A special 2020 message from Lilly’s

We have kept our doors open and our heads high, always trying to stay positive, but we’ll admit that 2020 nearly kicked our you-know-whats just like everyone else.

Taking a look back at the year, we’re focusing on the positive. We grew stronger as a team. We invested in ourselves. We dug down to the roots of what the Lilly’s legacy is truly about.

We are blessed to have kept our BOH staff and our doors open – amidst struggle and uncertainty, we still found ways to grow.

We experimented with launching pasta and sauce meal kits, and helping our customers develop theirs.

We too turned our focus to takeout and delivery – eager for the rise of the fresh pasta ghost kitchen!

We even took a stab at delivering our fresh pasta locally via GrubHub and DoorDash (not really our thing, but worth the try).

Despite all odds, we expanded our pasta family. We began partnerships with B+A Food Sales and Pacific Coast Marketing, passionate food brokerage teams who have become friends too. We brought on new team members to support our internal operations. And we pursued new distribution channels, reaching as far as Puerto Rico!

And of course, one of our greatest accomplishments this year was launching the Piancone® Epicureo fresh-frozen pasta line with our friends at PFG. It has been an honor to work with their brands teams on this project, and we’re proud and humbled to have sold over 5,000 cases together within just a few months of launch.

If 2020 is about finding silver linings, then we’ve found some big silver pasta forks somewhere in this giant pile of spaghetti.

What really inspired us to keep going each day was the passion and creativity of our customers and partners, and seeing hints of our beautiful restaurant industry recovering.

We’re hanging on to hope for a future that’s brighter than ever before; our hearts go out to those who have had to shut their doors and won’t be with us on the other side.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us during one of the most difficult years our industry has ever experienced, and let’s carbo-load for a 2021 COMEBACK

Love,
The Lilly’s Fresh Pasta Family

Special thanks to
Villa Roma Resort & Conference Center
US Foods
Sysco
B&A Food Brokers
Pacific Coast Marketing
Performance Food Group
Bread of Life
Trattoria Il Panino North End
Tresca
The Playwright
Nonna’s Kitchen
Provender Kitchen + Bar
MidiCi Wood Fired Italian – Assembly Row
and of course our amazing staff, and our queen Mamma Lilly D’Alelio

Easy Take-and-Bake Ziti

Ingredients

  • 1 Fresh Ziti and Meat Sauce Kit (item #03077)
  • 8 ounces premium ricotta cheese
  • 24 ounces shredded mozzarella

Assembly

  1. Thaw pasta and sauce overnight in fridge.
  2. Boil pasta about halfway to al dente (2 to 3 minutes).
  3. In an oven-safe, family-style takeout tray, layer pasta with sauce, ricotta, and 8 ounces of the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle top with remaining mozzarella.
  4. Sell with instructions to bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and browned in spots.

Servings: 6 to 8


Suggested sell price: $54.99

Estimated profit: $18 to $22 per tray

This large format, family-style menu item couldn’t be easier, thanks to our ready-to-boil Pasta and Sauce Meal Kits. Perfect for the holidays or for family off-premise dining year-round.

Storing and Cooking Fresh Frozen Pasta

We’re not all lucky enough to live next door to Mama Lilly, so over the years, we’ve developed the perfect way to share her artisanal fresh pasta with the world without sacrificing quality: distributing it frozen at the peak of freshness!

Buying pasta for your restaurant fresh-frozen has amazing benefits. Fresh-frozen pasta has a longer shelf life, naturally – up to 12 months. Since you’re not tied to a nearby location or produce house, you get access to a wider variety of unique cuts and flavors. And, once fresh-frozen pasta is thawed properly, it may as well have come right out of a pasta machine!

Proper storage, handling, and cooking is very important to get the most out of your fresh-frozen pasta:

Handling Fresh Pasta

Fresh-frozen pasta MUST thaw for 24 hours under refrigeration before ANY attempt to portion it out!**

This is the “golden rule” of fresh-frozen pasta! If you’re too rough with the pasta while it is still frozen, it will break into pieces and be unusable. This is especially true with long, flat cuts like Pappardelle.

To thaw fresh-frozen pasta, leave it in the refrigerator in its original box for 24 hours.

Once thawed, fresh pasta has a shelf life of 16 to 21 days.

**IMPORTANT – Thawing instructions ONLY apply to fresh-frozen Flat and Extruded pasta (ie Linguine, Ziti, etc.). Do NOT thaw frozen filled pasta such as Ravioli or Tortellini – these should be cooked directly from a frozen state. Click here to view cooking and handling instructions for our whole line.

Cooking Fresh Pasta

Now the fun part – cooking delicious fresh pasta recipes!

Cooking fresh pasta is fast and simple:

  1. Bring 6 quarts of water and 1 tbsp. salt per pound of pasta to a rolling boil.
  2. Remove pasta from bag; fluff pasta to separate and shake off any excess flour.
  3. Drop pasta into water and swirl gently with tongs to separate noodles; return to a boil.
  4. Maintaining a rolling boil, cook pasta for designated time (see Cook Times chart below)
  5. Drain, DO NOT RINSE, toss with sauce (if desired) and serve immediately.

A few of our key pro-tips for cooking fresh pasta:

  • Make sure the water is at a strong, rolling boil; if it cools to a simmer when you put the pasta in, wait for it to return to a full boil before you start keeping time.
  • As a reminder – NEVER thaw fresh-frozen filled pasta like ravioli! It should be cooked directly from frozen (one less prep step!)
  • For maximum flavor, cook your pasta to just shy of al dente and then finish cooking it by sautéing in the sauce it will be served in.
  • Don’t toss fresh pasta with oil! Fresh pasta has a porous, rustic texture that absorbs flavors perfectly, but oil will coat that porous surface and cause your sauce to slide right off. Unless of course, the oil IS the sauce – in which case, toss to your heart’s content.
  • Pasta water = liquid gold! Always save a cup or two of your pasta cooking water; it’s perfect for loosening up the sauce you’re cooking and making it extra smooth and velvety while adding salt, starch, and body.

Do you have a secret pasta cooking hack?
Let us know, and we may feature you on our social media or our next post!
If you’re ready to elevate your menu, try Lilly’s Fresh Pasta today.

Grazie,

The Lilly’s Fresh Pasta Family

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