Naples Tomato Lasagna a Favorite with New York Times and Football Fans
NAPLES, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A trans-Atlantic trip to Naples, Italy, is no longer necessary to dine on the best lasagna, but instead can be found in Naples, Florida, at the namesake Italian restaurant, Naples Tomato.
“Never will you feast on better lasagna…” is how the award-winning restaurant’s elaborate pasta creation was described by New York Times writer Meghan McEwen.
Apparently, many others agree. Naples Tomato co-owners, Jack and Nadine Serfass, claim more than 250,000 portions of its lasagna have been served since the restaurant’s opening April 2005, including more than 500 take-out orders each Super Bowl Sunday. So much so that orders are cut-off well in advance of the big game to allow the kitchen staff sufficient time to complete the labor-intensive preparation process.
“Our lasagna has become known worldwide. Many people come straight from the airport to eat it,” says Serfass. “We treat our lasagna like a fine pastry, not a casserole.”
According to Serfass, the made-from-scratch dish requires a three-person team to produce: one is assigned the task of homemade pasta, another cooks the sauce (for hours), and a third oversees assembly.
Its popularity can also be attributed directly to the use of tomatoes imported from San Marzano, Italy, the best ricotta impastata and fresh herbs. In addition, the restaurant has made a large investment in specialty equipment, including a pasta-making machine imported from Italy and a 30-gallon tilting skillet to make the sauce.
Although refusing to divulge the 20-ingredients recipe, Serfass does reveal the secret is a balance of ingredients and technique.
“We serve our lasagna between 150 and 170 degrees, not the standard 350,” explains Serfass. “A higher heat would liquify the delicate ingredients.” This leads to the rare stacked-on-a-plate presentation that remains intact instead of dissolving across the plate.
The full-service restaurant, which recently expanded to 9,000 square feet to accommodate its rapidly increasing patronage and 3,800-member wine club (largest in Southwest Florida), is the recipient of numerous awards, accolades and impressive reviews. The Neapolitan-American menu features a variety of homemade pastas and sauces, local line caught seafood, multiple veal dishes and a homemade antipasto bar. For more information please visit www.naplestomato.com.