The Long-Running Pasta Show of Queens

May 23, 2018 539

BY: Nancy A. Ruhling

As he stacks four one-pound packs of bucatini on Cassinelli’s compact counter, Giovanni Cali all but apologizes for his pasta purchase.“I can make it at home,” he said. “But I don’t want to.” It’s as difficult to find a store that sells bucatini, which looks like spaghetti with a hole in the center, as it is to make it. And this is why Mr. Cali has been a Cassinelli customer for nearly 50 years.

He is also a fan of the freshness. Each week, Cassinelli makes 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of pasta on site, right in the shop for all to see. Mr. Cali, who was born in Palermo, the capital of Sicily, recalled that he first stopped in Cassinelli in 1972, when the current owners, Tony Bonfigli and Nella Costella, took over the shop in Astoria.

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