The Dué Way: Guanciale

The Due' Way: Parmigiano Reggiano DOP

Explore our new wine list: something for every occasion and budget

When Americans think of wine, they think of sommeliers and expensive dinners. When Italians think of wine, we think of lunch. And that’s probably why life moves just a bit slower in Europe!

Jokes aside, there is a part of the European way of understanding wine that we want to bring to the States and our clientele at Due’ because we think it’s an important part to enjoying our authentic food.

We’re introducing some changes to our wine list that we hope open the door up to enjoying and pairing wine with our food in a new way that matches your mood and occasion.

Our new wine list features a range of amazing Italian wines all organized by occasion, to help you make the right selection for both your taste and budget. We’ve increased the number of options across the board from affordable house wines for a quick lunch bite, to mid-tier wines, to more upscale options for special date nights or celebrations. There’s something for everyone and every event.

House wines

An easy pick and budget friendly

Our Italian house wines are perfect for a quick pick to go with a quick meal if you’re looking for something easy and budget-friendly. We have both a white and red option to meet both styles. Our house red is Chianti from our home of Tuscany. It’s dry with medium-to-full body and moderate tannins. Our white house option is a Pinot Grigio from the Veneto region of Italy. It’s light bodied, dry and crisp. Both a perfect pairings for a quick lunch.

Casually

Treat yourself to a nice lunch

If you’re entertaining guests or treating yourself out for a nice lunch or dinner, we’ve created this “Casually” section to help your find the right selection. They’re a tab more expensive that the house wines but still in a nice budget range for a nice lunch or informal dinner. We’ve added a few new wines here to pick from that you’ll love with your meal: look for the Barbera and Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. The Barbera is an Italian red from the Piedmont region. It’s a dry wine, medium-bodied, with earthy, berry flavors. Montepulciano D’Abruzzo is another Italian red from the Abruzzo region in the south. It’s dry as well, medium-bodied, with red fruit notes. Both are excellent choices for a casual meal.

To Celebrate

For special occasions

Our “To Celebrate” assortment is for those special events you really want something special for: birthdays, anniversaries, entertaining business meetings, etc. This selection is a bit pricier but the Italian wines are excellent and are a perfect companion to our dishes if you’re looking for an experience that really stands out. These are served bottle only and meant to share with your party (or not!). We’ve really beefed up this menu with three new fine Italian wines to choose from: a Sauvignon Blanc,  Valpolicella Ripasso, and Barbaresco. The Sauvignon Blanc is a white from the Friuli region of Italy. It’s dry with earthy flavors. The Valpolicella Ripasso is a red from the Veneto region of Italy. It has medium body and has earthy, tart berry, and herbal notes. Our most expensive option for a real treat is the Barbaresco, a red addition from the Piedmont region of Italy. It’s dry, full-bodied, has red fruit notes with a firm tannic structure.

Regardless of the occasion and where your budget is for it, be assured we have an amazing imported wine option for you that matches the authenticity and quality of our Italian food.

We hope you enjoy exploring our new wine menu!

Check out our new wine selection

HOUSE WINES

CHIANTI (Italy)

Quintessential Tuscany. Dry, medium to full body, moderate tannins.

PINOT GRIGIO (Italy)

From the Veneto region, Light-bodied, dry and crisp.

CASUALLY

MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO (Italy)

From the Abruzzo region. Medium-body, dry with red fruit notes.

BARBERA (Italy)

From Piedmont region. Dry, medium-bodied, with earthy berry flavors.

GRILLO TERRE SICILIANE (Italy)

From the Sicily region. Fruity, sweet with moderate acidity.

TO CELEBRATE

PROSECCO (Italy)5oz / 8oz / bottle

From the Veneto region. Medium-body, dry with red fruit notes.

SAUVIGNON BLANC (Italy)

From the Friuli region. Dry, with earthy flavors.

VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO (Italy)

From the Veneto region. Medium body, earthy, tart berries and herbs.

BARBARESCO (Italy)

Dry, full-bodied, red fruits with firm tannic structure.

