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Follow Aziz Ansari on His West Coast Pasta Quest: PHOTOS

2ee5Aziz Ansari Pasta 600x450 Follow Aziz Ansari on His West Coast Pasta Quest: PHOTOS
Courtesy Ava Gene’s; Inset: Jason Merritt/Getty

Does Aziz Ansari have a serious weakness for fresh pasta?

Judging by the photos the Parks and Recreation actor is taking as he restaurant hops throughout the Pacific Northwest, it seems like he loves carbs as much as we do!

He posted this shot Tuesday of cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) pasta from Il Corvo in Seattle, one of the cities on his Modern Romance stand-up tour. (Also, major props to him for coining our new favorite hashtag: #freshpastalife.)

And last week, he Instagrammed a photo of a delicious-looking array of artisanal pastas like rabbit agnolotti and nettle linguine from his table at Ava Gene’s, a rising restaurant star from Stumptown coffee founder Duane Sorenson that opened last summer in the Richmond area of Oregon, near Portland.

“What pasta do we want? ALL THE PASTA. Ava Gene’s in Portland. So good,” Ansari wrote in the caption.

All the pasta sounds great — but so does just one! Ava Gene’s chef Joshua McFadden handed over the recipe for the sagna riccia (long, flat noodles) with sausage ragu that’s pictured in the foreground of Ansari’s shot.

McFadden imports his sagna riccia from a small pasta company in Italy called Masciarelli. “If you can’t find sagna riccia, try using a larger long noodle like fettuccine or pappardelle. It also works very well with short noodles like rigatoni or macaroni,” he tells PEOPLE.

At Ava Gene’s all of the pork sausage and meatballs are made in-house, so McFadden suggests skipping packaged products in favor of getting sweet or spicy sausage from your butcher. The better the meat, the closer this will taste to the restaurant’s version.

Ansari has proved his prowess in the kitchen before — we wonder if he’ll try this recipe at home. If so, we know a few other stars who may be down for a noodle-making session. Pasta party!

Sagna Riccia (Sunday Sausage Ragu)
Serves 4-6

12 oz. sagna riccia pasta
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, smashed
3 tbsp. tomato paste
6 oz. pork sausage (uncased)
8 oz. meatballs
1½ cups of crushed tomatoes in their liquid, divided
1 handful parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup parmigiano reggiano, grated

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt to taste (add enough so it tastes like salty seawater).

2. While you are waiting for the water to boil, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp. of oil and the smashed garlic, cooking until garlic cloves brown.

3. Add the tomato paste, and cook until brown. Add the sausage and cook until exterior is brown and crispy. Crush up sausage with the back of a fork.

4. Add 1 cup of the crushed tomato and the meatballs. Simmer on low 4-5 minutes and crush the meatballs into quarters. Remove from heat.

5. Once the water has reached a boil and you have salted it, add the pasta and cook one minute short of what the package time says.

6. Drain pasta and add it to the pan with the sauce. Add ½ cup of the pasta water and the rest of the tomato liquid to the pan and cook on medium heat, tossing and twirling the pasta.

7. Remove from heat and add the chopped parsley, grated parmigiano reggiano, and the last tablespoon of oil and toss well.

—Lexi Dwyer

p 89EKCgBk8MZdE Follow Aziz Ansari on His West Coast Pasta Quest: PHOTOS
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Danielle & Kevin Jonas: Take A Look Inside Alena’s Playroom

8be1Screen Shot 2014 04 01 at 1.39.06 PM 500x336 Danielle & Kevin Jonas: Take A Look Inside Alena’s Playroom

Proud new parents, Danielle and Kevin Jonas, are giving a sneak peek inside their newborn daughter Alena’s playroom — and it’s gorgeous! Celebrity Baby Scoop has the exclusive details of the fun room, including images and a quick chat with the designer, Vanessa Antonelli.

“The playroom is so cool! My good friend Vanessa from NessaLee Baby designed it,” Danielle told Celebrity Baby Scoop. “Our home is traditional, and with her nursery being a light purple, we wanted to do something different with the playroom, which is royal blue brown white and orange with multiple different textures.”

As for the inspiration behind the custom-designed playroom, Lee says it was all about combining fashion with function.

“Functionally fashionable was the goal,” the designer shares. “Kevin and Danielle have a modern sense of style that I infused into the space and made sure everything in it would take them for many years. It’s glam, but not too girlie in case there are more Jonas babies in their future.”

It sounds like the new parents were very involved in the design process.

“Both Danielle and Kevin loved the idea of navy as opposed to traditional playroom colors or pinks,” Lee shares. “They knew exactly what they wanted as far as functionality. It was important to have couch seating, play seating, book storage, toy storage, additional open space for future toys and a changing table to use now.”

In terms of favorite elements of the room, Lee says it’s all about the details.

“I love the little details about this room.” she says. “The tiny pom poms on the drapes are just darling! The bird wallpaper and textured bark wallpaper tie back to the tree bookcase and the room’s subtle theme. The way the navy overlays on the closet doors blend so well with the changing table’s style completes the look. Plus, who can resist a teeny tiny ghost chair?”

For more information on the Jonas baby playroom, head over to NessaLee Baby

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Filed under: Danielle Jonas,Exclusives,Featured,Kevin Jonas

Photo credit: NessaLee Baby

p 89EKCgBk8MZdE Danielle & Kevin Jonas: Take A Look Inside Alena’s Playroom
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Alimi Ballard Opens Up About Fatherhood

991bAlimi Ballard pic1 500x500 Alimi Ballard Opens Up About Fatherhood

Proud dad of two, ages 8 and 5, and Numb3rs alum Alimi Ballard sat down with parenting expert Daddy Nickell for the recently launched Youtube series Being A Dad which features interviews with celebrity dads about parenthood.  In the interview, Alimi talks about “putting yourself second” and shares advice for new dads.

Alimi keeps it real when it comes to diaper changes and getting dirty, “If you’re going to really get in there with your kids and get on their level you know how to compromise; you know how to put yourself second.”

As a coach on the sidelines, Alimi says, “You want to instill in them [your children], the desire to go for it!”

And to the young dads out there, Alimi advises, “If you’re nervous all the time, that’s normal!”

Check out the whole interview at My Life As A Dad.  Subscribe to the My Life As A Dad YouTube channel, join the discussion on Twitter, and follow them on Facebook.

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Filed under: Alimi Ballard

Photo credit: Twitter

p 89EKCgBk8MZdE Alimi Ballard Opens Up About Fatherhood
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