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Special Request: Seafood Risotto from Sugo's Spaghetteria
Special RequestS

Special Request: Seafood Risotto from Sugo's Spaghetteria

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Q • I ordered the Seafood Risotto at Sugo’s Spaghetteria, and it was wonderful. Would the restaurant share the recipe? — Jon “Jack” Eckles, Kirkwood

A • “This is my home,” says Michael Del Pietro of the Frontenac location of Sugo’s Spaghetteria, one of two (soon-to-be three) Sugo’s locations in the St. Louis metro area and the first the restaurateur and his wife, Melissa, opened. “You can have more than one house, but you have just one home.” Del Pietro also owns Babbo’s Spaghetteria, Tavolo V and Via Vino and in 2014 will expand outside his Italian-food comfort zone with a southern-style BBQ restaurant.

Del Pietro calls Sugo’s a comfortable, unpretentious restaurant, “nice but not too fancy.” The relaxed atmosphere has wide appeal. “We get a mix of people. Lots of families. Women enjoying a girls night out. Business people.”

The menu features pastas, pizzas and daily fish, chicken and veal specials. Spaghetti and meatballs is the top seller. “I didn’t invent spaghetti and meatballs, but we do it our own way,” Del Pietro says of two giant meatballs atop a swirl of spaghetti in a fresh tomato cream sauce. “They’re more popular than I ever imagined.”

Del Pietro offers tips to help home cooks re-create his Seafood Risotto at home. First, he says, remember that rice is a sponge and that when it swells, it absorbs flavor. This is why he adds salt and pepper throughout the cooking process. “I’m not a salt nut, but some people under-season risotto.” He also recommends cooking the risotto until it “creams out” to form a rich, creamy, delicious whole. “I don’t want al dente risotto myself. I like it to cream together.”

Sugo’s Seafood Risotto is one of several seasonal “risotto del giorno” (risotto of the day) and is usually available only on weekends. Through Aug. 31, however, Sugo’s will serve the shrimp and crab risotto every day.

{hr /}Sugo’s Spaghetteria

Frontenac, Edwardsville and Overland Park, Kan.

sugoscucina.com

Special Request is written by Kirkwood resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column KitchenParade.com and “veggie evangelist” at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.

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