New menu item: Pasta alla Gricia

Previously on the Due’ blog, we spoke about our passion for cooking traditional dishes like carbonara and amatriciana the right, traditional way with guanciale. We explained how we make our own in house from an authentic blend of spices and WA sourced pork. We’re adding another menu item which uses this special ingredient for your to enjoy it’s rich flavor: pasta alla gricia.

Origins of Gricia:

This dish is another ancient dish from Roman cuisine, which is commonly considered the mother of all Roman pastas. There are different stories about the origin of the name gricia. The most widely known is that it is derived from the name of the village where the pasta is said to have originated, Grisciano. Another theory is that the word gricia is a bastardized version of grigio which means gray. This might be referring to the gray cast left on an iron skillet from frying guanciale.
Other theories range from the name grici,the inhabitants of the origin area.

 Simple, quick, yet powerful in flavor:

One interesting story claims that Grigioni, a medieval name for the German and Swiss bakers who came to Rome and cured pork, is the origin of the word and dish. These bakers were quite hard working and this dish was a simple, fast favorite of their lifestyle. With an origin like this, pasta alla gricia should be a perfect fit for our hardworking American lifestyle as well! All of these old histories may hold a piece of the truth; we may never know.

What really matters is how this dish has captivated generations of Italians and now pasta lovers around the world for literally thousands of years. It’s simple, yet rich in flavor recipe has secured its place as a timeless classic. To make pasta alla gricia, it’s quite simple: pecorino romano cheese, black pepper, salt, and our guanciale. It’s incredibly short ingredient list is packed with powerful flavors that work beautifully in unison.

This simple, powerful dish is perfect for a satisfying lunch in the middle of your busy day; just like the origin stories suggest! Come in and join us this week for a perfectly crafted plate.

Why We Use Guanciale

Why we use Guanciale

Just like America has great rivalries like Budweiser vs Miller Light, Italy has our own (a bit more substantial) food rivalry’s and unwritten blasphemies. One of the most infamous is guanciale vs pancetta. So much so that this centuries old tradition has crossed over into meme culture with popular memes bashing either choice.

We’d like to settle this once and for all with our recipes at Due’ Cucina: guanciale is the right answer.

We’ll give you a little background on guanciale:

First of all, you may be wondering, what is guanciale? Most Americans have probably heard of Pancetta, which is essentially pork belly that is salt and pepper cured. Very few have heard of guanciale. Guanciale is the pork jowl (cheek) cured in a mix of salt and spices. The differences are slight but they’re definitely there. Guanciale is a speciality of central Italy (not surprisingly, close to where we're from).

Homemade guanciale (cured pork cheek)

How we make it:

To make guanciale, we rub the pork cheek in a mix of salt and spices and cured for one week. Then we dry cure it for a minimum of 6 weeks. The flavor comes out much stronger than Pancetta and it has a softer texture. When cooked into traditional sauces, the fat melts away revealing strong, deep flavors that completely transform the sauce. It’s a small detail, but an Italian that knows what true traditional flavor is will know the difference and why guanciale is the choice over pancetta.

Some typical sauces and dishes you may see guanciale in Carbonara and Amatriciana sauces. At Due’ we use guanciale in our Amatriciana this way, following the Roman tradition. We even take it a step further. We source the pork locally from Washington organic farms, spice, and cure the meat in house to make sure we get the authentic Roman flavor for our dishes.

We’ve also introduced another very traditional way of using guanciale: in our Cacio&Pepe. Normally this dish is meatless but with the addition of guanciale to create “Gricia” or a variation of Cacio&Pepe with that rich flavor of guanciale. This dish is popular and native to the area around Rome.

Next time you’re in, try one of our dishes featuring guanciale and be certain, you’re eating Italian done the real way!

EXPLORE OUR MENU

New to the Menu: Cacio e Pepe

A little taste of Roman history and cuisine is now at Due':

This week we're introducing a brand new dish to the Due' menu that is as unique as it is simple and powerful. This is a dish for you "foodies" who love the culture and intention behind cuisine.

