As seen on TheGothamist.com
Pasta is one of the very best foods in the universe—only pizza and bread are possible in competition—in this blogger's humble (and hungry) opinion. Unfortunately, all that refined white flour hiding in your spaghetti isn't so great for you—but if you swap out regular pasta for whole and ancient grains, you're doing your body a service. Such is the message at Pazzi Pasta, an adorable family-run joint that lets you mix-and-match ancient grains, semolina and other heart-healthy pastas with tasty sauces and proteins, so you don't feel like every bowl is a burden on your body.
The restaurant, run by Dr. Giovanni Campanile, his son Daniel Campanile, and his daughter Francesca Campanile, opened in Cobble Hill in October 2013, though I had the pleasure of dining there this week as a guest. The Campaniles pride themselves on the restaurant's "fast casual gourmet" atmosphere, where diners are invited to choose their own pastas, sauces and toppings cafeteria-style, then enjoy their meal at one of the space's simple tables.
But the hook here isn't just the low-key dining style—Campanile is a cardiologist, and the pastas here eschew enriched flour in favor of organic kamut, farro, semolina, cuttlefish ink, and the like (there are gluten-free options, as well). Fresh pastas come in all sorts of shapes, cooked al dente and delicately doused in sauces like grass-fed bolognese, a decadent smoked salmon & gorgonzola, and funghi boscoiola (avoid the weak puttanesca sauce if you can).
Tastiness of the majority of the pasta dishes aside, some of what makes Pazzi Pasta so delightful is that it's a family affair. The elder Campanile consults the younger Campaniles on the menu's nutritional value, while his wife, Dr. Sandra Cammarata, has offered dish suggestions from her native Southern Italy. Daniel Campanile, who has a long history working the food industry, manages the restaurant, while Francesca Campanile, who trained with pasta-makers in Genoa, helps run the kitchen. If you manage to speak with any of the Campaniles, you can tell their passion for food—healthy, tasty food—runs deep, and it's heartening to see how much they care about one another and the dishes they serve.
Dishes here run about $10 to $15 per person, and come with hearty in-house baked bread. You can also purchase fresh pasta from the premises if you're looking to make your own meal.
Pazzi Pasta is located at 227 Smith Street between Butler and Douglass Streets in Cobble Hill, Brookyn (347-916-1076, pazzipasta.com).