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Home-cooked Italian cuisine on every plate

Raviolacci -- delicate squash and toasted faro ravioli, black garlic sage butter and spiced pepitas. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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ANNOUNCER: Jackie and Dutch take their Italian cravings to Marzano in Parkland this week. Family owned and operated for nearly 30 years, their philosophy is that every diner is family here. Mangiare!

DUTCH: I love the household atmosphere when you walk in the door. Plus, the smell of food cooking is already wafting through the restaurant, which makes me wish I had an Italian grandmother (sorry grandma) so that I could experience this every day.

JACKIE: I couldn't agree more. The atmosphere is intimate but cozy. Fair warning, due to its intimate nature, a reservation is recommended even during lunch.

DUTCH: Lasagna is a favorite of mine, but can be a tricky dish. It isn't always easy to find the right balance between pasta, sauce, cheese and meat. But Marzano has it down to a science; each bite from beginning to end was the right distribution of sausage and pasta, with plenty of cheese for any cheese lover, and that sauce. The sauce screams fresh and flavorful. I pondered asking for a jar of sauce to take home.

JACKIE: I spied delicate squash and black garlic sage butter and knew I had to have the Raviolacci. These large raviolis are stuffed with squash and toasted farro, large cubes of squash and perfectly prepared kale sit aloft. The spiced pepitas finish the dish and add that perfect little crunch to this rich feast. I was in Heaven.

DUTCH: The small pizza selection here isn't what you will find at the corner pizza shop, each of these is Italian driven with an explosion of flavors. I like the Pere, which has caramelized pears, grilled onions and gorgonzola dolce. Add hints of rosemary to the sweet and pungent flavors and you have the perfect balance flavor in a handheld option.

JACKIE: The sandwiches are equally inventive, with an elevated approach. The Grilled Flatbread boasted nicely toasted flatbread folded over generous portions of Italian-cured meats, piparras, chevre, whole roasted tomatoes, balsamic greens and a touch of Dijon. The flavor profile was diverse with each bite teasing with a hint of heat, pepperiness and a touch of zing. This is not your grandmama's Italian sub. Really, this is a gem in the Parkland dining community and ideal for date night, special occasions, or just those looking for some beautifully presented Italian fare.

Marzano, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4-8:30 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4-9 p.m., Friday; 4-9 p.m., Saturday, 516 Garfield St. S., Tacoma, 253.537.4191,

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