Leave the Cannoli

This 96-year-old restaurant on Federal Hill tries something new

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“Have you ever had spaghetti pie?” Jamie Antignano asks by way of introducing the latest craze at her restaurant: the spaghetti donut.

At only 25 years old, Antignano is now the “President of Pasta” and current owner of Angelo’s Civita Farnese, a staple in Providence that’s been serving Italian food for nearly a century. Known by most as “Angelo’s on the Hill,” it is now in its fourth generation of ownership within the same family, and Antignano bubbles with excitement whenever she discusses its history or its future. One of her hopes is to keep the traditional aspects of the menu that patrons have enjoyed for years (“Some customers have been coming for 70 years!” she explains), while also introducing fresh, new items. It’s a delicate balance, but one such success happens to have its genesis in spaghetti pie.

“In Italian families like mine, we would take leftover spaghetti, mix it with sauce, cheese, and eggs – as a binder – and bake it as a way of eating leftovers. And I thought, why not use a donut tin instead of a baking dish?” Thus, the Spaghetti Donut was born.

The donuts are the size of a traditional cake donut and served with a side of warm marinara sauce (a “glaze,” if you will). They make the perfect appetizer, either for yourself or for the table to share. And since Angelo’s is a family restaurant, they thought it would be fun for the kids. “For them, we put a meatball in the middle of it,” Antignano says, which completes the spaghetti donut as a meal with protein.

“We like to get creative with it,” Antignano says. “We use a pink vodka sauce for Valentine’s Day; we’ve made pesto versions and mac-and-cheese. I wasn’t sure how it would be received, coming into such a well-established restaurant. But it’s really taken off.” 

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