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Fresh pasta in Boston like they do in Italy?

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My husband and I just came back from an awesome 10 day vacation through Florence, Tuscany, and Venice. We were just blown away by the quality of the food and wine, but especially the fresh pasta -- even at a casual trattoria with a simple tomato sauce it was truly fantastic (and with either truffle, meat, or seafood sauce -- wow).

I don't recall having pasta like that in the States (exceptions: Babbo in NYC and Tra Vigne in Napa Valley for special occasions), so now we're afraid we're totally spoiled. Then again, we haven't tried the whole range of restaurants in Boston... so Chowhounds, please help us out! Any thoughts on how we can recreate this culinary experience here? (either at a restaurant or to cook at home) Thanks!

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  1. any restauarnt that is part of the frank depasquale empire serves consistently perfectly cooked pasta. umbria, bricco, any of the il paninos.

    5 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Every pasta dish ordered at our table (including the tagliatelle, timpano, pappardelle) was terrible on our last visit to Bricco. The pasta dishes were badly overcooked. Unfortunately, Bricco seems to have gone really down hill.

      I like Via Matta's fresh pasta.

      1. re: Gabatta

        i haven't been to bricco since the girls left, but that report really surprises. frank is fanatical about the pasta.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          We were surprised as well. It very well may have just been an off night. However, we won't be rushing back to find out at the prices they charge.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Well frank should get off the bar stool, put down the wine and pay attention then cuz wow it was bad.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              I went to Bricco once after the girls left and I'm not going back. It was one of the few go-to places for me for really good pasta. My last visit was horribly disappointing.

        2. i don't know if you mean at home, but for restaurants we've found trattoria toscana to be quite good. i haven't spent much time in italy, so i don't know if it compares, but i think it's top tier for boston.

          1. The last time I was at Bacco, we had perfectly cooked pasta. And there were two Italians in our party-visiting from Naples- who confirmed that this was the best pasta that they had in Boston. I've had good nights and so-so nights at Bacco, but they do cook pasta very well.

            1. Thanks for all the leads! We look forward to testing them out.

              1. Monica's Salumeria on Salem St. in the North End sells fresh pasta if you want to make it at home. Her sauces are awesome also.

                4 Replies
                1. re: pasuga

                  Pasta D'oro on Ferry street in Everett is just as good if not better than Dave's IMO.

                  1. re: phatchris

                    I saw that place recently while driving through Everett and was wondering if it was any good. Any recommendations?

                    1. re: Chris VR

                      any of the raviloi ( lobster and spinach my favs), linguini, heard the gnochi were great but never tried them myself.

                  2. re: pasuga

                    i second Monica's...I bought a package of butternut squash ravioli last fall and made them at home with a butter sage sauce...WOW! yum

                  3. La Morra in Brookline Village has some fresh pasta dishes that are as good as what I've had in Italy. I had some house-made tagliatelle with veal ragu there a few months ago that nearly brought tears to my eyes!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: BobB

                      I agree about the tear-evoking experiences at La Morra. Their fresh tagliatelle pasta with bolognese sauce is divine.

                      1. re: BobB

                        Agreed about La Morra. It is consistently good.