What’s for Dinner: Artisan Ravioli by Pasta Ilgatto
Find fresh pastas and sauces by chef Leonardo Rebollo at the Westover Farmers Market.
I recently opened the freezer and found a fortuitous purchase I had forgotten about: four-cheese ravioli and spicy arrabiata sauce from chef Leonardo Rebollo’s Pasta Ilgatto stand at the Westover Farmers Market. Less than 30 minutes later, I had dinner on the table.
Rebollo, 46, came to the U.S. in 2003 from his native Uruguay, settling in Falls Church and continuing his culinary career in various DMV restaurants (including 2941, Café Milano and the now-closed Galileo) and later, as executive chef of To Your Taste Catering in Alexandria from 2012 to 2020.
Laid off during the pandemic, he decided to finally fulfill his dream of opening his own pasta business, putting to use a skill he had learned from his Italian grandmother. He named it Pasta Ilgatto (the cat) after a nickname his childhood friends had given him because of his catlike brown eyes and his swift, feline movements on the soccer field.
Rebollo co-owns the enterprise with his wife, Alejandra Ovalles. “Our idea was to open a homemade pasta shop, which we hope to do in Arlington or Falls Church one day,” Ovalles says, “but we put that on hold because of Covid-19 and concentrated on online sales.” (Pasta orders can be picked up at their shared kitchen facility in Lorton, or delivered if the total exceeds $75.)
In November, Rebollo started selling at the Westover Farmers Market on Sundays (summer hours are 8 a.m. to noon, starting in May). On Saturdays, he sells at markets in Reston and on Monroe Street NE (Brookland) in D.C.
Pasta Ilgatto offers 24-oz. boxes ($16) of various egg pastas (tagliatelle, bucatini, pappardelle, fettuccine) in three flavors (basil, spinach or roasted red pepper), as well as pasta sheets. Filled pastas (round sorrentino or square ravioli) are sold in 1-kilo (2.2 lb.) boxes ($27-$33). Sample fillings include smoked Gouda and sun-dried tomato; smoked mozzarella and ham; spinach and roasted onion; butternut squash; roasted salmon and caramelized onions; lemon ricotta; and smoked brisket and cheese. Frozen sauces (24 oz., $14-$20) include pesto; pomodoro (tomato); beef Bolognese; and creamy Caruso, a Uruguayan white wine and cream sauce with mushrooms and ham.