While some may argue that skiing or snowboarding are winter’s greatest sports, we here at TTS tend to view the season’s short days and blustery nights as the optimal time to pursue an alternate athletic endeavor — namely, carbo-loading. There’s nothing quite like the sport of warming your stomach (read: soul) with a dense and delicious meal when temperatures start to dip, and we’re absolutely certain that the winning combo is always involves a generous serving of pasta. Winning requires extensive training, which is why we’ve rounded up 9 of New York’s best spaghetti, rigatoni, and more to help get you through the rest of this winter.
The best part? Even if you can’t eat you way through all of these before winter’s thaw, we’re pretty sure they’ll be just as delicious come spring.
Since opening in late 2013, Major Food Group’s Carbone, an homage to the classic Italian-American dining experience, has topped every best restaurant list and become a must-hit for everyone including the POTUS. We saw no better way to kick off this countdown than with their indisputable work of art, the Spicy Rigatoni. Tubes of fresh pasta are cooked perfectly al dente, making them the ideal vessel for a velvety tomato-and-cream vodka sauce updated with a Calabrian chile kick. File this one under “make Nonna proud.”
With all of the exciting young chefs creatively riffing on Italian fare in New York today, it may seem maladroit to include a dish from the B&B Hospitality Group’s restaurant monopoly. But there’s a reason that Batali is know as one of the original dons of pasta — and we’re taking a guess that the Cacio e Pepe at cozy Greenwich Village trattoria Lupa has a lot to do with it. This classic dish is prepared in a traditional Roman style with perfectly cooked linguine absorbing a heavenly cheese and black pepper sauce. Serve alongside a glass of wine or two… or three… for the perfect pasta night fix.
Mondays with Michael White are the stuff urban legends are made of. Once a week when the clock strikes 9pm, Osteria Morini offers up rustic and authentic plates of pasta for just $10 a pop. Order the Garganelli, our personal favorite, and prepare to experience some of the most over-the-top Italian you’ve ever had – and we mean that in the absolute best way possible. These perfectly cut quills of lightly eggy pasta manage to be both dense and light at the same time, which is a good thing since they’re laced with a creamy truffle butter sauce. The dish is finished with prosciutto and radicchio, making this one of the cheapest ways to cure a winter case of the Monday blues.
Without a doubt one of the most underrated pasta dishes in the city, Lil Frankies‘ Spaghetti Limone scores the fouth spot on our list. This simple recipe pairs olive oil and butter with a refreshing squeeze of lemon and just-enough sprinkles of Parmigiano Reggiano and black pepper. Keeping hearts happy and bellies full since ’06!
Have you ever had that moment where time stops the moment fork meets lips? Yeah — All’onda‘s Bucatini gives us all the feels. This flavor-packed dish layers an eggy cream sauce with an unexpected combo of dashi-infused Parmesan and delicate slivers of smoked uni. The al dente noodles are topped with a healthy sprinkle of breadcrumbs, adding a flawless crunch to this stunning dish.
Missy Robbins (the brains behind A Voce) just opened her Williamsburg ode to all things Italian in January but this highly anticipated hot-spot is already making a name for itself thanks to uncomplicated yet innovative flavors. Case in point, the sheep’s milk filled Agnolotti. These pinched parcels of dough are filled with a smooth cheese and cooked in a saffron, dried tomato and honey sauce. A must-order, if you can snag a reservation that is.
Have you ever sat at a restaurant with friends, all ordered the same pasta, and upon first bite, all immediately let out an “OH MY GOD!”? Well, if you haven’t, head to Uva, order the gnocchi and then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. The pasta, which is made up of housemade ricotta-stuffed gnocchi and black truffle cream sauce, is one epic, belly warming dish and is certainly not one to overlook when you’re on the hunt for the perfect plate of pasta. File this one under “NYC classic.”
It’s no surprise that we’re rounding out our list with recent TTS Wednesday’s With honoree Bar Primi. This downtown favorite serves a carefully edited selection of down-home classic Italian pastas, but our favorite by far is the Bucatini with a Lamb Amatriciana sauce. The meat in this hearty ragu melts in your mouth, and the accompanying pasta is springy and delicious. Beware — food coma ahead!
We’ve just given you eight of the best ways to keep yourself otherwise occupied this winter, but if the thought of that much pasta gives you gluten nightmares, we propose a more sensible solution. For those who think ahead — mainly to their summer bodies — we offer up Cafe Clover’s Quinoa Tagliatelle. Made from a whole-wheat and quinoa flower mix, these thick ribbons are studded with a well-seasoned mushroom and shredded beet-green mix. A final sprinkling of sunflower seeds on top not only makes this one of the healthiest dishes on this list, but one of the prettiest.
Featured image by Vanessa Granda