Restaurant review_ from faustina to stanza, an old favorite gets a sophisticated transformation _ the salt lake tribune

As the space was redone, so was the menu, with a more prominent focus on Italian foods and flavors. Homemade pasta sauce jamie oliver It’s an improvement on the Faustina menu, and most of what I’ve sampled has been very good, although there were a few disappointments.

An entrée of trout ($23) was flawed on several counts.

Easy canning homemade spaghetti sauce recipe The fish itself was bland, and the bean purée on which it sat was both visually unappealing and almost devoid of flavor. Homemade butter sauce for pasta Color was provided by some good fresh greens and a variety of beets, but some of the sliced raw beets were gritty and some of the cooked ones were hard.

When it’s 100 degrees, pasta with Bolognese sauce ($20) seems like a recipe for heat stroke. Red sauce for pasta recipe But not this Bolognese. Sauce for pasta recipes A succulent sauce flavored with veal, pork and pancetta lightly coated noodles shaped like half-moons. Homemade tomato pasta sauce for freezing (Normally it’s served with a penne-like noodle called garganelli, but they had run out.) It was a first-course-size serving, but just the right amount, and so flavorful we all kept begging the rightful owner for more bites! Poor guy, he probably went home hungry.

A friend and I split the pea agnolotti ($23), which was absolutely symphonic in its blend of house-made pasta stuffed with puréed peas, ricotta and lemon zest, then topped with fresh peas, asparagus, gulf shrimp and shaved cheese. Homemade pasta sauce with tomatoes A shrimp-infused sauce was the conductor that made everything sing. Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe with hamburger And yes, we did share a bite with him whose Bolognese was pilfered.

Another outstanding pasta dish was lamb pappardelle ($19). Making spaghetti sauce from scratch fresh tomatoes House-made spinach noodles made a tender bed for a sauce studded with shredded lamb, diced carrots and mint leaves, all tucked in under a light blanket of grated pecorino.

The lasagna ($20) is notable, too, for its light, flavorful sauce and generous ricotta filling. Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe food network It looked like summer, with a sunny smattering of fresh cherry tomatoes and shredded basil leaves. Homemade pasta sauce recipe for canning Although meatless, it’s rich enough and big enough to share, or take home leftovers for lunch the next day.

Carbonara at Stanza ($21) is made with stout bucatini noodles, a good fit here because this is a heavy rendition with its rich coating of béchamel sauce, chunks of pancetta and fresh peas. Easy homemade spaghetti sauce canning It was crowned with a poached egg, which melted over the pasta. Pasta sauce from scratch using fresh tomatoes But for all that was going on in this dish, it was a bit bland. Homemade tomato pasta sauce from scratch For that reason, and because I prefer a lighter version of carbonara, it wasn’t my favorite, but is still a worthy version of this popular dish.

Stanza offers a respectable selection of small plates, including octopus ($16). Homemade italian pasta sauce recipe It wasn’t the most tender I’ve ever eaten but came with an addictive relish of roasted corn, green olives, tomato and sunflower seeds that more than compensated.

Perhaps the best element of the fritto misto ($16) was the lightly breaded lemon slices, extraordinarily crisp and not too tart. Fresh pasta sauce recipe tomato The shrimp were more flavorful than the calamari, but all of it tasted good when dipped in the garlicky aioli. Homemade pasta sauce recipe fresh tomatoes Other small-plate options include creamy polenta with mushrooms, creamy fontina and tomato sauce ($10); clams with calabrese sausage ($15); and bruschetta with chickpeas, ricotta and pickled onion ($8).

Salad selections run from a traditional Caesar ($9) and caprese with burrata ($12) to an outstanding composition of arugula brightened by “compressed” strawberries. Easy homemade pasta sauce recipe The marinated fruit was a sweet counterpart to crumbles of crispy proscuitto and dabs of goat milk ricotta ($10).

For those who wish to venture beyond small plates and pasta, there’s a hefty 16-ounce porterhouse served with mushrooms and a yummy-sounding brown butter zabaione ($46); branzino with grilled baby carrots ($30), which may have taken the place of the trout; a half chicken with creamed corn, grain salad and grilled eggplant ($22); and a duck breast with a corn and ricotta ravioli, blackberries soaked in red wine and greens ($28). Homemade tomato pasta sauce for bottling The latter was a bit of a disappointment because the ravioli was rather tough, but the filling was flavorful and the boozy berries added a welcome hint of sweetness.

Speaking of sweets, don’t miss the budino, $8, a stout little glass layered with chocolate and butterscotch pudding, then finished with lightly sweetened mascarpone. Homemade pasta sauce diced tomatoes It’s rich enough to share with two, or even four, unless you’re a real puddin’ head.