The best pasta dishes on Long Island

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Pasta is the undisputed champion of the Italian table. In Italy, it's traditionally eaten as a first course (primo). Here in America, diners are just as likely to order it as a main dish -- it's just that good. Every region of Italy has its own pasta specialty. Here are some Long Island restaurants that do them proud.

Fioretti alla boscaiola, Patrizia's

Fioretti alla boscaiola, pasta purses stuffed with ricotta
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Fioretti alla boscaiola, pasta purses stuffed with ricotta in a mushroom-prosciutto cream sauce, is a surefire crowd pleaser at Patrizia's in Hicksville.

Gnocchi with pomodoro sauce, Tavern 227

Gnocchi with pomodoro sauce and ricotta is a
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Gnocchi with pomodoro sauce and ricotta is a winner at Tavern 227 in Sea Cliff.

Butternut squash raviolini, Blackbird Kitchen & Cocktails

Butternut squash raviolini is a comfort food classic
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Butternut squash raviolini is a comfort food classic at Blackbird Kitchen & Cocktails in Wantagh.

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Cavatelli forestiera, Casa di Fratelli

Cavatelli forestiera fuses pasta shells with meaty mushrooms
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Cavatelli forestiera fuses pasta shells with meaty mushrooms in a creamy marsala mascarpone sauce at Casa di Fratelli in Westbury.

Mezzi rigatoni with Sunday sauce, Brunello Italian Kitchen

The Sunday sauce at Brunello Italian Kitchen in
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

The Sunday sauce at Brunello Italian Kitchen in Deer Park anchors a bowl of mezzi rigatoni that is heaped with meatball, sausage and braciole (beef rolls). Big enough for two, it could easily become a Sunday tradition.

Spaghetti alla carbonara, Franina

Spaghetti alla carbonara, a classic Roman dish, is
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Spaghetti alla carbonara, a classic Roman dish, is expertly prepared at Franina in Syosset.

Pappardelle melanzane, Vespa Italian Kitchen & Bar

Pappardelle melanzane, thick ribbons of pasta with Marsala-eggplant
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Pappardelle melanzane, thick ribbons of pasta with Marsala-eggplant ragu, ricotta and ricotta salata, is served at Vespa Italian Kitchen & Bar in Farmingdale.

Cavatelli, Vulcano 081

Try the cavatelli at Vulcano 081 in Rockville
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Try the cavatelli at Vulcano 081 in Rockville Centre. Soft like gnocchi, accented with broccoli rabe and sausage, and dolloped with ricotta, it's a sleeper hit.

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Cacio e pepe, Gatsby's Landing

Pasta is the star of the menu at
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Pasta is the star of the menu at Gatsby's Landing in Roslyn. The cacio e pepe is a satisfyingly simple display of Pecorino Romano with fresh ground pepper and mint.

Malfada pasta, Aria Melanie on the Lake

Malfada pasta is dressed with kale pesto and
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Malfada pasta is dressed with kale pesto and studded with chorizo, grilled zucchini and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano at Aria Melanie on the Lake in Bay Shore.

Bucatini 'cacio e pepe,' Primi Italian Steakhouse

Bucatini
(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Bucatini "cacio e pepe," topped with shaved aged pecorino cheese and black pepper is simple and very satisfying at Primi Italian Steakhouse in West Islip.

Frutti di mare, Manna

Frutti di mare at Manna in Water Mill
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

Frutti di mare at Manna in Water Mill features a heap of beautiful local clams, sweet mussels and shrimp atop linguine.

Pasta con le sarde, Benny's Ristorante

Pasta con le sarde is the improbably harmonious
(Credit: Johnny Simon)

Pasta con le sarde is the improbably harmonious combination of sardines, wild fennel, pine nuts, raisins and bread crumbs that is the specialty of Sicily. At Benny's Ristorante in Westbury, it's made, in authentic fashion, with bucatini, fatter than spaghetti and more likely to slap sauce down the front of your shirt.

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Ravioli, Piccolo's

The cuisine of Emilia-Romagna is Italy's most refined,
(Credit: Yana Paskova)

The cuisine of Emilia-Romagna is Italy's most refined, as are the region's signature pastas -- tortellini, lasagna and tagliatelle, among them. Robert Franceschini, born outside of Parma, has made homemade pasta a signature of his 30-year-old restaurant, Piccolo's in Mineola. Ten varieties of ravioli are available, and frequent specials include superlative spinach-and-ricotta crespelle (crepes) and lasagna verde Bolognese.

Cavetelli Conversanese, La Nonna Bella

Puglia, on the heel of Italy's boot, is
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Puglia, on the heel of Italy's boot, is renowned for orecchiette with broccoli rabe, but Lino De Vivo, the Pugliese owner of La Nonna Bella in Garden City, prepares a dish named for his hometown, Conversano. Cavatelli Conversanese is a fresh, vegetal combination of spinach, fresh fava beans and stubby-but-delicate homemade cavatelli (fat shells).

Bigoli alla Latina, Stresa

The Veneto in Northeastern Italy is better known
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

The Veneto in Northeastern Italy is better known for its rice and polenta dishes than for its pasta, but bigoli -- thick, rough-hewn noodles usually made with whole wheat -- are the exception. At Stresa in Manhasset, the bigoli alla Latina is a hearty amalgam of pancetta, cabbage, tomatoes and pecorino.

Bucatini all'Amatriciana, Trattoria Diane

Before the tragic earthquake in August, 2016, the
(Credit: Jessica Earnshaw)

Before the tragic earthquake in August, 2016, the town of Amatrice, about 100 miles northeast of Rome in the region of Lazio, had one claim to fame: Sugo all'Amatrice, a lush sauce that owes as much to cured pork -- guanciale (pig jowl) or pancetta -- as it does to tomatoes and Pecorino Romano. Much of the menu at Trattoria Diane in Roslyn is devoted to the cuisine of Lazio, and the bucatini all'Amatrciana does the region proud.

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