South Philadelphia restaurant wins pasta showdown on Rachael Ray Show

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A South Philadelphia restaurant that's been a mainstay for nearly 25 years now is celebrating a big daytime win for their signature pasta dish. (WPVI)

A South Philadelphia restaurant that's been a mainstay for nearly 25 years now is celebrating a big daytime win for their signature pasta dish.

Ristorante Pesto, located on the 1900 block of South Broad Street, proudly showed off the shiny new trophy they won on Monday's Rachael Ray Show.

The restaurant, which is run by the Varallo family, beat out chefs from New York and San Francisco in Rachael's first ever Little Italy Showdown.

The father/daughter cooking team of John and Maria served up their signature pasta dish - homemade cavatelli topped with lobster, shrimp and crab meat in a rose blush sauce.

John was born in Naples, Italy and his wife, Concetta, and children all work with him at the family restaurant.

Action News was with the Varallo family as they watched the show together - as a family!

"I am so happy because I didn't want to let Philly down. It was mainly to show everyone how great Philly is," said Concetta.

The trophy is one of a kind, featuring gilded spaghetti and meatballs with a fork in it.

The winning dish, they say, has been in such high demand, John couldn't hand crank that cavatelli fast enough!

"I made a little machine for the pasta. I took it apart and put all new wheels and I put a drill on it," he said.

The secret ingredient, he says, is that it's made with love.

"Anything - you gotta put love in it. Everything you do. You don't have love for it - you gotta get out," said John.

With a live audience and a countdown clock, these lifelong chefs say they were feeling the heat.

"It was surprising and exciting at the same time and nervous because it was actually our first ever time on TV," said Maria.

The Varallos say they brought all of the ingredients from South Philly because they wanted it to taste exactly the way it does at their restaurant on Broad Street.

They say they've been bursting to share the exciting news of the win, but had to keep it under wraps until Monday's show aired.

The Rachael Ray Show airs weekdays at 10.a.m. on 6abc.

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foodfoodrestaurantrachael rayentertainmentphilly newsSouth Philadelphia
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