PARTICULAR ABOUT PASTA
Eldorado chefs prep for the Great Italian Festival.
WRITTEN BY NATASHA BOURLIN
PHOTOS BY TY O’NEILL
Eldorado Resort Casino executive chef Ivano Centemeri brings Northern Italian pasta recipes to Reno
Each day, a bustling, pasta-producing shop deep within the Eldorado Resort Casino — with executive chef and Northern Italy native Ivano Centemeri at the helm — makes all of the needed pasta for nine restaurants at The Row, a conglomeration of three Downtown Reno casino resorts. Separate from the other kitchens, this shop was created by Centemeri solely to produce pasta and gelato for the properties. Normally, about 200 to 300 pounds are crafted daily, including many handmade varieties for restaurants such as La Strada and Roxy, plus some machine-made types using semolina that hold up better on the buffet line.
Eight thousand pounds of shaped pastas and spaghetti will be
produced in the Eldorado Pasta Shop for the Great Italian Festival in October
Come time for the annual Great Italian Festival in October, the shop’s team of four boosts that production to 8,000 pounds of shaped pastas and spaghetti, plus 2,000 pounds of filled pastas such as tortellini and ravioli for the event.
“The two days of the festival, the pasta shop is continuously going,” Centemeri says.
Top those pastas with another 800 pounds of fresh Parmigiana off the wheel. And that’s just what goes outdoors for the festival — two Italian-themed buffets also use the produced pastas indoors.
Folks in Italy would be impressed.
Chefs at the Eldorado Pasta Shop produce enough pasta for nine
restaurants each day, with the help of this pasta extruder
Everything produced at the pasta shop is made from scratch, in house, largely from ingredients sourced from a New Jersey-based Italian specialty food company. During the weeks before the event, the team starts making the stuffed pastas and freezing them immediately while fresh, and the rest are crafted in the days leading up to the festival. Rather than add more hands to help out, Centemeri simply increases his trusted team’s work hours.
Agustin Martinez pulls spaghetti from the shop's pasta extruder and lays it on a baking sheet
Their pasta-making machine helps by cranking out 250 pounds of pasta per hour, thanks to the highest quality bronze dies available to create shapes that hold the sauces well.
What pastas does the Italian chef himself eat? “Everything that is short and fat, like rigatoni, spaghettoni, pappardelle. I like more bite,” Centemeri explains. “I grew up where the pasta is the showcase.”
As for sauces, “On egg noodles, cheese and butter is more than enough; I want to taste the noodles. In regular pasta, a little bit of garlic, oil, basil, and fresh tomato. You don’t need a lot.”
Natasha Bourlin is a freelance writer and self-proclaimed pasta, pizza, and cheese addict.
Eldorado Great Italian Festival
Oct. 6 – 7 in Downtown Reno
Eldorado Resort Casino • 345 N. Virginia St., Reno • 775-786-5700 • Eldoradoreno.com