Uptown Welcomes: Chef Tony + Pasta Rea

Thank you for joining us at Uptown Farmers Market for a demonstration by one of our newest vendors, Chef Tony Rea. Chef Tony is the owner and executive Chef of Creations in Cuisine Catering and launched his new pasta and sauce line, Pasta Rea, at our market last week. Because fresh pasta is the single most asked for item at Uptown, we were thrilled to welcome him to market!

Chef Tony recently purchased the finest imported Italian pasta machine, capable of producing 26 shapes of pasta, and his current market selection includes: rigatoni, conchiglie, campanelle, tagliatelle and linguine. Using a few of these varieties of fresh pasta, along with a few other market products, he showed us how to create some drool-worthy dishes. McClendon’s Organic Select provided carrots, potatoes, garlic, onion and parsley. Chef also used olive oil from Sogno Toscano, goat cheese chevre from Fossil Creek Creamery, beautiful mushrooms from Dreamy Draw Mushrooms, and a spring mix from TJ Farms. While Chef whipped up the dishes the students from C-CAP served up the food for samples.

I asked Chef Tony to give us his tips on preparing pasta and he replied that, “Fresh is best. If you’re looking for something to go with rich flavors, you should opt for an egg pasta. And always cook your pasta al dente with a drizzle of oil and sea salt in the water.” His fresh. non-egg pastas last 3-4 days but you can also leave them out to dry and then they’ll last a few months. His egg-based pastas, currently tagliatelle and pappardelle, will last 2-3 days max in the fridge.

When choosing what to pair his pasta with, Chef Tony usually goes for thick red meat sauces with penne or rigatoni so that the sauce gets sucked up into the pasta. Lighter sauces, such as pesto and vodka sauce pair well with delicate pastas such as gemelli and conchiglie. Chef likes to add a creamy cheese, like the goat cheese from Fossil Creek to his cream sauces to add more texture. He also mentioned that you shouldn’t be afraid to add some of the water from the pasta you cooked into your sauce, the starch will help thicken it and it will add some more flavor to the mix.

Although last Saturday was the first time Chef Tony was selling his pasta at Uptown, he has been in the business a long time! Chef has been making pasta and working in the industry for over 38 years including time as the Executive Chef at the Boulders Resort and Country Club and Chef instructor at the Art Institute of Phoenix.

We would like to thank Chef Tony for all of the interesting tips, and thank all of you for welcoming him to the market. Thanks again to McClendon’s SelectFossil Creek CreameryDreamy Draw MushroomsSogno Toscano and TJ Farms for supporting the demo with your ingredients. Thanks to the C-CAP students for slicing and dicing, and we hope you enjoyed the raffles for gift certificates of Pasta Rea product. Stay in the know by subscribing to our weekly e-mail list and follow us on social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram).