Though the menu at Pastaria (7734 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-862-6603) is largely the creation of Gerard Craft and Adam Altnether, executive chef Brian Moxey has been able to add his own touches through daily specials as well as his additions to the regular rotation of pastas and pizzas. Diners have noticed.
"I put the bucatini all'amatriciana on" the regular menu, he explains. "But then I took it off and ran carbonara for a week or two. I got positive reviews on that, but we had multiple people every night ask, 'Where'd the all'amatriciana go?'
"So it was like, wow, I was super happy they were that into that dish."
See Also: - Brian Moxey Journeys from Starry-Eyed Young New York City Cook to Executive Chef of St. Louis' Hottest Restaurant - Pimento Cheese, Heavy Metal and Learning to Salt Your Food: A Q & A with Brian Moxey of Pastaria
Makes four servings
¼ pound guanciale (Substitute pancetta or bacon; I prefer guanciale.) 1 28 oz. can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes. 1 medium red onion, minced 3 cloves of garlic, minced 1 red Thai chili, minced 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes Extra virgin olive oil 1 pound of bucatini (available at Pastaria or substitute your favorite dry pasta)
1. Cut the guanciale into a small dice. Render in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat with a small amount of olive oil.
2. When the guanciale goes translucent, and just before it browns, add the onion, garlic, and chili. Stir to incorporate and cook until tender.
3. Run the tomatoes through a food mill for a smoother sauce, or hand-chop for a more rustic dish. When the onions have cooked tender, add the tomatoes to the pot. From here the sauce should simmer for about a half an hour.
4. Cook pasta to manufacturer's specifications, drain and add to the sauce. Finish the dish with a healthy amount of grated Pecorino Romano, a little butter and a fistful of fresh chopped parsley.