Living on Staten Island my family and I consider ourselves are lucky to be in what I consider the capital for fine dining Italian food. And even though we are not of Italian descent ( we are proudly Jewish) we consider ourselves honorary Italians as we have basically eaten our way through every single Italian restaurant on Staten Island. But there is one restaurant in particular that holds a special place in our hearts and that’s Pasticceria Bruno. Since my son learned to speak ( his first word was RAVILOI – hand to gd) he has asked each year that we go to Bruno’s for his birthday celebration. No he doesn’t want ice cream, he wants RAVIOLI at Pasticceria Bruno. So when I was given the opportunity to be a part of the 100 year anniversary celebration of Ronzoni Pasta which included getting to taste test an award winning dish made by chef Biagio Settepani of Pasticceria Bruno ( which INCLUDED ronzoni Pasta ) it was a no-brainer!
Keep reading for all the deets including how you can give back each time you head to Bruno’s and bite into his Staten Island Mac and cheese!
To celebrate 100 years of calling New York home, Ronzoni® Pasta recently partnered with four New York area chefs to create a signature pasta dish inspired by the culture of their neighborhood, paired with donations benefitting local non-profit partners chosen by each chef.
One of those incredible chefs is Chef Biagio Settepani of Pasticceria Bruno. And in celebration of National Pasta Month (October), Ronzoni unveiled the winning ingredients and signature recipes each chef created with them! The ingredients used in these limited-edition recipes were crowd-sourced by Ronzoni® Pasta fans through voting on Facebook, commemorating 100 years of the iconic brand calling New York home. Each chef selected eight ingredients to potentially incorporate into their pasta dishes, which were then voted on by consumers on the Ronzoni Facebook page from August 11-September 7, 2015.
The dishes from each chef with the chosen ingredients are:
Chef Chris Jaeckle of All’onda (22 East 13th Street, Manhattan)Dish: Smoked Salmon Lasagna featuring squash, Jerusalem artichokes and smoked salmon
Chef Samantha Diaz and the Pirolo family of The Saint Austere (613 Grand Street, Brooklyn) Dish: Rigatoni with Pancetta and Porcinis featuring smoked pancetta, porcini mushrooms and butternut squash
Chef Gianna Cerbone of Manducatis Rustica (46-35 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City) Dish: Gemelli E Gamberi featuring garlic, heirloom tomato and Madagascar shrimp
And last but certainly not least-Chef Biagio Settepani of Pasticceria Bruno (1650 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island) Dish: Staten Island Mac & Cheese featuring portobello mushrooms, fresh tomato and prosciutto cotto.
I was lucky enough to get to taste the Staten Island Mac and Cheese and I was amazed how great this dish was! I also had an opportunity to sit down with Chef Biagio and talk about his life after he came here from Sicily at age 13, his love of Ronzoni pasta while growing up and his signature recipe. Check out my video below!
Chef Biagio used mushrooms, fresh tomato and prosciutto cotto and Ronzoni rotini to create a recipe for Staten Island Mac & Cheese, which you can now enjoy at his restaurant, Pasticceria Bruno. Not only can you try this limited-edition recipe for yourself, but Ronzoni® Pasta will also be giving back to Chef Biagio’s nonprofit of choice, the March of Dimes, along the way in an effort to give back to the New York communities that have supported Ronzoni® Pasta for 100 years. But the best part? For each dish sold, Ronzoni® Pasta will donate $1 (up to $4,000 each) to the March of Dimes – and they’ll be doing so for each of the other three chefs as well. The recipes will also be featured on the brand’s Facebook timeline this month, and every “like” or share of these posts will trigger an additional $1 donation by Ronzoni (up to $1,000 per organization for a maximum $5,000 per partner).
So get over to Pasticceria Bruno try the Mac and Cheese for yourself and the March of Dimes, Mangia! And in case you want to try and recreate this masterpiece at home-Try it at home tonight with this recipe #Ronzoni100 #signaturedish
Staten Island Mac & Cheese
Cook Time: 25 minutes
4 Tbsp butter
½ cup Spanish onions, diced
4 Tbsp flour
1 qt. whole milk
4 oz. fontina cheese, shredded
4 oz. mozzarella, shredded
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 oz. imported prosciutto, diced
6 oz. Roma tomatoes, diced
6 oz. portobello mushrooms, pre-cooked & sliced
1 package (16 oz.) RONZONI® Rotini pasta, uncooked
2 Tbsp truffle oil
6 Tbsp panko bread crumbs
Béchamel Sauce: In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter; add onions. Cook 3-4 minutes or until clear and tender; add flour and whisk well to prevent any lumps. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time. Let milk moisture come to a simmer and continue to stir for 5 minutes. Slowly add fontina and mozzarella cheeses in three stages; stirring constantly. Set aside.
In separate saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil. Add diced prosciutto, cook for 1 minute; add diced tomato and portobello mushrooms. Cook over medium heat 3-5 minutes. Add prosciutto, mushrooms, tomato mixture into béchamel sauce, mix well.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to béchamel sauce. Mix well, pour into 6 round buttered ramekins, sprinkle each with truffle oil and panko bread crumbs. Optional, may add more shredded fontina cheese. Place ramekins into preheated 350oF oven, cook 20-25 minutes. Take out of oven and serve.
Makes 6 Servings
This post is part of a sponsored conversation with Ronzoni Pasta but as is always the case all opinions expressed are my own!