By Anya von Bremzen
April 10, 2014


Pastificio Gentile, Gragnano (pictured). Book ahead for a pasta demo followed by a meal of Signora Maria’s celestial fusilli and homemade preserves. $$

Torre del Saracino, Vico Equense. Gennaro Esposito’s pasta mista soup is one of Italy’s most celebrated creations. $$$


Osteria Francescana, Modena. Every trattoria in Emilia-Romagna serves good tortellini, but genius chef Massimo Bottura’s toothsome beauties in a cream of organic aged Parmesan should be enshrined. $$$$


Flavio al Velavevodetto, Rome. The fat tonnarelli cacio e pepe with black pepper, Pecorino Romano, and Parmesan at this Testaccio haunt is romanissimo. $$$


La Brinca, Ne. From chestnut-flour gnocchetti veiled in hand-pounded pesto to herb-filled pansoti (floppy ravioli) served with heirloom walnuts, this hilltop trattoria above Lavagna delivers a primer on Ligurian primi. $$$


Ristorante Il Cigno, Mantua. Come to this 1969 stalwart for the definitive, eggy tortelli di zucca, or for multi-meat agnolini pockets in a rich capon broth. $$$


Uliassi, Senigallia. Dreamy spaghetti alle vongole updated with smoked broth, raw clams, and grilled pomodorini is on the menu of chef Mauro Uliassi’s seaside temple of Adriatic cuisine. $$$$


Trattoria Marsupino, Briaglia. Cognoscenti drive from Turin to this family-run trattoria for its 40-egg-yolk tajarin and golden agnolotti al plin in rich roasted-meat juices. Excellent Barolos and Barbarescos as well. $$$


Antichi Sapori, Montegrosso di Andria. The earthy grano arso (toasted wheat) orecchiette, sauced with tender zucchini leaves or a velvety fava purée and grilled olives, exemplifies chef-gardener Pietro Zito’s preservationist Apulian cooking. $$$


Trattoria Piccolo Napoli, Palermo. Bucatini with fennel and sardines, spaghetti with sea urchin—the seafood pastas at this homey 1951 trattoria smack of the Mediterranean Sea. 39-091/320-431. $$$


Il Calandrino, Sarmeola. This casual offshoot of the Michelin three-starred Le Calandre, near Padua, always surprises with the likes of whole-wheat bigoli in a sweet cream of Tropea onion with a mysterious perfume of star anise. Or how about smoked-farro spaghetti? $$

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

Appeared as “For the Love of Pasta” in T+L Magazine