Openings

RPM Italian is Coming to D.C. and It’s All About the Pasta

RPM Italian is Coming to D.C. and It’s All About the Pasta

Jun 14, 2016

Raw, handmade pasta noodles of all different types with flour and pasta making tools

The modern Italian restaurant from restaurateurs R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman, chef/ partner Doug Psaltis, and celebrity couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic is  located at 650 K St. NW in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Peppers, Lobster Caprese salad and ricotta cheese from RPM Italian

Spaghetti, Steak and meatballs from RPM Italian

Much like its sister restaurant in Chicago, the menu will focus on seasonal ingredients and feature more than a dozen fresh pastas made in-house daily, cicchetti, fresh salads, slow-roasted meats, grilled seafood and fresh fish selections, prime steaks, seasonal specials and of course, Italian classics. The menu is a collaboration between two veterans of Italian cooking, chef/partner Doug Psaltis and executive chef Gabe Thompson.

Chef Gabe Thompson

We chatted with RPM Italian DC’s executive chef Thompson who gave us a glimpse into the thought and technique that goes into making the perfect pasta noodle—from the types of flour, to sauce pairing and so much more.

“On any given day, we probably make anywhere from eight to twelve different pastas in RPM’s kitchen, including extruded noodles, whole wheat and spinach doughs, squid ink and stuffed pastas.”

Pile of Spaghetti noodles

All good pasta starts with a solid foundation: flour, egg yolk (which adds richness), water and good-quality olive oil.

Types of flour: The different types of flour not only impact flavor but also the texture and consistency of the noodle. Chef Thompson breaks it down for us.

Semolina Flour: “This is perhaps the most common flour used in pasta-making, specifically for our extruded pastas. Semolina is more yellow in color and is a course grind of high-protein durum wheat that gives a nutty, sweet flavor.”

Whole–wheat Flour: “This flour is a powdery substance that comes from grinding the whole grain of wheat or wheat berries. It doesn’t have as much protein as other flour although it absorbs more liquid. When we use whole-wheat flour for pasta, it’s important to increase the amount of moisture or fat we add into the dough so it stays together. It’s a lot of trial and error to make it perfect, but the payoff is amazing. The pasta is more of a dark brown color, and I love the whole wheat flavor of a great farro noodle or buckwheat flour.”

00 Flour (Double Zero)“This is a high-protein, high-gluten flour. The more protein and gluten there is, the better texture and chew the pasta has. The 00 flour refers to Italian-milled flour and basically reflects how finely ground it is and how much of the bran and germ have been removed.”

Now, onto the noodle shape. Believe it or not, the shape is really about functionality, as pasta noodles all hold sauces differently. Here is a snapshot of some of the various noodles you can expect on the RPM Italian – DC menu.

Extruded: “These are the most common pasta shapes. Think spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni and penne. They are pushed through an extruder— they’re essentially being forced through tiny holes, which compact the dough, making a denser noodle with less fat and liquid. Extruded noodles have a nice bite to them and pair better with a lighter olive oil or tomato-based sauce, which is most often seen in Southern Italian-style cooking.”

Pasta making process

A great example of extruded pasta at RPM is our signature Mama DePandi’s Bucatini with Pomodoro and Basil or the Spicy King Crab with Squid Ink Spaghetti.

Mama DePandi's Buccatini from RPM Italian

Hand Rolled: “This is any type of dough that is rolled out by hand, such as orecchiette or cavatelli. Since you are manually shaping these noodles, they tend to be thicker and can stand up to a chunkier, heartier sauce.”

Where can you experience hand-rolled pasta on the RPM menu? Try the Homemade Cavatelli with Pork and Beef Ragu.

Pasta from RPM Italian

Sheeted“These are your flat noodles—tagliatelle, pappardelle, tajarin—and tend to go best with butter-based sauces or ragus. The fat content of sheeted noodles is higher, which lends itself to hearty sauces.”

Handcutting pasta noodles at RPM Italian

Check out the Pappardelle Bolognese with Pecorino and Rosemary.

Bolognese pasta in a white bowl at RPM Italian

Stuffed: “Stuffed pastas are made with rich dough and tend to pair best with buttery sauces. These pastas are ones like agnolotti, ravioli and tortellini and can be stuffed with ingredients like cheese, protein, seasonal vegetables and more.”

