Childhood friends, and both from Hoboken, Joey Pantoliano (Joey Pants) and Rich Pèpe often sat around the kitchen table with their large Italian families. Over a bowl of macaroni, they’d talk of ways to become successful, and “live the American dream” just like their immigrant grandparents sought when they came to America from Southern Italy.
Fast forward to today, and we find that Joey and Pèpe have both realized their respective dreams. Joey is a respected Emmy award winning actor and Pèpe is a successful chef and restaurateur. Once again, over a bowl of macaroni, the lifelong friends concluded that the one thing they did well together was to make a great pasta sauce (or is it gravy?). So, forty years later, they have teamed up to offer you their family recipes that came over “on the boat” with their grandparents.
But these “Two Guys from Hoboken” didn’t stop in the kitchen; they decided to donate a portion of the net proceeds to support NO KIDDING, ME TOO (www.nkm2.org), a celebrity advocated charity devoted to bringing awareness and compassion to mental health issues.
Pèpe & Pants Pasta Sauce is touted as the next Newman’s Own. With five sauces to choose from, online recipes to download, and a cookbook in the works, Pèpe & Pants Pasta Sauce is fast becoming one of the most popular pasta sauces in America today.
As we say in Jersey, it’s crazy good!
Joey talking about Pèpe:
Pèpe likes to say that his first job, although unpaid, was as an alter boy. His first paid job was as a paper boy. Then he worked at the bakery up the street since 8th grade and all through high school. I used to stop by the back door to get hot rolls right out of the oven. Pèpe and I have been in business together since high school, where we “booked numbers” in the cafeteria (but don’t tell our old teachers that). A natural-born ringleader, when Pèpe wasn’t working he was getting into trouble, often dragging me along for the ride. Pèpe joined the wrestling team in high school just so he could get into legitimate fights! So here we are many years later, taking another ride together by getting into the sauce business (plus I love his cooking!). With a portion of the net proceeds going directly to charity, I think our old high school teachers will be proud.
Pèpe talking about Joey:
Growing up with Joey Pants was always interesting to say the least. Both of our families were originally from Hoboken, and then we both moved up to Cliffside Park. Joey would play “hooky” from high school so he could go into Manhattan to take acting classes. He had me doing his homework for him, and believe me, I wasn’t the brightest kid around. Joey was a sharp dresser and great dancer, and we called him Joe Hollywood in those days as he always said he was headed to the West Coast to be in the movies. We both moved out to the West Coast in the early 70’s and continued to keep our friendship alive.
From playing Guido the Killer Pimp in Risky Business, to Francis Fratelli in The Goonies, to Cypher in The Matrix, to his Emmy Award winning role of Ralphie in the Sopranos, Joey has made us all proud.