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The best pasta dishes on Long Island

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.

Penne alla vecchia bettola, Nick & Toni's

At Nick & Toni's (136 N. Main St.,
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

At Pomodorino Rosso (47 Franklin Ave., Valley Stream),
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

The house-made pappardelle at Ruggero's (5768 Rte. 25A,
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

Spinach gnocchi at Emanuel's (1014 Fort Salonga Rd.,
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

At Bella Vie (240 W. Main St., Bay
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

At Piccolo Mondo (1870 E. Jericho Tpke., Huntington),
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

Cena 081 (103 Post Ave., Westbury) serves a
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

Creamy fusilli with butternut squash, brown butter, sage
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

Rigatoni alla vodka at Talluci's Pizzeria (1249 Melville
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

Savory bucatini all'Amatriciana stands out among the pastas
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

Pop Pops Pasta at 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

Capellacci stuffed with burrata and pistachio is finished
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

Wild mushroom ravioli at 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

Gnocchi with pomodoro sauce and ricotta is a
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 

Cauliflower ravioli, George Martin 1989

Cauliflower ravioli at George Martin 1989 (33 Berry
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Cauliflower ravioli at George Martin 1989 (33 Berry Hill Rd., Syosset) is served in Marsala-spiked sauce with lemon zest, chives and cream. It's a savory, rich choice. More info: 516-364-2144, georgemartintheoriginal.com 

Fioretti alla boscaiola, Patrizia's

Fioretti alla boscaiola, pasta purses stuffed with ricotta
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

Butternut squash raviolini is a comfort food classic
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

Cavatelli forestiera fuses pasta shells with meaty mushrooms
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

The Sunday sauce at Brunello Italian Kitchen (1945
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

Spaghetti alla carbonara, a classic Roman dish, is
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

Pappardelle melanzane, thick ribbons of pasta with Marsala-eggplant
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

Pasta is the star of the menu at
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

Bucatini
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

Pasta con le sarde is the improbably harmonious
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

The cuisine of Emilia-Romagna is Italy's most refined,
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

The Veneto in Northeastern Italy is better known
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

Before the tragic earthquake in August, 2016, the
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 

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