TODAY'S PAPER

The best pasta dishes on Long Island

By ERICA MARCUS erica.marcus@newsday.com

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....

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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.

Fresh pasta with lobster and tomatoes at Pearl

Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Fresh pasta with lobster and tomatoes gets an herbal kick with lots of basil and mint at Pearl (4338 Austin Blvd., Island Park). More info: 516-432-0723, pearlrestaurantny.com 

Pappardelle Bolognese at Prime 1024

Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Savory pappardelle Bolognese, with a ragu made from baby back ribs, is served at Prime 1024 (1024 Northern Blvd., Roslyn). More info: 516-621-1024, prime1024.com 

Rigatoni with beef braciola, sausage and meatballs at Ravello Ristorante

Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Rigatoni supports a generous special of beef braciola, sausage and meatball at Ravello Ristorante (1277 E. Jericho Tpke., Huntington). It's a dish that's sure to have a following whether it's Sunday or any other day of the week. More info: 631-271-8900, ravelloristorantehuntington.com 

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Orecchiette Pugliesi at Dodici

Photo Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

Orecchiette Pugliesi, featuring ear-shaped pasta, sausage and broccoli rabe, is the clear winner among pasta dishes at Dodici (12 N. Park Ave., Rockville Centre). More info: 516-764-3000, dodicirestaurant.com

'Sunday Sauce' at Viaggio Italian Chop House

Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Savory "Sunday sauce" at Viaggio Italian Chop House (324 Sunrise Hwy., Rockville Centre) features braciola, meatball and sausage atop rigatoni. More info: 516-208-7789, viaggiorvc.com 

Paccheri alla piselli at Puglia's Italian Steakhouse

Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

At Puglia's Italian Steakhouse (3943 Merrick Rd., Seaford), go for the paccheri alla piselli, a tubular pasta from Campania that's similar to XL rigatoni, tossed with pancetta, peas and shiitakes, in a velvety pink sauce. More info: 516-809-9922, pugliasitaliansteakhouse.com 

Penne alla vecchia bettola, Nick & Toni's

Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

At Nick & Toni's (136 N. Main St., East Hampton), the penne alla vecchia bettola arrives in a vivid, spicy, oven-roasted tomato sauce. More info: 631-324-3550, nickandtonis.com 

Spaghetti al pomodorino, Pomodorino Rosso

Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

At Pomodorino Rosso (47 Franklin Ave., Valley Stream), the spaghetti al pomodorino is tossed tableside in a hollowed-out wheel of Grana Padano cheese. More info: 516-812-6171, pomodorinorosso.com 

House-made pappardelle, Ruggero's

Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

The house-made pappardelle at Ruggero's (5768 Rte. 25A, Wading River) is served with an earthy short-rib ragu and is an excellent choice at this Italian restaurant located inside the Shoppes at East Wind. More info: 631-886-1625

Spinach gnocchi, Emanuel's

Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Spinach gnocchi at Emanuel's (1014 Fort Salonga Rd., Northport) is made in house and plated in a Roquefort-cheese sauce with shaved black truffles. More info: 631-239-2221, emanuels.business.site

Gnocchi alla bava, Bella Vie

Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

At Bella Vie (240 W. Main St., Bay Shore), Fontina cheese stars in chef Fabrizio Perinelli's best dish: gnocchi alla bava. The gnocchi, the size of bay scallops, are light, airy, perfect, finished with a creamy cheese sauce that's enriched with strands of caramelized onion and tiny shavings of black truffle. More info: 631-500-9045, thebellavie.com

Pappardelle alla Bolognese, Piccolo Mondo

Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

At Piccolo Mondo (1870 E. Jericho Tpke., Huntington), pappardelle alla Bolognese arrives in a creamy, rich veal ragu. More info: 631-462-0718, piccolomondoli.com 

Linguini Arugula e Pistachio, Cena 081

Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Cena 081 (103 Post Ave., Westbury) serves a linguine with arugula, pistachio, Asiago cheese, prosciutto and pistachio puree. It leads the pastas at this Italian restaurant. More info: 516-385-3795, cena081.com 

Fusilli, Perennial

Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Creamy fusilli with butternut squash, brown butter, sage and Parmesan is served at Perennial (990 Franklin Ave., Garden City). More info: 516-743-9213, perennialrestaurant.com 

Rigatoni alla vodka, Talluci's Pizzeria

Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Rigatoni alla vodka at Talluci's Pizzeria (1249 Melville Rd., Farmingdale) is creamy and slightly sweet. More info: 631-390-9684, tallucispizzeriamenu.com

Bucatini all'Amatriciana, Matteo's Trattoria & Bar

Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Savory bucatini all'Amatriciana stands out among the pastas at Matteo's Trattoria & Bar (300 W. Jericho Tpke., Huntington Station). More info: 631-421-6001, matteosristorante.com 

