Fettuccine My Face

by Melody Kettle

This past November a bright yellow awning appeared on Bloomfield Avenue signaling the arrival of Acappello Ristorante.  Since their opening, Acappello has developed a loyal following of Italian food lovers.

Last week, co-owner of Acappello Ristorante, Ben Husenaj, allowed us into the kitchen at Acapulco where their very personable sous chef, Brad Cohen, demonstrated one of Acappello’s most popular dishes – Fettuccine Cara Mia (translation: Fettuccini My Face). 

When Hot From The Kettle’s own, Elizabeth Palmer Starnes, reviewed Acappello, Cara Mia was “the unparalleled favorite menu item across the board.” After having tasted it myself, I couldn’t agree more.  It was delish!  Watch the video to see how it’s done, or, follow the recipe below!


2 Tbls vegetable oil

3 large shrimp

1 Tbs minced shallot and garlic

1 Tbs butter

1 diced Roma or beefsteak tomato

1/4 Cup white wine

1/2 Cup heavy cream

2 Tbs red pepper puree

1/8 Cup water or chicken stock

1/4 Cup backfin crab meant or lump

1/8 Cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 Tbs red chili flakes

Parsley to garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Serving of fettuccine or any pasta you want

In a sauté pan, heat up 2 Tbls of vegetable oil.   Add shallots and garlic.  Cook for 2 minutes until garlic begins to brown.  Add butter, then shrimp.  Turn heat to med-low.  When butter is melted, add white wine and reduce for 2-3 minutes.

After white wine is reduced, add the cream and red pepper puree and mix well.  At this time, add salt and pepper to taste, as well as chili flakes.  You can omit the chili flakes if you do not like spice.  

Add the crabmeat and stir to incorporate into sauce.  If sauce is too thick you can add a small amount of pasta water or chicken stock. 

Add cooked fettuccine, or other pasta to pan.  Coat pasta with the sauce, the sprinkle with Parmesan cheese making sure all pasta is coated.  Plate and garnish with fresh parsley.