Giuliana and Bill Rancic on the Best Pasta Shapes and How to Properly Set the Table
E! celebrity host Giuliana Rancic knows how good Italian food should taste. Growing up, “everyone would come over and ask for my mom’s cooking,” said Rancic, who was born in Italy and came to the states as a young girl. Her mom’s Italian home cooking was so popular, in fact, that Giuliana and her husband Bill decided to bring it to to the masses: The couple recently opened the restaurants RPM Italian in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Inspired by her mother's cooking, the restaurant features some of Giuliana’s favorite childhood dishes—which you can trust are the real deal because her parents, who live nearby in Bethesda, Maryland, often eat there. To celebrate National Pasta Month, the couple teamed up with Bertolli to encourage Americans to eat more pasta.
We chatted with the Rancics about their favorite pasta shape and where they love to travel in Italy.
Giuliana: "Im from an Italian family and food is an event. Even on a boring Tuesday night, it’s an event. I take the time to set the table, light a candle and put out a bread basket.”
Bill: "Can’t forget the crushed red pepper and Parmesan cheese!”
G: "I also love to keep a basil plant nearby so I can add fresh basil to a dish. You can buy a plant at your local grocery store. It’s a simple way to elevate the experience. And there’s always wine. Lots of red wine. It’s important to come together and have the time to gather and catch up since everyone is so busy these days."
Favorite places to visit in Italy
B: Definitely Capri—it’s where we got married. We love to go back as often as possible to relive those memories.
G: I’m from Naples. It’s hard to find bad pizza in Naples!
The best pasta shape
B: "I love paccheri, a thick noodle from Northern Italy. It’s fantastic with tomato sauce or bolognese."
G: "My go-tos are definitely rigatoni and bucatini."
Must-try dishes at RPM
G: "My mom’s bucatini al pomodoro. It’s definitely one of the most popular dishes. And the spicy squid ink pasta with king crab is insane. For dessert, I’m obsessed with bombolini. It’s an Italian doughnut with nutella. SO good!"
B: "It’s hard to go wrong with any of the pasta dishes, but I love the steak. It’s named after our son Duke."