NY1’s coverage of Staten Island Week continues with a taste of Italy. NY1's Shazia Khan explains in this Zagat report.

Home made sauces, fresh pastas, aged cheeses - it's enough to make your taste buds scream “Mamma mia!”

“It's quality food that we would cook for ourselves at home that we supply to the community,” says Pastosa Ravioli co-owner Danny DeRosa.

Pastosa Ravioli has been dishing out Italian delights for over 35 years. This chain of separately owned specialty shops has several locations in the city. NY1 headed to Staten Island to visit DeRosa's store on Richmond Avenue.

“When we first opened on Staten Island it wasn't easy because there were no homes. It was all land,” says Benny DeRosa, the store’s other co-owner. “Then, a little bit at a time, it started to build, and we did bigger business.”

With the senior DeRosa retired, his two sons Danny and Umberto now run the shop. They learned the tricks of the trade at an early age. Umberto has been making mozzarella since he was seven.

“The key to good mozzarella is the timing of adding the right amount of boiling water to the curd, and not over cooking it and not under cooking it, and getting a nice smooth texture,” he says.

Pastosa Ravioli is renowned for its ravioli, of course - 22 varieties, including lobster and fish are produced on premises. The machine can crank out 1,000 raviolis an hour, a big difference from the early days when only 200 pieces could be handmade in that time.

“Sometimes we couldn't go to sleep because there wasn't enough time to do the work, and now, forget about it,” says Benny. “Just push a button and 100 ravioli come out. Boom, boom, boom - it's ready.”

But ravioli is just the beginning. From stuffed shells to manicotti, at Pastosa's the “pastabilities” are endless.

But the shop is also celebrated for its wide line of meats and chesses.

“Aged cheeses happen to be one of our specialty,” says Umberto. “The parmigiano/reggiano is the Rolls Royce of cheese. This is delicious and very distinctive. We age it for seven years, and you get a nice nutty flavor.”

Pastosa's is also known for its sauces. They offer over 30 different varieties, from your traditional marinara to a full line of liquor cream sauces.

Zagat surveyors say everything is priced right at Pastosa's and give it a 25 out of 30 for quality.

“We love the fresh ravioli and their marinara sauce, and we find that their meats and dairy is incredibly fresh,” says loyal customer Rhonda O’Leary.

“Being of Italian decent I wouldn't think of going anyplace else,” adds fellow customer Joann Venditti.

And Pastosa's hopes to keep it that way!

- Shazia Khan