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With David Valicenti
In The Kitchen

02/08/18



 David Valicenti is the owner and chef of Valicenti Pasta Farm (11 Monument Square, Hollis, 459-3627, gimmespaghetti.com), which makes its own pastas and pasta sauces from scratch. Products are available on site and can also be found at stores and markets across New England, including the Concord Food Co-Op, Normanton Farms in Litchfield and The Good Loaf in Milford. Valicenti Pasta Farm also appears at about 35 farmers markets in New Hampshire and Massachusetts during the summer and about a dozen during the winter, including the Winter Market at Cole Gardens in Concord and the two Seacoast Eat Local Winter Markets in Exeter and Rollinsford. Pasta sauces include a tomato basil, an “alla Norma” sauce with roasted eggplant and ricotta salata cheese and a “Golden Gravy” butternut squash, caramelized fennel and Parmigiano sauce. The farm also makes several flavors of ravioli, fettuccine, ziti, linguine and other types of pasta. Valicenti grew up in an Italian-American family in New Hampshire and started making pasta at a young age. His career took him to restaurants in Boston and later New Orleans before he returned to the Granite State to open the farm in Hollis.

 
What is your must-have kitchen item?
I would say that a food processor is key. I can make everything fast that way. I can make the dough and I can puree the ingredients for the tomato sauce too.
 
What would you have for your last meal?
Potato gnocchi with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
 
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Any of the Buckley’s restaurants, [like] Buckley’s Great Steaks [in Merrimack] or MT’s [in Nashua]. I usually like to get whatever is on the specials menu.
 
What celebrity would you like to see using or buying your product?
Oprah Winfrey would do wonders for business!
 
What is your favorite kind of pasta or pasta dish?
Definitely well-made gnocchi, which is part of the whole reason I started cooking in the first place. But I also like any kind of simple pasta with fresh ingredients that you can make quick.
 
What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?
Middle Eastern and East Asian spices are sort of having a resurgence, especially with all of the different combinations of them that people can use.
 
What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
It depends on the time of year. In the wintertime I braise anything from shanks to braciole. … In the summer I like to cook fish with vinaigrette and a simple vegetable. It’s light but keeps you full, so you don’t feel like you’re bogged down with heavy food. 
 
— Matt Ingersoll 





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