The process of making ravioli at RPM

Main Lobster Ravioli with Spinach Pesto and Lemon or the Sweet Pea Agnolotti with Crispy Prosciutto are two popular stuffed pastas at RPM Italian.

Ravioli at RPM Italian

While the thought of making fresh pasta at home may be daunting, here are a few tips and tricks to help you tackle the task.

  1. Have the right tools handy. In terms of kitchen equipment, the Imperia Hand Crank Pasta Machine has everything you need including cutters on the side. KitchenAid also has a stand mixer attachment used specifically for making pasta.
  2. Use a food processor to cut dough-making time in half. Once your dough has come together, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Shape dough in batches. Portion out the dough and ensure to keep the pieces  you aren’t using covered with plastic wrap or a damp towel so it doesn’t dry out.
  4. Remember, fresh pasta cooks fast. As soon as pasta is dropped into boiling water, watch it constantly. If the dough was made that day, it will only take approximately 30 – 60 seconds to cook. If the dough is a day or two old, it will be al dente in about two minutes.

To make your reservation at RPM Italian in Washington D.C., click here.

RPM Italian will open later this month for dinner service, with weekday lunch service to follow. For more information on RPM restaurants, visit rpmrestaurants.com and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @RPMItalianDC.


You May Also Like...

In The Restaurants
Dine Like A Star: Where All of the Lollapalooza Celebs Were Spotted
Aug 7, 2018

The Windy City lights up during Lollapalooza weekend, flooded with festival-goers and a flock of…

read more >
How To
All the Ways to Rosé this Summer
Aug 6, 2018

Let’s face it, rosé is welcome all day, every day. We’re here to help you navigate your way…

read more >
In The Restaurants
DC & Bethesda Magazine Restaurant Weeks
Aug 1, 2018

DC Restaurant Week (August 13-19) and Bethesda Magazine Restaurant Week (August 10-19) are back…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants
Jul 24, 2018

Finding gluten-free friendly restaurants has gotten a lot easier than it used to be. At Lettuce…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Summer Ice Cream Checklist
Jul 19, 2018

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM...we all know the drill so let's get to the good stuff. July is National Ice…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Sip on RPM Italian’s Tableside Gin & Tonics
Jul 9, 2018

There are new Gin & Tonics in town at RPM Italian in Washington, D.C. and RPM Steak in Chicago,…

read more >
How To
RPM Italian’s Spritz is the Official Drink of Summer
Jul 1, 2018

Summer is here which means it’s officially spritz season! While this refreshing cocktail has its…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Somm Picks: Top Bottles Under $50
Jun 26, 2018

Searching through wine lists can be a daunting task. Thumbing through dozens of pages filled with…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Best Time of the Year: Patio Season
Jun 20, 2018

Warm weather is here, which means al fresco dining is too! We've rounded up the best patios at…

read more >
In The Restaurants
A Gift Guide for the Food Lover in Your Life
Jun 1, 2018

Whether a birthday, graduation or any other of the countless holidays, we're here to make selecting…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Unconventional Wine Regions of the World
May 24, 2018

Everyone loves a great Napa Cab or Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, but lately, our LEYE Wine…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch
May 11, 2018

For that one hour escape from your office, you want to make sure to make most of your lunch hour.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
James Beard Eats Week 2018
Apr 17, 2018

James Beard Eats Week is back! From April 27-May 7 show your support of aspiring Chicago culinary…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Join RPM & Mercy Home’s March for Kids Campaign
Mar 10, 2018

Looking for a way to give back to the Chicago community? Join RPM Italian and RPM Steak this month…

read more >
How To
Giuliana Rancic Dishes on How To Throw An Award-Winning Oscar Party
Mar 2, 2018

The 90th Academy Awards are happening this Sunday, March 4th! With a little planning and some useful…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce in Love: Weddings with Lettuce Parties
Feb 13, 2018

It's almost Valentine's Day and love is in the air. Believe it or not it's a tale as old as time (or…

read more >
In The Restaurants
A Few of Our Favorite Pizzas for National Pizza Day
Feb 9, 2018

There's a food holiday out there for everything but today (February 9) is National Pizza Day and we…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to go on Valentine’s Day 2018
Feb 4, 2018

