Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Valenza Pasta - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Valenza Pasta, plus scores as of 4/8/11

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By Andy Wise - bio | email

MIDTOWN MEMPHIS (WMC TV) - THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP:  Valenza Pasta Gourmet Pasta Store, 14 N. McLean Blvd., 901-278-0078.

Green beer pasta. Seriously. Seriously good.

"It's made with Bud Light," said Valenza Pasta's Owner Kathey Cianciola.

That pasta's made with a little tongue-in-cheek humor, but Cianciola's seriously making a name for her family with her third-generation pasta recipes and Valenza Pasta's most recent inspection score:  a 97 on April 7.

"My mother went to Italy -- Valenza, Italy -- with a friend of hers," said Cianciola. "They fell in love with it, of course. They came back and decided they wanted to make ravioli for wholesale.

"They were two little old ladies, and they needed some help. Mom's friend eventually had to drop out, so I started to help."

Her late grandparents, Louis (Pawpa) and Rose (Mimi) Ronza, also pitched in to round out the recipes that Cianciola noodles herself:  fresh spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine and angel hair made with a half-dozen flavors of dough.

"I like the red pepper dough," said loyal Midtown customer Cindy Baker. "The homemade pasta -- she's got it in all those flavors. It's really good. I give it out as gifts!"

Cianciola bags the pasta to sell in the store, makes pasta dishes fresh by request or freezes them among the hand-rolled meats and cheeses that customers can pull right out of the coolers.

"You can bring your own dishes in," Cianciola added. "We'll fill them up with a lasagne. We have four different lasagnes."

"Everyone loves anything that's gourmet or home-made. The food is incredible," said Baker.

Call in a fresh pasta order, pick it up with a bottle of olive oil or a gift basket and add Valenza Pasta to your office pool of take-out menus.

WHAT ANDY LIKES:  4-Cheese Ravioli w/Crushed Pepper Pasta, Seafood Lasagne (Crab Meat, Scallops, Shrimp, Roasted Red Peppers, Mushrooms), Eggplant Parmesan. 

HIGH SCORES OF THE WEEK:

Subway, 9020 Highway 64, Lakeland, TN, 97 on April 7. 

Edy's, Memphis International Airport, 96 on April 6. 

Sam's Hamburgers & More, 94 N. Main, Downtown Memphis, 96 on April 6. 

Villa Italian Kitchen, Memphis International Airport, 95 on April 5. 

LOW SCORE OF THE WEEK: 

Mulan Chinese Restaurant, 6525 Mem-Arlington Rd., Bartlett, TN, 77 on April 8.

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