Discover the cultural and industrial heritage of Southwestern Pennsylvania
Nominate new places or
revise information. Click Here!

Rocca's Homestyle Pasta


Rocca's Homestyle Pasta

Location Details

PHONE: 724-643-6333
ADDRESS: 323 Midland Ave
Midland, PA 15059
HOURS: Lunch: Mon-Fri: 11am-3pm; Dinner: Wed-Fri: 4pm-8pm; Sat: 4-8pm


One day in May 1982, Robert Rocca and three of his brothers, Teddy, Ike, and Anthony, went to work as usual at the Crucible mill. It was a routine Robert knew by heart. After all, from the day he graduated high school 19 years before, he had only one job — and it was at the mill.

But on this particular day, Robert learned that the mill was shutting down and that he, his brothers, and just about the entire town of Midland would soon be out of work. “I never saw it coming,” Robert says. “It was ugly.”

And it was scary. With a wife and four young kids at home, he wasn’t sure where to turn. He never went to college, never earned a degree, never experienced the world beyond the mill. So Robert decided to turn to the one sure thing in his life — his family. “You go back to your roots,” he says. “You do what you do best.” What the Roccas do best is prepare food, specifically Italian desserts and pastas.

When Robert, his parents, and his three brothers left Italy for America in 1955 (two more brothers were later born in the United States), they brought with them some old family recipes.

Seeking self-sufficiency in his adopted homeland, Robert decided to use those recipes as the foundation for a new family-owned and -operated business. While two of his brothers went into the wholesale pasta business, Robert opened a takeout service. By 1992, he, his wife, and their four children and three grandchildren were running a restaurant.

With Dean Martin songs playing in the background, the Rocca family tree decorating one wall, and Midland memorabilia all around, the restaurant offers sustenance to both its patrons and proprietors. “We’re luckier than some,” Robert says. “Without the family, we never would have made it.”

Rivers of Steel enewsletter sign up

Rivers of Steel enewsletter sign up