If you took all the linguine served on Long Island and set it end to end ... well, it would be a waste of some very good pasta. Here are four restaurants where you'll find many pleasures al dente.
18 BAY, 23 N. Ferry Rd., Shelter Island; 631-749-0053
It may take a chilly ferry ride, but you'll warm up fast when you reach 18 Bay. This locavore delight offers a set menu each week. The pastas are wonderful year-round, from cannelloni with goat-milk ricotta and zucchini flowers to caramelized-parsnip fiorini with lobster ragù.
CASA RUSTICA, 175 W. Main St., Smithtown; 631-265-9265
The pasta highlights at the local landmark include memorable rigatoni all'Amatriciana, ricotta ravioli in pink sauce, lasagna Bolognese, veal-and-chicken agnolotti in cream sauce with nutmeg and Parmesan cheese, and spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce, eggplant and ricotta salata.
TRATTORIA DIANE, 21 Bryant Ave., Roslyn; 516-621-2591
The winners here start with classic spaghetti alla carbonara and bucatini all'Amatriciana, fettuccine Bolognese to butternut-squash ravioli. And don't forget the ricotta gnocchi with sausage, fennel and tomatoes.
THE TRATTORIA, 532 North Country Rd. St. James; 631-584-3518
The pastas put out by chef-owner Steven Gallagher are terrific, from the smoky-sweet spaghetti all'Amatriciana and superrich bucatini alla carbonara to hearty paccheri with a suckling-pig ragù, and delicate squash-and-apple ravioli with dates and sage brown butter. And veer Bolognese with either pappardelle in meat sauce or the light, five-layer lasagna. He also prepares a grand eggplant alla Parmigiana.