Pop Pops Pasta, Meta Osteria & Barra

Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Pop Pops Pasta at Meta Osteria & Barra (2752 Oceanside Rd., Oceanside) includes broccoli rabe, red peppers, zesty meatballs and toasted bread crumbs. More info: 516-764-3218, metaliny.com 

Capellacci stuffed with burrata and pistachio, Da Gigi Trattoria & Bar

Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Capellacci stuffed with burrata and pistachio is finished with stracchino cheese sauce at Da Gigi Trattoria & Bar (174 Merrick Rd., Lynbrook). It's sensational. More info: 516-500-3400, ptwelvecatering.com 

Wild mushroom ravioli, Basil Cafe & Restaurant

Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Wild mushroom ravioli at Basil Cafe & Restaurant (413 Lake Ave., St. James) is stuffed with crimini, shiitake and portobello mushrooms, and is served with sundried tomatoes in a pink-peppercorn garlic sauce. More info: 516-500-3400, rayaklagi.wixsite.com/basilcaferestaurant

'North Fork paccheri', Il Giardino

Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

"North Fork paccheri," akin to plump rigatoni, is sparked by goat cheese, with zucchini and arugula at Il Giardino (739 Main Rd., Aquebogue). More info: 631-779-3900, ilgiardinoaquebogue.com

Gnocchi with pomodoro sauce, Tavern 227

Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Gnocchi with pomodoro sauce and ricotta is a winner at Tavern 227 (227 Sea Cliff Ave., Sea Cliff). More info: 516-200-9179, tavern227.com 

Fioretti alla boscaiola, Patrizia's

Photo 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 (1040 S. Broadway, Hicksville). More info: 516-932-1600, patrizias.com 

Butternut squash raviolini, Blackbird Kitchen & Cocktails

Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Butternut squash raviolini is a comfort food classic at Blackbird Kitchen & Cocktails (3026 Merrick Rd., Wantagh). More info: 516-654-9200, blackbirdli.com 

Cavatelli forestiera, Casa di Fratelli

Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Cavatelli forestiera fuses pasta shells with meaty mushrooms in a creamy marsala mascarpone sauce at Casa di Fratelli (477 Old Country Rd., Westbury). More info: 516-385-3700, casadifratelli.com 

Mezzi rigatoni with Sunday sauce, Brunello Italian Kitchen

Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

The Sunday sauce at Brunello Italian Kitchen (1945 Deer Park Ave., 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. More info: 631-940-3620, brunelloitaliankitchen.com 

Spaghetti alla carbonara, Franina

Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Spaghetti alla carbonara, a classic Roman dish, is expertly prepared at Franina (58 Jericho Turnpike, Syosset). More info: 516-496-9770, franina.com 

Pappardelle melanzane, Vespa Italian Kitchen & Bar

Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Pappardelle melanzane, thick ribbons of pasta with Marsala-eggplant ragu, ricotta and ricotta salata, is served at Vespa Italian Kitchen & Bar (282 Main St., Farmingdale). More info: 516-586-8542, vespaitaliankitchen.com 

Cacio e pepe, Gatsby's Landing

Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Pasta is the star of the menu at Gatsby's Landing (1362 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn). The cacio e pepe is a satisfyingly simple display of Pecorino Romano with fresh ground pepper and mint. More info: 516-277-2318, gatsbyslanding.com 

Bucatini 'cacio e pepe,' Primi Italian Steakhouse

Photo 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 (999 Montauk Hwy, West Islip). More info: primiitalian.com 

Pasta con le sarde, Benny's Ristorante

Photo 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 (199 Post Ave., Westbury), it's made, in authentic fashion, with bucatini, fatter than spaghetti and more likely to slap sauce down the front of your shirt. More info: 516-997-8111, bennysristorante.com 

Ravioli, Piccolo's

Photo 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 (150 E. Jericho Turnpike, Mineola). Ten varieties of ravioli are available, and frequent specials include superlative spinach-and-ricotta crespelle (crepes) and lasagna verde Bolognese. More info: 516-248-8110, piccolosny.com 

Bigoli alla Latina, Stresa

Photo 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 (1524 Northern Blvd., Manhasset), the bigoli alla Latina is a hearty amalgam of pancetta, cabbage, tomatoes and pecorino. More info: 516-365-6956, stresa-restaurant.com 

Bucatini all'Amatriciana, Trattoria Diane

Photo 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 (21 Bryant Ave., Roslyn) is devoted to the cuisine of Lazio, and the bucatini all'Amatrciana does the region proud. More info: 516-621-2591, trattoriadiane.com