Cacio e Pepe is a Roman dish that dates back to the Roman Empire as one of the most 'ancient' dishes of Italy. It's name simply translates to "cheese and pepper" but that doesn't mean it's taste is just simple. Yes, it's main ingredients really are just cheese and pepper. But because it's ingredient list is fairly short, that means the taste and experience of the dish relies on the quality of those ingredients.  Here is where we've paid special attention to detail.  When crafting this dish, we searched for a few months in search of the perfect cheese combination. We've decided on the flavorful combination of Pecorino Romano DOP aged for sixteen months and a Parmigiano Reggiano aged twenty-four months to create a rich, velvety and creamy sauce that is a wonderful based for our selection of peppers.

For our peppers, we were specific and intentional as well. The sauce is topped with freshly toasted and cracked black Tellicherry which is known for its woodsy and zesty notes and Sarawak pepper which brings in musky, and slightly liquorice aromas.

The resulting flavor of this combination is anything but simple. When you try it, you'll understand why this has been an Italian favorite for literally thousands of years.

Cacio e Pepe is now on the menu for you to enjoy!

EXPLORE OUR MENU

Why Due’ Cucina is the best Italian catering for any event in Seattle

Due’ Cucina has the perfect authentic yet modern Italian catering menu sure to please the crowd at any event

Let’s be honest, who you choose to cater can make or break your event. With food, you can create a welcoming and top notch atmosphere where guests feel valuable and treated to something special. Catering is a huge part of your event planning process but it can also be big pain to tackle. Finding the right menu and team you trust to carry it out can be difficult. You have one shot!

When in doubt, go Italian:

Everyone deep down gets a little excited when pasta and pizza are involved. That’s just the magic of Italian. When catering to a large crowd with unknown or diverse tastes, it’s difficult to pick something that will please everyone. With other cuisines, it’s a bigger risk. Italian, especially in the traditional way we cook, has something for every taste preference in large crowd-friendly quantities. Event-sized quantities of traditional pastas, pizzas, and salads are an easy way to make sure everyone finds something they like and gets enough to eat without a hassle.

Authentic, traditionally prepared dishes:

We serve Italian in the style that we grew up with in Italy. Our story is a part of our food and that experience is passed on to our customers. Your guests will enjoy the best, most authentic recipes from our families. This is not like every other pasta and pizza delivery. Our recipes are authentic and our pasta is made by hand in the traditional way for a difference your guests will see and taste. We use high quality ingredients for vibrant and fresh meals like our own families’ kitchens are catering your event. Our team takes tradition and quality seriously for an experience you can’t match with other Italian catering.

We (literally) cater to all needs:

Yes, we’re traditional but we’re not totally out of the loop. Of course, we know there may be guests at your event with diet limitations and we’ve got that covered. We make our traditional pasta gluten-free for guests who want to finally enjoy amazing gluten-free pasta. Easily, we can adhere to other diet restrictions like vegetarianism and allergies upon request. Our goal is that all guests, no matter what their diet restrictions are, to enjoy an outstanding, authentic Italian experience. Going that extra step will make your event positive and memorable for everyone.

Well priced for your budget:

Just because we outperform other Italian catering and stick to high quality ingredients doesn’t mean you have to pay outlandish prices. We’re fairly and affordably priced. You pay per person and we deliver you a spread of your choice dishes that your group can pick and choose from for themselves. It’s an easy way to make sure everyone gets enough food, has options, and you pay a fair price. No sending out menu options ahead of time and counting off names. Plus, our delivery fee is never more than $50. The way we do things makes catering to any sized group affordable, convenient, and fool proof.

Fast, flexible, and reliable service:

We’re quite easy to work with. We understand that with event planning on any scale, schedules and details are all tentative. All we ask is that we ask is that if you’re serving 50+ people, we get a 72 hour heads up. If plans change, cancel within 48 hours and you get a full refund. Everything your guests need to enjoy their meal is included at delivery. We’re willing to work with you to provide everything you need to create an exceptional event on your schedule.

Explore the catering packages here and book with us soon to create an unforgettable experience

BOOK US FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT

Gluten-free and Gluten-free Friendly

Gluten-free isn't associated with pasta. No, gluten-free seems like the 'anti-pasta'.

