Hot Plate

Anthony Butkovich

Casting a Wide Net: The house specialty fettuccine del mare ($15.95) at Prima Pasta has all the ingredients tradition dictates, such as jumbo shrimp, tender scallops and impeccably cooked pasta tossed with a perky red marinara sauce, just a little sweet and well seasoned with garlic. It's those unexpected, off-the-beaten-path extras that make this dish irresistible: flaky chunks of salmon, deep green leaves of spinach and thick slices of fresh mushroom sautéed in olive oil, even the sweet, smoky surprise of lightly seared onions and green peppers. Eureka, it works! The serving is big enough for two hungry diners -- or one and a great big to-go box -- and includes all the buttery oven-browned garlic bread you can eat. Available at either location of this friendly "neighborhood restaurant" [6811 Kirby, (713)666-4047, or 2710 Richmond, (713)529-5529].

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