Praise Piretra and Pass the Pasta!!!!
Praise Piretra and Pass the Pasta!
I love reviewing products; especially the kind that you cork and pour, or simply pour over ice. While as enticing and intoxicating as those might be, it’s much more fun and engaging when you have a history with the person who creates the product and, hence, can tell their story. Anyway, who wants to eat a big plate of ravioli and not know whose hands are stuffing them? Not me!! Oh, this is Mike:)
Enter Mr. Mike Piretra of Star Ravioli. Mike is the 3rd generation of rav makers in his family and is based out of Moonachie, New Jersey. He is a graduate of the Culinary Arts Institute, an avid fisherman, and one of my very first face book friends.
There are a few things that initially turned me on about Mike ~ he’s frickin’ hilarious, completely passionate about what he does and well, he’s the real deal! Mike would always pipe in on FB with outrageous quips and we frequently made references to him and Star Ravioli on our radio show. After several months, there just came a time when he had to bring it …the pasta, I mean.
So, with a slight suggestion from yours truly, Mike sent me a freezer full of some of his best: Braised Beef Short Rib, Quattro Formaggi, and their classic Roasted Garlic, Spinach, and Ricotta. Upon delivery, lunch time was nigh at the office so I whipped up a batch of the Spinach ravs, made a little beurre blanc, grated some fresh parmesan over the top and Emily and I went into paroxysms of joy. Emily is a superb connoisseur of good food, so when she makes that little deep throated “mmmm” noise, you know you’ve got a winner.
Later that same day, I cracked open a package of the Braised Short Rib ravs and made a tomato, garlic and wine reduction to go with them. Just a little spoonful of the sauce on the plate, arrange a few ravs on top, pecorino shavings, wine in a glass and again, complete joy!
The Piretra family has been making ravioli since 1946 and since that time they’ve added a plethora of amazing fillings and other staples to their original lineup of cheese, meat and spinach. It’s an all in the family operation and that means a lot to a lot of folks. Most trained Chefs have the ability to make high quality pasta, shape it, stuff it with unique, top of the charts ingredients and serve it on a plate. The difference with the Star Ravioli team is they do just that, only more than just a plate at a time. In fact, they crank out about 7 million pounds per year and each little pocket of love can still rock your world! *(At press time, the exact production amount wasn’t available, so we just took a wild guess.)
We had a little ‘to do’ at my place a few weeks ago and created a buffet menu that could be served warm or at room temperature. My brilliant idea: Star Ravioli, breaded and fried. Mike hand prepared several varieties all on his own and included a few containers of his gorgeous Pesto and Kalamata Tapenade.
I wish he could have been there that night to see the paroxysmal faces of my guests and listen to all of their deep throated ‘mmmm’ noises. When people asked “Where did you get these amazing ravioli’s”, it was my greatest pleasure to say, “Mike Piretra…he’s a good friend of mine!”
P.S. Just so you know, it was with complete presence of mind (a/k/a before I partied hearty), that I stashed a few packages of the Jalapeno and Jack Cheese in the back of my refrigerator. “What”, do you ask, “did you do make with those”? A Mexican Lasagna…”mmmmmmm!”
For more information on where you can purchase and/or enjoy the products from Star Ravioli visit www.starravioli.com.