Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Best places to eat pasta

Pasta was brought to Italy from the Middle East in the 13th century and became the simple staple that still reigns supreme there today. Luckily, the rest of the world caught on in the 20th century, and you can now eat delicious pasta – simply dressed or enveloped in rich sauces – all around the world.

Antica Focacceria San Francesco
Via Paternostro 58, Palermo, Sicily; www.afsf.it
Five generations of the Conticello family have cooked in this lovely old building, which has a spacious courtyard restaurant. It’s renowned for typical Sicilian dishes such as pasta con le sarde: spaghetti with sardines, wild fennel, pine nuts, and currants. At lunch times it operates almost as a fast-food place, with dishes served on plastic plates to eat or carry out.
Trattoria Meloncello
Via Saragozza 240, Bologna; +39 51 613 947 The decor is down-to-earth 1950s Italian, but the food is timeless; this is simple food at its best. The affable owner always explains the day’s menu, rather than offering a printed version, which usually includes a very good homemade tortellini as well as tagliatelle with a rich ragù. The house wine is very good too.
Da Nello
Via Monte Grappa 2, Bologna; www.ristorantedanello.it
This venerable institution is always packed. Diners are ushered downstairs amidst mouthwatering fragrances and uniformed waiters hurrying with steaming plates of tortellini in brodo, pappardelle alla caccia (game sauce), and cotoletta alla bolognese (escalope with parmigiano and Parma ham).
Ristorante Pappone
Marina del Cantone 23, Massa Lubrense, Naples; www.hotelcertosa.com
The restaurant inside the Hotel la Certosa on the Amalfi Coast serves large platters of huge, pale maccheroni tubes cooked perfectly al dente and accompanied by the day’s fish catch stewed in delicate tomato. The restaurant sits on a beachfront terrace overlooking a secluded cove.
Italian cuisine in the French capital steps many rungs up the gastronomic ladder, from the basic trattoria to stylish restaurants in which both Italian and French chefs bring a creative intelligence to even the more traditional dishes.
25 rue Charles V; www.enoteca.fr
Wine takes center stage in this cozy 17th-century locale in the Marais; the restaurant has won awards for its selection. Creative mouthwatering pasta options are linguine ai frutti di mare refreshed with citrus zest, and squid-ink black cannelloni filled with sea bass and ricotta.
La Locanda
8 rue de Dragon; www.lalocanda.fr
This sun-filled restaurant in St-Germain-des-Prés is located in an 18th-century town house and offers a wonderful “Trio of Pasta”: three of the day’s specials as a surprise. Fresh hand-fished seafood arrives daily and also ranks high as a favorite – try the spaghetti with lobster or vongole (clams) from Brittany.
The “Italian Eating Place” was the first Italian restaurant set up in London. Joseph Moretti opened it in 1803 to cater mostly to Italians, but the cuisine later became fashionable thanks to the trend for traveling Europe on “Grand Tours.” These days there are hundreds of Italian restaurants in London, which import genuine ingredients from Italy.
Garrick St., Covent Garden, WC2; www.carluccios.com Brainchild of jovial TV chef Antonio Carluccio, his elegant flagship serves pasta dishes from all over Italy. The penne giardiniera is a tasty mix of zucchini, fried spinach balls, chili pepper, and garlic.
Locanda Locatelli
8 Seymour St., W1; www.locandalocatelli.com
This Michelin-starred restaurant is reputed to serve the best Italian food in the city. The divine house pasta comes stuffed with pheasant and rosemary, or smothered with gently stewed octopus.
Port of call since the 1800s for settlers from both southern and northern Italy, this vibrant cosmopolitan city has many modern trattorias offering a unique Australian fusion slant.
Café Sopra
7 Danks St., Waterloo; www.fratellifresh.com.au
Expect to wait at this trendy restaurant on the light-filled floor above their market shop. An enticing blackboard menu offers simple heaven such as linguine with seafood, lemon, chili pepper, and garlic.
96–8 Ramsay St, Haberfield; www.dolcissimo.com.au
Housed in a renovated shop in an old Italian neighborhood, Dolcissimo offers a wide choice of simple favorites, such as gnocchi with Gorgonzola and an outstanding penne carbonara.
This city’s Italian community began to settle on “The Hill” in the early 1900s. A curious Italian-American dish developed here: toasted ravioli, deep-fried and served with a sauce.
Adriana’s on the Hill
5101 Shaw Ave.; www.adrianasonthehill.com
This friendly café is run by Adriana Fazio and her daughters, who produce Italian specials for lunch.
The pasta is usually penne with a choice of tomato and basil, spicy salsiccia (pork sausage), or meatballs.
Da Marcella
3600 Watson Rd.; www.trattoriamarcella.com
This well-established restaurant has a vast menu that embraces elegant agnolotti del plin (stuffed pasta with truffle butter), as well as the local favorite: toasted ravioli covered in tomato sauce.
New York has the most – and the most varied – Italian restaurants in the US, and they can call upon fresh Italian-sourced ingredients, flown in daily to the Big Apple.
Osteria del Circo
120 W. 55th St.; www.osteriadelcirco.com
Sirio Maccioni’s restaurant produces fabulous Tuscan food under the watchful eyes of his talented chef wife, Egidiana. This busy eatery serves traditional dishes such as fritto misto di mare (mixed, deep-fried fish) and modern Italian favorites like roasted scallops wrapped in pancetta. Don’t miss “Mamma Egi’s ravioli,” stuffed with spinach and ricotta.
236 W. 56th St.; www.patsys.com
Based in New York’s theater district, Patsy’s is a classic Italian eatery that attracts big-name actors and actresses as clientele. It’s only had three chefs in its 65 years of existence, who faithfully reproduce its much-loved favorites – from linguine puttanesca and tortellini bolognese to striped bass marechiare (poached in white wine, garlic, and tomato).
On the Menu
Aglio, olio, peperoncino Pasta simply dressed with garlic, olive oil, and chili pepper.
Ai frutti di mare, alla scogliera With mixed seafood and garlic.
Al nero di seppia With a black sauce of squid ink.
Alla norma With a rich Sicilian sauce of stewed eggplant, tomato, basil, and salted ricotta cheese.
Alle vongole With fresh clams.
Amatriciana A rich tomato sauce with bacon and sometimes chili peppers.
Bucatini Long, tubular pasta.
Cacio e pepe Melted Caciocavallo cheese and ground pepper.
Cannelloni Large pasta tubes filled with meat sauce or spinach and ricotta.
Capelli d’angelo Ultra-thin spaghetti.
Carbonara A creamy sauce of eggs, bacon,and Parmesan.
Fusilli Short, curly twists of pasta.
Gnocchi Small, soft dumplings of potato bound with a little flour.
Maccheroni General name for a wide range of short, tubular pasta.
Orechiette Dimpled buttons of pasta – also known as “small ears.”
Pappardelle Wide ribbons of pasta.
Parmigiano Parmesan cheese.
Penne Short, quill-shaped tubes of pasta.
Puttanesca A type of sauce made with
tomatoes, olives, and capers.
Ragù A rich meat and vegetable sauce.
Ravioli Flat pillows of pasta filled with meat, fish, vegetables, or cheese.
Spaghetti Long, round pasta.
Stringozzi Handmade Umbrian tagliatelle.
Tagliatelle Ribbons of pasta.
Trenette Like spaghetti but flatter and thicker,a Ligurian favorite with pesto.

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