Tucked away along Camelback Corridor, The Parlor, with its modern brick exterior, hardly looks like an imposing structure. But once situated inside with one of their signature dishes, be prepared to be transported to the height of Italian culinary greatness. Co-founder Aric Mei opened The Parlor in 2009 with one singular culinary vision: to work with honest, fresh and seasonal ingredients and to develop and execute old-world recipes and procedures. True to form, Aric decided to use the entrance walkway to plant an edible garden, ensuring that they always had the freshest ingredients on hand.
“Once people started coming, I was amazed at their reactions to that little garden,” he says.
That interest hasn’t slowed down either, as The Parlor still boasts bustling crowds for lunch and dinner daily.
Pesto alla Chitarra with Roasted Tomatoes and Toasted Pine Nuts
Fresh Pasta Dough
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Mix eggs, flour, oil and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with your hands until a shaggy dough forms.
2. Knead with dough hook until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
3. Cover dough with plastic wrap and rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.
4. Cut dough into quarters and use a pasta roller to roll into flat, wide strips.
5. Hand-cut into thin noodles with a sharp knife.
6. Once cut, make single portion-sized piles on a sheet tray and toss with durum or rice flour. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator.
- 8 ounces basil leaves
- 1 ounce garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 ounces pine nuts
- 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 ounce lemon juice
Note: The pesto is the heart and soul of this dish and can be used in many other different applications, so make a double batch if you like.
1. In a food processor combine basil, garlic and pine nuts.
2. Add one-third of olive oil and start mixer.
3. Stop and scrape the sides of the mixer.
4. With the mixer running slowly, add the remainder of the oil.
5. Add the cheese and mix just until combined.
Other Key Ingredients:
- Oven-roasted cherry tomatoes
- Grated high-quality Parmesan cheese
- Toasted pine nuts
- Chopped parsley
Plating Step 1
Boil the fresh pasta for 2-3 minutes or until al dente. While the pasta is boiling, add a handful of roasted tomatoes and a large pad of butter in a warm sauté pan over medium heat.
Plating Step 2
Just before adding the cooked pasta to the sauté pan, add the basil pesto to the pan—not too soon or the emulsified pesto will “shatter.” Immediately add the cooked pasta.
Plating Step 3
Add a touch of the pasta water and a generous amount of good grated Parmesan cheese to the pan. Stir vigorously until the sauce develops into a smooth and even consistency.
Plating Step 4
Serve in a bowl and garnish with more Parmesan, pine nuts and parsley. This dish will pair nicely with a cooler climate white wine—anything from northern Italy where the colder temperatures produce wines that have a higher acidity, which is crucial in achieving a nice balance with the richness of the pasta.