A Few Words With Nonna's Julian Barsotti

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On Wednesday, we gave you the goods on Julian Barsotti, owner and executive chef at Nonna. Today, we asked Barsotti to finish a few sentences for us. Tomorrow, he shares a recipe for one of his favorite Italian dishes.

I was raised in...Dallas and Santa Fe. Mostly Dallas though.

My friends say I'm...Italian because I'm so proud of all things Italian. They call me a young Fredo. You know, from The Godfather?

My momma told me...She's definitely been influential cooking-wise. My mom had all kinds of sayings.

If I had 24 hours to live I'd...spend it somewhere I'd love to be. Let's say the Amalfi coast.

My guilty pleasure is...trashy TV. Pretty bad stuff. The other night I watched Mario Lopez's reality show, Saved by the Baby. My wife and I are expecting a child so we have that in common. [He laughs.]

I cook therefore...I get to fulfill the thing I am most passionate about.

If I could go anywhere, I'd go...to San Sebastian in Spain.

Never again will I... [After a long pause.] go to Las Vegas. I really don't like Las Vegas. Although I feel like I probably will have to go again.

Cat or dog...Dog. A border collie named Nugget.

The CD I couldn't do without is....Outkast Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.

My favorite movie is...Trading Places

I relax by...My favorite thing is fly-fishing. Trout fishing. When I was younger and we lived in New Mexico, my dad got me a video about tying flies. After one viewing, I decided I would never do that.

If it weren't for cooking, I would be...still involved with food in some way. Italian food and wine. It's not just work. It's what I think and talk about all my time. It's where I take my vacations.

The kitchen gift I'd like to receive...I got it. I want to show it to you it's so awesome. [Barsotti jumped up and we had to hustle to keep up with him. It was so much fun to see someone so excited about such a simple thing as a torchio.] We are really intense about pasta making here. It vices to the side of the pasta table. With elbow grease you can exude whole wheat through it. It creates ridges in the pasta so it can catch sauce better. It helps to be as pure as possible [which is why they grind their own flour too]. I got it from a guy in San Francisco who imports artisanal Italian cooking equipment. I got extruders from him, too. I also love my flour mill. If you can grind your own flour for pasta, it's best.

Every pasta-making kitchen needs...a wooden table and a rolling pin. Those are the basics if you want to make pasta.

The essential Italian kitchen tool is...a grinder. It's essential to making ragus, salamis and emulsified sausages

The best gift I ever received was... My wife Mary the other day just gave me a book with single quotes from The Godfather. It was after Christmas too. I kept bothering customers with it. [He laughs.]

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