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July 24, 2015

Five for Friday: Steve Schirripa

Food Influencers
Steve Schirripa Handout Art/for PhillyVoice

Steve Schirripa has his own line of pasta sauce.

You might recognize Steve Schirripa as Bobby Baccalieri from the award-winning HBO series, "The Sopranos." The lovable gangster was killed off in a torrent of bullets by one of Phil Leotardo's hitmen during Season 6. 

These days you'll find Schirripa, or "Uncle Steve," far from the set of a mafia television show, yet closer than ever to a bowl of pasta. He recently launched a line of organic, non-GMO, gluten-free and Kosher pasta products called Uncle Steve's Italian Specialties. Learn more about Schirripa below...

When did you discover your passion for cooking?

I don't consider myself a great cook, but a pretty good eater. Uncle Steve's is inspired by my mother's recipe (she passed a couple of years ago), and it's really a tribute to her.

What is your favorite comfort food to cook?

Eggplant parm is my favorite dish to eat. My mother made a great eggplant parm, and my wife still does today. It's the first thing I order when I go out to eat and is the true measure of whether or not I like the restaurant.

Which of your sauce variations do you think Bobby Baccalieri would like best?

Bobby would have liked the arrabiata. Big, fat guys like Bobby usually like the hot stuff. Personally, I prefer the Uncle Steve's marinara.

Why is it important to eat organic foods?

I personally believe that the causes of so many diseases and sicknesses are the result of the foods we put in our body. I think the less preservatives and unnatural ingredients we consume, the healthier our society will be.

What advice would you give to somebody looking to boil the perfect bowl of pasta?

The trick is to keep on stirring and keep on tasting it. I personally like my pasta al dente, but you really have to just continue to taste it in order to get your perfect bowl of pasta.

You can taste Uncle Steve's Italian Specialties at ShopRite, Fresh Market, Pathmark and Giant.