Here, at Due' Cucina we believe our gluten-free customers to be some of our most knowledgeable and, consequently, discerning customers. All our pastas are made gluten-free as an option not a rule. Less gluten means, for some, less inflammation, and enjoying a pasta dish with us means enjoying Italian food once again. The way it is supposed to be enjoyed. Without guilt.

You won't find rigatoni like this in your local supermarket, but you will find processed versions of gluten-free pastas like spaghetti and lasagna. Our gluten-free options include the benefits of our gluten-partial options. This pasta is healthier than the average and expensive alternatives. We bring you protein in every bite. Personally, we recommend the Basil and Pesto and 8-hr Tomatoes to start. The basil and warm tomatoes with pasta will be a remembrance without a reaction for those of you who haven't had real Italian pasta in years, months, days, or hours . . .

Here are some pictures of the staff creating this masterpiece.

Ciao!
Due' Cucina

Healthy Fettuccine with Black Norcia truffle

The day before departing for Seattle I decided to treat my family, in particular my father and my wife as they are real truffle lovers. “Fettuccine with Black Truffle of Norcia” was my way to say thank you to my family. Of course it was also an opportunity for me to test another innovative pasta formula with some picky eaters and a way to combine everything that I learned through my research in the previous month.

My father is gluten intolerant so I had to find a way to reduce gluten in the pasta. After various experiments I decided to stick with an ancient grain from Tuscany (2000 years old seeds have been found in the Tombs of Etruscans, a population that was living in central Italy before the Romans) with lower gluten content compared to modern varieties of wheat and an incredible nutty and sweet aroma, Quinoa flour and Teff flour. I sourced the best eggs I could find (I just asked my dad whether the hens laid any eggs that day and he returned with six still-warm eggs). The perfectly balanced olive oil from my garden was ideal, despite not containing the prized peppery flavor typical of the Tuscan olive oil produced in the Chianti region, as it does not overpower the flavors of the pasta.

The traditional proportion for an egg dough is one egg for every 100 g of flour. However, at Dueminuti we are committed to bringing you only the best of the Italian tradition. So in developing the final egg dough recipe, I kept track of the protein, fat, carbs and vitamins content of each ingredient. The scientist in me took charge and with the help of excel and a scale, I finally arrived, after a few attempts, at the perfect nutritionally balanced pasta recipe. I experimented with different flours, egg yolk and egg white combinations thinking about how the proteins of the egg white and the fats of the egg yolk affect the structure and texture of the pasta. In the end, a modern recipe that reproduces the silkiness and lightness of the traditional pasta recipe was born. The new recipe is derive from the Italian tradition not forgetting my grandmother’s lessons and the wisdom of all the grandmothers of Italy. Making a well in the flour with the fist, breaking the eggs inside the well, slowly incorporating the eggs with flours and finally kneading the dough with the palms of the hands and dancing with the dough using the whole upper body is what traditional pasta making is all about. My innovative egg dough follows exactly the same procedure but I used the scale to be sure that the ingredients are in the exact proportion.

The result was stunning. The dough sheet I made that day was one of the most fragrant I had ever came across. The color was vibrant, the texture was very light but with a lovely bite at the end, and the flavor was unmatched. The sweater and nuttier flavor of the ancient wheat grain perfectly masked the somewhat metallic taste of the Quinoa flour, the Teff imparts a nice yellow hue and added a bit of nuttiness to the flavor. Free range fresh eggs from my garden played a huge difference as well, which is why at dueminuti we are committed to using only the best eggs we can find.
The pasta cooks in thirty seconds and it did not lose a bit of its quality while sitting in the pan for the routine pictures,  and not even after the five minutes I spent trying to gather the family to the table as they were too busy playing with my six-month old nephew.

I personally cannot wait to bring the products we are developing at dueminuti to Seattle. We will come soon! Stay tuned!

Filippo

it..

The freshest egg ever.. the shell was still wet when we collect it..

Paper thin sheet of pasta dough.

Fettucine on the making.

Fettucine on the making.

Lunch is almost ready.

Lunch is almost ready.