaurant that is so intent on using organic, locally grown, heathy ingredients made with ancient grains while keeping the taste so original and flavorful. Even my kids were impressed, and that is no easy task.
Pazzi is family-owned and offers patrons a sense of friendliness inspired by the Campanile family’s Italian heritage. The restuarant is set up to offer families a sense that they are truly involved in the preparation of their meal. The pasta is made in-house and my kids were able to sneak a peek at the pasta being prepared and choose what their pasta, sauce, topping, a choice they loved taking ownership of.
We sampled a wide selection of pastas. I was so pleased to know that each of the noodle options contains up to 80% ancient grains for an abundance of phytonutrients and minerals, and the sauces—made from scratch daily from family recipes—include a multitude of heart-healthy vegetables. We also nibbled on nero de seppia with salmon gargonzola (cuttlefish ink), gluten-free pasta with puttanesca sauce & mushrooms, semolina spaghetti with bolognese sauce and grabbfed meatballs, mushroom squash ravioli with funghi boscaoiola sauce and farro ancient grain pasta with sauteed vegies and ricotta salata. Are you hungry yet? Each plate brought new, exciting flavors and aromas and my kids sampled everything before zeroing in on their favorite dishes. It was like taking a culinary adventure through Southern Italy, without ever leaving NYC.
As a vegetarian, there were plenty of options for me including veg-balls (zucchini, eggplant, ricotta, egg white, wheat breadcrumbs), pan-fried eggplant and zucchini and mixed forest mushrooms. And for my picky eaters (who became less picky with each new dish), there were options galore. We were all so satisfied and didn’t think it could get any bettter when it did: Dessert came!
Dan, one of the owners and members of the Campanile family, brought out a selection of desserts to try including dark chocolate almond caprese cake, sicilian almond cookies and chocolate lava-ioli cookies, all of which melted and tingled in our mouths.
The Campanile family are special, as exemplified by Dan’s earnest passion for the food he made for us. Inspired by the family’s Italian heritage and in particular by family matriarch, a gourmet chef in Italy, coupled with Dan’s ingenuity in conceiving the concept, Pazzi Pasta gives guests an interactive, healthy, family-friendly experience, all served at a New York pace. And we can’t wait to return.
In addition, Pazzi offers pasta classes ($55 per person). They’re offering a Gnocchi Class, Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 10 a.m. and a Ravioli Class, Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 10 a.m. Each class includes hands on pasta making, wine, lunch, and a take home of fresh gnocchi or ravioli and are available for purchase here:http://makepasta.splashthat.com.
The restaurant also hosts kids birthday parties and provides activities like “who can make the longest pasta dough” and more. Call 347.916.1076 for more info.
Here’s the low down on the restaurant:
227 Smith Street
(between Butler & Douglass)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
F, G to Warren Street
Disclosure: My family received a complimentary meal to facilitate this review and others but all opinions are my own.