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Choose Your Own Pasta and Sauce Pairing at East Village Restaurant

By Lisha Arino | July 31, 2014 3:07pm
 San Marzano, a new restaurant at 117 Second Ave., specializes in custom, made-to-order pasta dishes.
San Marzano in the East Village
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EAST VILLAGE — Have your noodles your way at a new East Village pasta spot.

San Marzano, which opened Monday at 117 Second Ave., offers six types of noodles and 11 sauces that diners can mix and match.

“If you feel like having a wider pasta, go for it,” said Kamran Malekan, 49, who co-owns San Marzano with his brother David. “We always like to give people a choice.”

Sauce options include old standbys like tomato and pesto, as well as the Bolognese, which is made with beef, veal, pork, vegetables and herbs, said Malekan. There is also a wild boar ragu, which contains onions, celery, carrots, herbs and red wine-soaked boar meat.

The $9 pastas, which are made in-house, includes spaghetti and farfalle, as well as pappardelle, a wide noodle, and gluten-free tagliatelle, a ribbon pasta that’s similar to fettuccine, Malekan said.

Malekan and his brother first opened San Marzano as a pizzeria five years ago at Rivington and Clinton streets. They were forced to close the restaurant after it was badly damaged by flooding in January, Malekan said.

They were glad to find a new spot in the East Village but decided to switch from pizza to pasta because there wasn't enough ventilation for a pizza oven.

“Also, pizza’s really everywhere these days,” said Malekan, who lives in SoHo. However, they kept the name “because there’s a lot of good memories attached to it,” he said.

In addition to pasta, customers can order salads and panini for $8 at the casual restaurant, which is decorated with white subway tiles and vintage industrial archive drawers.

Appetizers include calamari and fried eggplant, and the dessert menu features ricotella, a piece of fried dough filled with Nutella and ricotta for $7.

“We just wanted to cook nice food that our neighbors could enjoy,” Malekan said.

San Marzano is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. San Marzano will also offer a brunch menu on the weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.