WEST JEFFERSON — Local restaurateur Tony Bellanca — owner of Havana Cafe’ — recently expanded his business with the opening of a new restaurant at the end of June. His goal? To bring fresh, made-to-order pasta with local ingredients to the masses in quick time.

“I’ve always wondered why there isn’t more fast-food pasta. Pasta is quick,” Bellanca said.

Bellanca’s new restaurant, called Pasta Fresh, puts emphasis on efficiency while also using quality ingredients such as sausage from local butchers the Ramblin’ Poppy, Carolina Romano cheese from Ashe County Cheese and handmade pastas from Foggy Mountain Pasta.

From the the takeout window, guests can create their own dish by selecting their choice of pasta noodles, different sauces ranging from Sunday gravy, bolognese and Carolina romano cream sauce, and meats such as shredded garlic chicken and Grandma’s meatballs.

“We only use fresh pastas,” said Bellanca. “You get fresh pastas to choose from, then you choose your sauce. We have four sauces that we make, such as a Carolina romano cream, which is basically an Alfredo but we use Carolina romano from Ashe County cheese.”

Patrons can also add additional toppings such as spinach, crimini mushrooms and fresh mozzarella. Visitors can order their food to go or enjoy it in the shade at one of several nearby picnic tables.

Located on one of West Jefferson’s backstreets, Bellanca said his plan was to ease his new restaurant open and let his food speak for itself.

“Good food talks, good service talks, and if you’re able to deliver both of them consistently then word will get around,” Bellanca said.

Pasta Fresh is located at 19 East Ashe Street, Suite F, in downtown West Jefferson. Currently, the new restaurant will be open Tuesday — Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. However, Bellanca noted that they may expand their hours in the future.

For more information about Pasta Fresh visit www.pastafreshwj.com/.

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