Monday, October 4, 2010

Spaghetti al Formaggio Parmigiano in Aruba

I’ve been to Aruba several times, but this is the one dish that has stayed in my mind. So I just had to blog about this dish.
The first time I had this was a few years ago when we went to Aruba with my then boyfriend, now husbands, parents. It was the first time they were in Aruba and they have this dish every year when they go back.  Domenick and I loved it so much that we had it twice while we were there this time, but prepared at two different places, Gianni’s and Sole Mare. Personally I preferred Gianni’s but I also was sick at the time we ate at Sole Mare.
The pasta is served for 2 or more people and trust me if one person gets it the other person would have wished they got it anyway! First they bring out parmesan wheel on a cart. Then a server brings a flaming ladle of whiskey and a pan full of pasta in a sauce with fresh tomatoes. The ladle of flaming whiskey is dumped into the parmesan wheel and begins to melt the cheese and turn it into a creamy gooey lovely sauce. Once the server has scraped all of the cheese they add the pasta and toss it with the flamed whiskey cheese sauce and viola you have the most amazing pasta dish ever created! The dish that is most similar that most of you would be familiar with is pasta with vodka sauce, but for me, it’s much better! You cannot taste the whiskey, but the way that flamed whiskey melts the cheese is just amazing. I literally could just eat that with a spoon, yumm!
The thing about this dish is that they claim it is an authentic Italian dish. However, I’ve never seen an Italian cook with whiskey and I researched it a bit but couldn’t find anything. So I guess I’ll just take their word for it. All I know is that it is more of a traditional way of making a “cream sauce” in Italy. Now we add actual cream to our vodka and alfredo sauces but the traditional way was to add a TON of parmesan and toss it with some hot pasta and hot pasta water pasta water or vodka sauce.
If you find yourself in Aruba this is the number one dish I recommend!
I am planning on creating my own version of this dish so stay tuned to see how it turns out.

The Whiskey added to the parm wheel

The waitress scraping the cheese after the whiskey melted it

The spaghetti being mixed with the cheese
We were too hungry to take a picture after it was plated so this is about halfway through


  1. ha ha. my husband and i are still dreaming about this dish that we had last sept. on our honeymoon. we just tried to create it the other night, minus the huge cheese wheel as it would cost over a thousand dollars. yikes! it wasn't too far off except parm. cheese doesn't melt grated, because it's dried and isn't in a bowl like they did so it also wasn't as creamy. let me know if you attempt this recipe;) GOOD LUCK!!!;)

  2. Just camme back from aruba... still dreaming about ths dinner at gianni's. Yum!

  3. my husband and I went to Aruba this past week and this dish was the best I ever had! We stayed in Boston the night before we left for Aruba and went to the north end for dinner and was very disappointed, this dish by far was fantastic...a little too far to go for great italian food!

  4. Hi everyone! I made a version of this recipe for Christmas last year so you don't have to travel to Aruba to get it.

  5. thanks for sharing.

  6. We have just returned from 18 days on Aruba and we ate this dish 3 nights while there at a new restaurant called 'Zuzuroh' which is down the road next to screaming eagle and I loved their version better than Gianni's....great new restaurant and the prices are much more reasonable than Gianni's.

  7. it seems to be very yummy and i would also love to eat it,,,,,