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Request: Onesto's fettuccine alfredo

The fettuccine alfredo, photographed on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, is the object of a special request from Onesto's Pizza and Trattoria. Onesto's is located at 5401 Finkman in St. Louis. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

Q • I’d like to request a recipe from Onesto’s Pizza & Trattoria. My four favorite things are the fettuccine Alfredo, the house salad, caprese salad and the sangria, especially peach. — Thanks, Jen Hinkl, Princeton Heights

A • When we asked owner Nick Lograsso which recipe he would like to share, he didn’t hesitate. “The fettuccine Alfredo,” he said. “It’s simple food, done right. That’s our philosophy at Onesto’s. We use the best ingredients — fresh, not dried, fettuccine noodles, cream, garlic, olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan cheese. We top the hot pasta with a farm egg yolk, which cooks into the hot pasta when mixed in. We offer it with or without the egg yolk, but it adds to the flavor and the creaminess of the dish. It’s one of our top sellers.”

Lograsso’s Sicilian heritage and family history led him to his career in restaurants and hospitality. From an early age, he enjoyed cooking with his grandmother and with his Aunt Annie. “Nana made the sugo sauce, the red sauce, for our Sunday dinners. Salad, pasta, bread and butter — that was our traditional meal, every Sunday.”

He grew up hearing stories about his grandfather, who owned Mike’s, an old-style Italian restaurant on the north side. “I never met my grandfather, who was shot and killed outside his restaurant one night at opening, but I feel like I’m carrying on a family tradition with Onesto’s,” he says.

He became enmeshed in the hospitality industry early. “I started working in restaurants when I was 13, bussing tables, and I learned every job. I went to culinary school and worked in restaurants ever since,” he says. Lograsso has worked as a chef and has managed restaurants and bars, including opening the 360 Rooftop at the Hilton.

Lograsso and his business partner Terry Tousey bought Onesto’s one year ago this week, on Aug. 6, 2018. “I managed Onesto’s about five years ago, and I fell in love with the place.” He tried to buy it a few years back and wasn’t successful. When the opportunity came around again, he stepped up to buy it.

Although the menu of small plates, sandwiches, salads, pastas and entrees remains much the same, Lograsso puts a personal twist on the dishes. “I’ve tweaked the sauce recipe, and we use my grandmother’s all-beef meatball recipe, which she made with breadcrumbs. Our tiramisu is also a Lograsso family recipe. The salad dressing recipe is the original Onesto’s recipe. We won’t change that — and it’s one we don’t share.”

Lograsso admits he’s had little personal time the past year. “It’s like I’ve been married to this place since last August,” he says. “Going forward, I want to keep making Onesto’s better. We will be growing herbs and vegetables in our own garden next year. We’re a five-star Green Dining Alliance member.

“We’re celebrating our one-year anniversary all week. Watch our Facebook page for anniversary specials,” he says. He’s planned a night of music by Manda on the patio for Saturday.

 

Onesto’s Pizza and Trattoria

5401 Finkman Street

314-802-8883; onestopizza.com

See recipes from the top restaurants in St. Louis

To request recipe • Would you like to request a recipe from a restaurant that is still open in the St. Louis area? Send your request along with your full name and the city you live in to reciperequest@post-dispatch.com.