Quick dinner the other night at Butera’s, and the dish I had just missed being great. According to the menu, Butera’s baked pastas are pan-baked, “a new take on lasagna, prepared stove top with fresh malfada pasta.” I liked this idea because it meant that I wouldn’t be getting a reheated slab of lasagna from yesterday’s pan. I ordered the veal lasagna ($21), made with veal sausage and spinach in pink sauce with ricotta and melted mozzarella.
The dish arrived and it was gorgeous, and huge. All the promised ingredients were there, in a luscious tangle. But the promised “fresh malfada” was just like your standard American dried durum-semolina ruffled-edge lasagna noodles, except narrower. Moreover the malfada was overcooked into flabbiness.
I’m not going to lie, the dish was still very good and I ate about as much as I could (less than a third) before having the rest packed up for lunch. But if Butera’s had used even a commercial dried egg pasta, the dish would have been great. (De Cecco recently introduced a line of terrific dried egg pasta which is widely available.) With freshly made, thin-as-a-hankie egg pasta, it would have vaulted Butera’s into the culinary stratosphere.
Butera’s is at 7903 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury, 516-496-3633.