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Nov 4, 2005 08:15 AM

What/Where -- Your favorite pasta dish?

  • o

I'm having some vague cravings for really, really good pasta. In my mind I'm thinking a thick pasta with a good, rich (but probably not creamy) sauce -- I'm not a huge meat eater but I'm not sure I'm going to get a hearty sauce with just veggies alone (point me in a different direction, though, if I'm wrong!)

What's your favorite restaurant pasta dish?

Help me refine my cravings!!!


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  1. The rosette pasta at Limoncello.

    ROSETTE AL MONTASIO ED OLIO Di TARTUFO - Rosette Pasta with Montasio Cheese and White Truffle Oil.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Jane

      I had this and it's quite good. But would definitely pick Via Matta's pasta with various mushrooms in this earthy sauce. Very good. Not sure if it's still on the menu tho, and while these sound good, the choice last month was better I think. At least they have a bunch under $20.

      Spaghetti aglio e olio con pomodoro  $16
      Orrechiette with fennel sausage, rabe and pecorino $19
      Tagliatelle alla bolognese  $19
      Linguine Puttanesca with crispy softshell crab  $21
      Asparagus Mezzalune with chanterelles and ricotta salata $20
      Ravioli Nudi: spinach and ricotta with brown butter, pancetta and sage $19

      1. re: Jane

        I just had this signature dish at Limoncello in Boston last week. It was probably the most innovative and delicious pasta I've had in a long time. It also has prociutto intertwined with the Montasio Cheese throughout the pasta with an aurora sauce topped off with the Truffle sauce. If someone has the recipe I'd love to have it or at least the recipe and method to make the delicate pasta.

        1. re: chefkaska

          That sounds amazing. Very rich, no?

          People will remind you that this thread is old, but I don't care, because your description of this dish has now got me intrigued.

          Is their pasta made in-house?

          1. re: Prav

            It was amazing....the pasta itself was actually very light. The pasta is similar to
            Pappardelle texture, only it's about 2 inches wide and probably 15 inches long.
            The pasta is made at the restaurant. When it is plated there are 4 of the 15" x 2 inch pasta noodles twirled to look like a rosette and somehow the the prosciutto and montacio cheese mixture is woven into the noodles with an incredible aurora sauce.

            It's really isn't heavy. That's probably due to lightness of the pasta.
            I'm going to try and replicate it. It's their signature dish and I' m pretty sure they're
            not sharing that recipe.

            1. re: chefkaska

              I love it when really old threads get resurrected like this and we get to re-read posts by Limster!

              I've been impressed with pastas at both Basta Pasta in Cambridge and Carlo's Cucina Italiana in Allston, as well as some wonderful pastas at Sportello recently.

              I know this is slightly off topic, but some of the best pasta I've had this year has been from Capone Foods in Cambridge and Somerville and cooked at home. I recently cooked their black pepper gnocchi and dressed it with a simple tomato basil sauce (Classico, from a jar!), to which I added dried red peppers, butter, olive oil, salt, pepper and some starchy water from the pasta. In less than ten minutes I had some seriously good gnocchi.

              Basta Pasta
              319 Western Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

              348 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02110

              1. re: lipoff

                Yes, I love these old posts, too: mem-oh-reeees!

                Nowadays I'd have to add the pastas that Chuck Draghi is doing at Erbaluce: consistently fabulous. I encourage people to get at least a half-order at every dinner there.


                69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

            2. re: Prav

              Ms 9 and i go to lunch at Limoncello pretty regularly and always order the rosette pasta; great dish and lunch is really a bargain.

              Haven't had it lately but Bina did a great carbonara.

              Grotto's gnocchi and short ribs..still a favorite after 5 years.

            3. re: chefkaska

              Here's what might be a similar recipe (I haven't had the Limoncello dish) that I saw after reading this thread:


              1. re: steinpilz

                A somewhat similar dish of Marcella Hazan's has been discussed on the Homecooking Board a few times. I haven't managed to get around to trying it yet, but it sounds lovely.



          2. Any kitchen that Marissa Iocco runs -- Bricco, Umbria, Mare -- turns out amazing pastas, but they're pricey.

            Trattoria Toscana does a beautiful number with a pesto-like sauce whose name escapes me but whose flavor I can recall vividly right now.

            Zafferano does a gorgeous, small-bore, very simply done (barely-cooked fresh tomatoes, basil, oil) fresh gnocchi.

            But my nod for pasta of the year so far goes to the Grotto for its short-rib gnocchi with Gorgonzola and mushrooms: amazingly rich, eye-rolling, decadent goodness. How anyone eats more than a half-order is beyond me, though I've tried.

            6 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Absolutely concur on Grotto's gnocchi & short ribs. Unbelievably rich.

              1. re: Taralli

                another one for Grotto's gnocchi & short rib

              2. re: MC Slim JB

                Sorry MC, especially since I regularly concur with the vast majority of your rec's, but the food I had at Umbria over the summer was hands-down the absolute most disappointing dining experience I've had in YEARS. A waste of money for flavorless schwag. No thanks. How does G-Dubya say it? Fool me once...

                I tried a couple of dishes at Trattoria Toscana in the past month, though not the dish you mention. Though good, a cute little place and a great value, I wouldn't go there for a pasta fix. The two pastas I tried were a bit boring.

                1. re: MB

                  On my last visit to Umbria, I had an amazing cinghiale ragu on wide, superfresh spinach noodles that I just loved. But I haven't been back in a while. That ugly, cramped afterthought of a space makes its high prices a bit tough to swallow.

                  1. re: MB

                    The pasta itself at Trattoria Toscana is somewhat ordinary, but the sauces are simple, pure and with plenty of soul. It sounds like the the pasta described in question is the penne di modo mio (aka "in my style".

                    1. re: Limster

                      That's the one, thank you!

                2. h

                  Two of my favorite pasta dishes are:

                  1) The lasagna at Abbondanza in Everett

                  2) The homemade cannolini (rolled pasta with ground sirloin, ham, cheese in bechamel sauce) at Al Dente in the North End

                  There's such a huge difference between fresh pasta and the kind out of the box. The fresh pasta at places like Monica's and Cibo in the North End, as well as Al Dente, are well worth the extra couple of bucks over places that don't do fresh pasta (like the chains).

                  1. i am not sure if Taranta offers it anymore but i wish that they would return it to their menu!
                    Speghetti with sea urchin and bottarga.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: stan

                      The sea urchin/bottarga spaghetti was not on the menu on my two visits over the past six months, bummer. But the recipe is available on their website!

                    2. Daily Catch--calamari and linguini (red), right out of the pan.