Neighborhood Eats: La Casa Bella's pasta, butternut squash and shrimp

Lauren Glassberg Image
Friday, April 24, 2015
Neighborhood Eats: La Casa Bella's pasta, butternut squash, and shrimp
Lauren Glassberg visits La Casa Bella in Bensonhurst.

BENSONHURST (WABC) -- This week in Neighborhood Eats is a restaurant with quite a menu.

If you don't find something you like, they'll whip up what you do want.

It's called La Casa Bella and they are located at 2579 Cropsey Avenue in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

"We have a passion, we have a love for what we do, and I believe that's what keeps us thriving," said Rose Picarello, of La Casa Bella.

Rose Picarello is all about her customers and the feeling is mutual.

"Their hearts and who they are is better than their food, so just imagine what they do with their food! They're just committed to the place, committed to La Casa Bella for life," a customer said.

He's not alone, so many of the customers here have been coming here since the beginning.

"Since the day they opened, I live in the neighborhood, I work in the neighborhood, and we order from them regularly and they are tremendous and they are a community restaurant, it's great," a customer said.

That community is Bensonhurst. La Casa Bella initially was all about the pizza.

"It's my favorite slice, I've had pretty much everything here, but my favorite is the vodka slice," a customer said.

The crust dotted with sesame seeds, like a breadstick, is a hint of the kitchen's creativity. It's the specials that people go for.

"Where's the special Rose, we want what you had last week, and then all of a sudden they become the boss," Picarello said.

And one of those specials is their pasta made with butternut squash, sauted with shallots, bacon, and shrimp. Fish stock and butter bring it together with the fusilli pasta.

"Everything is homemade, everything is fresh, the menu is huge and we just enjoy everything," a customer said.

"We love it, and we come here all the time, especially on a special occasion," another customer said.

From special occasions to Sunday supper, for so many it's La Casa Bella.

"There's a satisfaction every day when I put the key in the door that we are still here," Picarello said. "We're very blessed, very blessed."



1 butternut squash, skinned and cubed

3/4 pound pasta (fusilli preferable), cooked and drained

1 bunch arugula

bunch basil, chopped

2 shallots, thinly sliced

4 strips bacon, cut up

12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup fish stock

1 stick butter

olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


In large sauce pan heat olive oil and sautee squash over medium heat

After about 5 minutes, add shallots and toss for 1-2 minutes

Add the bacon and continue to cook until it begins to brown

Add the shrimp and sautee for about 3 minutes

Add the stock and lower heat, continue to cook for another 2 minutes

Finish by adding butter, basil and pasta, stir well and add arugula just before plated so that it wilts.

Serves 4

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