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Italian eatery celebrates 1st year with free pasta in Geneva

Osteria Bigolaro to give Saturday diners complimentary rigatoni

GENEVA – To mark its one-year anniversary this month, Osteria Bigolaro, 317 W. State St., Geneva, will be giving away free bags of its in-house rigatoni pasta to diners who eat dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 15, 22 and 29.

Owner and chef Anthony Gargano said the eight-ounce bags of dried rigatoni are his way of marking the anniversary and thanking diners for their support.

“I have to congratulate our wonderful staff at Osteria Bigolaro and our dedicated guests,” Gargano stated in a news release. “After studying in Italy, I made it my mission to bring authentic Italian cuisine to the community here in Geneva, and I’m pleased with how they have embraced it. What better way to thank our diners for a great first year than by sending them home with our authentic, homemade pasta.”

Gargano said the restaurant ordered special bags for the complimentary rigatoni.

“We will start selling these pastas in the restaurant,” Gargano said. “The complimentary bags are roughly eight-ounces, one of our portions that we do at the restaurant.”

The house-made rigatoni is cut to an inch and a half with little ridges for the sauce, he said.

While the restaurant makes gluten-free pasta, the complimentary pasta is not; but it is vegan because it does not have eggs, he said.

“We are trying to educate people on the different feel and texture of fresh pasta from boxed pasta,” Gargano said. “There is nothing wrong with boxed pasta, there’s a lot of great boxed pasta. But the texture of the fresh pasta is something that boxed pasta cannot match.”

Fresh pasta, even when it dries out, still cooks faster than boxed pasta and retains its texture, he said.

Osteria Bigolaro makes several in-house pastas in addition to the rigatoni.

These are bucatini, which is a thick spaghetti noodle with a little hole down the center like a straw; orecchiette, which translates into little ears; campanelle, which looks like little sea shells; and malfaldine, a ribbon-shaped pasta which looks like a lasagna noodle with ridges on side, he said.

“We use red wine for the malfaldine instead of water so it is a deep red color when it cooks,” Gargano said.

Gargano has worked at some of the Chicago areas hottest restaurants and culinary centers including Jimmy Bannos Jr.’s Purple Pig, Williams-Sonoma and the Cooking Skills Academy, where he taught alongside celebrity chefs, the release stated.

After opening Osteria Bigolaro Sept. 8, 2017, Gargano received numerous accolades from Chicagoland food critics and press. It was awarded the Kane County Chronicle Readers’ Choice Award, who voted it one of the 2018 “Best New Restaurants” in Kane County, the release stated.

Osteria Bigolaro does not accept reservations. Diners are seated on a first-come, first-served basis.

More information is available online by visiting or calling 630- 402-0597.

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