Have you made your Valentine's Day plans yet? It's right around the corner and there's lots of…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Set Sail, Drink Wine and Celebrate
Jan 16, 2018

Do you like cruising and wine? Well, come aboard! Join Burt Wolf from PBS and Lettuce Entertain You…

read more >
How To
The Perfect Party Appetizers
Dec 12, 2017

A well-crafted appetizer is the perfect way to make sure your guests won't go hungry so you can…

read more >
How To
How To: Make Thanksgiving Dinner Like a Chef
Nov 15, 2017

In charge of preparing Thanksgiving dinner this year or simply looking for recipe inspiration? Our…

read more >
How To
A Guide to Selecting the Perfect Thanksgiving Wines
Nov 7, 2017

Fact: wine stores are intimidating. More truth: we're here to help! We've tapped the minds of our…

read more >
How To
It’s Apple Season: Where To Get Them and Where To Eat Them
Oct 19, 2017

Yeah, yeah, pumpkin this and pumpkin that, but let us not forget about our other favorite fall…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Where to Eat & Drink in October
Oct 2, 2017

Throughout the month of October, Lettuce Entertain You restaurants are donating a portion of…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Fall Foliage: Five Ways to Enjoy the Season
Aug 31, 2017

Days are getting chillier and the leaves are starting to turn. Fall is on the horizon, and there’s…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where (and How) to Eat Artichokes This Season
Apr 14, 2017

The glorious, fleeting, and quintessential vegetables that easily evoke the feeling of spring are…

read more >
How To
How to: Eat Clean
Mar 21, 2017

Let’s be honest, the vegan, paleo, gluten-free talk can get a little, well, intimidating. What…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Art of Aperitivo
Sep 15, 2016

Aperitivo is popping up more and more, and for good reason. What is it you ask? It's not only a…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce Date Night
Aug 15, 2016

 

read more >
Openings
RPM Italian is Coming to D.C. and It’s All About the Pasta
Jun 14, 2016

The modern Italian restaurant from restaurateurs R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman, chef/ partner Doug…

read more >

Recent Posts

In The Restaurants
New Sunday Brunch at the Bah
Aug 17, 2018

Tired of being told how to brunch? Your fave Lincoln Park seafood spot, Oyster Bah, is inviting you…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Chicago Air + Water Show
Aug 14, 2018

Chicago's favorite lakeside show, the annual Air & Water Show, turns 60 this year returning on…

read more >
How To
How to Find these 6 Hidden Gems at Foodease
Aug 13, 2018

Foodease Market in Water Tower Place has been a Michigan Avenue staple for more than seven years…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Labor Day 2018
Aug 12, 2018

Enjoy your extra day off this Labor Day, Monday, September 3 at one of our many locations. From DIY…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Sip on the New Frosé Rosé at Tallboy Taco
Aug 10, 2018

Heaven does exist and it's the new Frosé Rosé cocktail now available during weekend brunch at…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Celebrate Rosh Hashanah 2018
Aug 10, 2018

This year Rosh Hashanah falls between September 9 and September 11 and Lettuce restaurants are…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce Life: Alex Payne Takes Drawing on Menus to a Whole New Level
Aug 9, 2018

Lettuce Life takes you behind the scenes into the culture of Lettuce Entertain You, spotlighting the…

read more >
How To
Mix It Up: Life on Freezy Street, A Sauv Blanc Cocktail
Aug 8, 2018

It's August which means heat, humidity, plus some more heat. There's no better way to cool down…

read more >
In The Restaurants
For the Love of Lobster: Shaw’s Lobster Festival
Aug 8, 2018

What better way for Shaw's Crab House Chicago and Shaw's Crab House Schaumburg to show some love…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Dine Like A Star: Where All of the Lollapalooza Celebs Were Spotted
Aug 7, 2018

The Windy City lights up during Lollapalooza weekend, flooded with festival-goers and a flock of…

read more >
How To
All the Ways to Rosé this Summer
Aug 6, 2018

Let’s face it, rosé is welcome all day, every day. We’re here to help you navigate your way…

read more >
In The Restaurants
4 Reasons Why Joe’s Chicago Is Your New Go-To Happy Hour
Aug 6, 2018

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab Chicago has a brand new Cocktail Hour in the bar/lounge!…

read more >
Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now

Lettuce on Instagram

Checkout our feed @lettuceentertainyou!