A telephone call can sometimes come at the perfect moment when you’re trying to make a choice. Not that the information you glean from the conversation shines a light on the decision at hand, but just the pause gives you enough of a moment not to be too rash. After a slew of samples, I ordered a bowl of Zuppa Inglese gelato.
Using Babelfish, the name of this place translates directly to “the macaroni factory.” I guess in the US, Pasta Factory is so copyright controlled or else they need to dumb it down even more for us. It’s the homemade pastas that are the primary focus of this site in Everett on 99 just north of 16.
If you’re looking for fresh made, classic Italian-style pasta and don’t want to try to park in the North End, Il Pastificio offers a pretty good alternative as they make their own tagliatelle, fusilli, ravioli, tortellini, and gnocchi on site. They also have a great array of pastries and cakes, and a freezer with tiramisu and chocolate-dipped pears.
The reason we ventured here was a small sign on the wall that had almost faded into the brick that declared, “Homemade ice cream and spumoni.” It seems no one has been up there with either a paint brush or a screwdriver in ages since neither of those are offered anymore, but Il Pastificio does have a selection of homemade gelato and sorbet. The lady working the counter was very helpful and once she realized that I was serious about my ice cream wanted me to sample a bunch of her flavors. While the simple ones were all strong, it was the zuppa inglese that peaked my interest. When I returned to the counter after a phone call, realized that it was worth a whole bowl.
Zuppa inglese (literally translated as English soup) is an Italian dessert similar to a trifle with sponge cakes soaked in rum and layered among cream and dried fruit. When converted to gelato the result is stunningly reminiscent of Christmas. The cream is spiced with nutmeg, and is a heavy custard-like concoction. It actually tastes a lot like egg nog, and is similarly rich and dense. There are also cubed pieces of dried fruit, bringing the yuletide fruit cake to mind. While it was probably too hot of a day to appreciate this properly, the results are a bold gelato that can make any day taste like Christmas.
I wound up here really by accident. My plan had been to lunch in Charlestown at Jenny’s – a great sandwich place that makes one of my top five sandwiches in Boston with a chicken cutlet club. I figured between all of the locals that frequent that spot and the staff, someone would know a good place to get a cone. The only place anyone could think of was a Cold Stone Creamery. I drove loops around town and even searched down piers near the naval yard, and there was nothing to be had. After throwing up my hands I drove into Everett and found this instead.
Cup – 1 scoop $2 2scoops $3.50
Open year round
Tuesday-Saturday 9a-7p, Sunday 8a-2p, closed Monday