Posts Tagged With: pasta

Date Night: Faccia Luna

If you ever find yourself in Old Town, Alexandria, I highly recommend Faccia Luna for a delicious and amazing Italian dining experience. It’s right around the corner from our place which makes it even more awesome. Last night it was so hot and we had gone for a walk and decided that we should have a date night. So, naturally, we wanted a place close by that was delicious. Andrew suggested Faccia and I am glad he suggested it. The restaurant is fairly big and accommodates a large number of guests, but as you might guess with any delicious restaurant in Old Town, it is usually crowded… especially when it’s above 100 out. So, when we arrived it was packed and folks were waiting in line. Rather than spend a half hour waiting around, we asked if we could eat outside and the hostess said sure and that no one was eating out there because it was so hot. Oh well, we’re not like everyone else :).

Faccia has a great beer and wine selection, which we usually partake of, perhaps a little too much. I was just super thirsty, so rather than chug down a beer to quench my thirst, I opted for a seltzer. Andrew, true to the Italian spirit, had a Peroni. We each ordered an appetizer and an entree, which was probably a poor decision given how much food comes with each dish! Worth it anyway. I wish I had more pictures but I was too busy gobbling :).

For appetizers, Andrew had the meatball sliders. As described in their menu: 3 meatballs on toasted rolls with pomodoro sauce, parmesan and arugula. They’re pretty much heaven on a roll. I may have stolen one.

I had a salad on their special list for the week; a pear arugula salad. It was a bed of arugula topped with some pecans, pears, and pineapple… tossed with a champagne vinaigrette. YUM

For dinner, Andrew had a Margherita pizza and I opted for their Angel hair pasta with garlic and marinara. Obviously, we opted for more of the simply dishes, which don’t get me wrong, are AMAZING… but they also have more hyped up dishes like pasta pockets filled with butternut squash in a sage butter sauce; pasta pockets filled with ricotta and spinach in a cream pomodoro sauce; and pasta pockets filled with fresh mozzarella and roasted red peppers in a basil cream sauce. Mmmmm they also have sandwiches and TON of pizza combinations. Again, I highly highly recommend.

After dinner, we walked past 7-11 and picked up some dessert (I know, not the most beautiful dessert location)– salted caramel ice cream. ah-maze-ing. If you haven’t tried this yet, do it. I was skeptical at first, but oh my gosh it was soooo good. Back at home, we settled in with our ice cream cones and full bellies to watch Harry Potter… Chamber of Secrets. It doesn’t matter how many times I see the movies, I still want to watch them and dream of going to Hogwarts. Even if it’s not real, our date night was still oh so magical (I know, AWESOME pun). 🙂 Hope you all had a great week!

Faccia Bar

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A New Dish a Week: Pesto Pasta Salad

One of the things that I love about spring, our garden, and our CSA starting up is the BASIL!!! I looove pesto and what I love even more than pesto is making my own pesto. So, when we decided to have an impromptu bbq/get together a couple weekends ago, of course pesto was going on the menu. After taking a look at what other ingredients we had in the kitchen to work with, I decided to try and make a pesto pasta salad. I’m not a huge pasta salad fan, but I figured with pesto, you just can’t go wrong!

Pesto Ingredients:
2 Cups Basil (I eye-balled it)
3 Cloves Garlic (More if you love garlic)
1/4 Cup Pine Nuts (you can use other nuts, or no nuts and get the same tastiness)
1/2-3/4 Cup Fresh Grated Parmesan (it really doesn’t have to be fresh grated but it tastes better!)
1/2 Cup Olive Oil

Pesto Pasta Ingredients:
1 Recipe Pesto
3/4 pound of Whole Wheat Pasta (you could use a whole pound, regular pasta, etc..)
8oz container Fresh Mozzarella (doesn’t have to be 8oz. that’s what we had!)
3/4 container cherry tomatoes (you could use a whole container, half container, grape tomatoes, roma tomatoes, whatever you want!)
6-7 Fresh Basil Leaves (unnecessary, I just love basil!)

Directions for Pesto:
1. Place rinsed basil leaves (the 2 cups, not the 6-7 extra leaves) and garlic cloves (peeled) into a food processor and process until basil and garlic are minced up and combined (about a minute or so).
2. Add in Pine Nuts and process until chopped up and mixed in.
3. Turn food processor on and slowly pour in the olive oil. Stop food processor.
4. Mix in the grated cheese with a spatula or wooden spoon. Put pesto aside.

Directions for Pesto Pasta:
1. Place a pasta pot filled with water on the stove and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to package (al dente is good here!).
2. While the water is cooking, diced up the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella into bite-size pieces (I went for about marble sized). If you’re using the small fresh mozzarella balls, I cut the in halves or quarters. If you’re using the cherry or grape tomatoes, I cut them in half.
3. Cut the 6-7 fresh basil leaves into thin strips.
4. When the pasta is done, drain well in a strainer and then place in a large bowl (easiest to place it into your serving bowl- fewer dishes).
5. Add the pesto to the pasta and mix well. Allow this mix to cool (you can place in the refrigerator to speed this process up). I usually make the pasta/pesto mix the night before and let sit overnight or the morning of so it has 2 hours or so to cool.
6. Prior to serving, add the tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves to the pesto-pasta mix and toss gently just to mix.
ENJOY! Disclaimer: I don’t have a finished product picture— we were too hungry! I promise it’s beautiful! Especially if you use a small heirloom tomato variety pack (yellow, orange, purple, red, green…)

Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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