Ask anyone on a diet or adhering to a strict regimen to stay slim what their number one cheat day item would be and the most likely response received will be carbs, pasta especially. And white pasta—none of this healthy whole wheat stuff that we pretend is an equal to the creamy white pasta that is forbidden on so many people’s diets.
National Pasta Day is a perfect time to break those rules and celebrate by indulging, for one day, in a favorite pasta dish either at home or at one of your favorite restaurants.
The origins of pasta are quite ancient: It is one of the oldest foods civilized people have been eating. Many believe that Marco Polo discovered pasta in Asia and brought it to Italy, but this isn’t quite true because there is evidence showing pasta has other origins that tie it directly to Italy.
In 1279 AD, a will was drafted by an Italian man leaving a bin of maccheroni (macaroni) to someone, and this was when Marco Polo was still in the Far East. Pasta is an Italian word for dough, because pasta is essentially dough that has dried, unless it is kept fresh and soft.
Homemade pasta is quite easy to make and requires only a few ingredients. The time-consuming part comes in the creation of the type of pasta, more particularly the shape. Imagine making all those little swirly rotinis by hand. It takes hours and hours, yet many die-hard home cooks will put forth the effort.
There are so many ways pasta can be prepared and dozens of options for even the types of noodles to have, that the possibilities are really, truly endless. Don’t feel like preparing a homemade pasta dish? No problem! If you’re in New York City (NYC), you are in a city that knows exactly how to make pasta and make it right. So review this little guide and see what restaurants have what you’re craving right now.
Some of the Best Pasta Dishes New York City Has to Offer
Dish: Fusilli with Red-Wine-Braised Octopus and Bone Marrow
Okay, this isn’t for the faint of heart and is for the more adventurous eater, but if you are willing to try something original, your taste buds will thank you. The base sauce is a simple ragù that has been perked up with purple cephalopod tentacles and fatty tissue from bone marrow. The pasta itself is hand-rolled, fusilli-shaped like little Twizzlers.
Dish: Bucatini Alla Carbonara
This carbonara dish became a hit as soon as Barbuto opened its doors 12 years ago. The dish is made with hefty bucatini tubes with a sauce infused with dry-cured Beretta pancetta, fresh ground black pepper, farm fresh egg yolk, and parmesan cheese. Creamy and savory, everything you want in a pasta dish.
Dish: Rigatoni Diavola
This dish is simple but so delicious. House-made rigatoni made from semolina is turned into the shape of large commas with a classic sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes, with chilies, oregano, and pecorino cheese. The owner loves this dish so much that she says she eats it every night.
Restaurant: Osteria Morini’s
Get ready for something really special: a double ravioli. This dish is made with two rectangular pockets of handmade egg pasta that are fused together so you get to savor two different fillings. One side has a mince of rabbit meat, and the other side is filled with a soft white cheese. The end result is drizzled with a veal reduction and the topped with fresh fava beans.
Murphy, M., “THE ABSOLUTE BEST PASTA DISHES IN NYC,” Thrillist web site;
https://www.thrillist.com/eat/new-york/best-pasta-in-nyc, last accessed October 17, 2016.