Giuseppe’s: The Secret is in the Sauce
When I am out and about in the Montrose Shopping Park, I like to discover the hidden things, those gems that make our town special. I especially enjoy when it happens unexpectedly like it did for this story.
It was a Saturday evening. After a full day of “retail therapy,” a.k.a. working in our stores, my sister and I decided to treat ourselves. First stop, manicures with sparkly nail polish at Q Nails on Ocean View. Second stop, dinner at Giuseppe’s. We enjoyed our favorite blue cheese chopped salad and “The Skinny” pizza with Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Just before we were getting ready to leave we had the pleasure of meeting partner Alex Venneri. We were talking food and restaurants and the subject of spaghetti sauce came up.
Did you know the sauce at Giuseppe’s is now lovingly made by hand each day by Alex’s dad Valdo? And that’s not all. Valdo makes the sauce in the traditional way of his hometown, Parenti, Italy, a small town of only 300 in the Southern Boot! Now I couldn’t get the exact recipe, but I was able to glean some of Parenti’s sauce secrets and they have changed my own sauce making skills.
According to Valdo, a perfect spaghetti sauce has to have just the right balance between acidity and sweetness. He starts with canned tomatoes that are specially imported from Italy. He removes each stem by hand to take away the acidity. He never puts the tomatoes in a blender because it changes the flavor. Valdo uses no sugar in his sauce – the sweetness comes from the right blend and cooking of Italian tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and tomato paste. Here’s another secret: you don’t add the fresh basil until the end because if you add it at the beginning it makes the sauce bitter. How about that?
After hearing the inside scoop and methods, I just had to try the sauce, so Alex brought us a little bowl and we had our very own “sauce tasting.” Valdo’s sauce is superb! When you taste it, close your eyes and you will experience the sweetness that doesn’t come from sugar, but from generations of a family recipe passed down for us to enjoy here in Montrose.
There have been other menu changes at Guiseppe’s as well. They have added a homemade tomato bisque made with Valdo’s signature sauce. A new pizza to try is one they call “The Italian Jerk,” a sweet and spicy thin crust pizza with chicken, bell peppers and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. General manager Ole Olson’s favorite dish is Giuseppe’s chicken piccata, an Italian classic of chicken breast cooked in a creamy lemon white wine sauce on a bed of linguine and capers. They also have 12 beers on tap, eight of which are brewed, bottled and distributed locally here in Southern California.
So are you ready to taste how the Italians dine in Parenti and experience some of the best red sauce on the planet? Then head to Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant at 2428 Honolulu Ave. in the one and only Montrose Shopping Park.
Thanks for reading and supporting our unique small businesses!