By February 10, 2015 Read More →

ChefView – For the Love of Pasta


Chef View
For the Love of Pastas!

By Dana Johnson

When I think of “love”, especially in the month of February, I realize there are too many definitions to count. Some make our hearts beat faster, cheeks blush, goofy smiles, passionate racy thoughts, licking of the lips, and unfortunately on occasion love can hurt ya, too. Luckily, when it comes to love, we all have the opportunity to feel more. Which brings me to a prime example: I love Italian food! Yep, I’m not one to fight my feelings; I love pasta, pesto, marinara, antipasto, olive oil, bread, Chianti, and there’s nothing quite like a scoop of spumoni ice cream! Want some instant gratification? Pastas Pronto is an ideal place to start this love affair!

It was 1988 in Michoacán, Mexico when Sergio Zamora Sr. set out to “steal his wife!” A common Hispanic phrase that means he was going take Rafaela for his bride, while her father would remind the groom “It’s all YOU now!” (Haha, I like that!) The marriage was consecrated. Eventually the couple moved to the USA . The first restaurant they went to meet family at (20+ years ago) is ironically now the location of their original Pastas Pronto location on H St in Modesto! In November 2014 a second location was opened on Coffee Road.

When I drove up to the Pastas Pronto on H, I was pleased to see the charming, old school Italian theme building. Inside was equally warm and quaint. Both restaurants are family owned and operated by the Zamora’s, including their 2 children Sergio ( Jr.) age 23, and Elizabeth who graduated MHS and now attends MJC. Gio, our food server, was wearing a genuine welcoming smile that lasted until we left. She provided outstanding service to all the patrons. Jr. spoiled us silly with plenty of culinary dishes that would have even impressed a top food critic. Jr. has an intact soul, good business sense, and a love for food, family, and people that will keep him in the competitive restaurant business for many years to come. Like me, Jr. is also a big fan of Rockin’ B’s on McHenry!

The meal started with bruschetta boasting fresh ribbons of basil, calamari frite golden fried, and the grigliata di polenta that was a first for me. The polenta appetizer was divine; a wild mushroom and white wine cream sauce, topped with gorgonzola & roasted almonds. Three entrées followed. First, penne siracusa made with Italian sausage, onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, & a white wine marinara sauce, so tasty. Jr.’s favorite was next, the pollo putiara made with capellini, chicken breast with a spicy white wine sauce, fresh spinach and diced tomatoes, very good! Finished by the pollo di parma made with chicken breast, garlic, spinach, prosciutto, cream sauce topped with mozzarella cheese, served with mashed potatoes & sautéed veggies. It was my hands down favorite; totally Dana~licious! No room for house made crème brulee, bread pudding from Modesto’s Donut Deli, cannoli, or the classic spumoni, so next time! Feeling full of culinary love!

Modesto View’s signature question for Sergio, Jr.; Beatles or Stones? He simply answered “Beatles”. I was baffled & questioned “Why?”. He told me because he’s a laid-back guy, but being a mere 23 years of age, he’s most willing to try the Stones!

Pastas Pronto – 2 Locations:
Original: 310 H Street Modesto, CA 95351 (209)-521-500
New: 2509 Coffee Road Modesto, CA 95355 (209) 549-2099
Facebook: Pastas Pronto
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11am to 2:30pm & 4:30pm to 8pm
Fri. 11am to 2:30pm & 4:30pm to 9pm
Sat. 2-pm to 9pm
Sun. 2pm to 8pm
Recipe
Ciabata bread sliced 1/4 thick brush with olive oil and garlic. Grill until crispy on the outside.
One roma tomato diced thinly. Mix in 1 tablespoon chopped garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix with olive oil. Best taste if left marinating overnight. Add topping to bread and top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

 

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