Who knew Houstonians were so crazy for pasta? Italian fare is consistently the most-searched cuisine on Zagat Houston — and we've got 10 of the tastiest pasta dishes in town to satisfy your carb cravings. To complete your meal, we've even taken the liberty of pairing them with the perfect glass of vino.
This dreamy dish is finished tableside, where the housemade noodles are tossed in butter and Parmesan cheese, then topped off with generous shavings of black truffle. It's the ultimate comfort-food indulgence.
Cost: Market price
Drink This: Stefano Farina Barolo ($110 per bottle)
Details: 1520 Westheimer Rd.; 713-807-8857
One of the must-try specialties at this Italian-inspired restaurant includes a simple but refined spaghetti with black pepper, Parmigiana and olive oil.
Drink This: Langhe Nebbiolo ($13 per glass; $52 per bottle)
Details: 3320 White Oak Dr.; 713-637-4095
The bucatini amatraciana at this casual neighborhood cafe is all at once spicy, smoky and wholly satisfying thanks to a delicious combo of bacon, garlic, cherry tomatoes, chile flakes and pecorino cheese.
Cost: $10 for a small order; $15 for the regular portion
Drink This: Cleto Chiarli's Grasparossa di Castelvetro Amabile ($9 per glass; $36 per bottle)
Details: 1834 Westheimer Rd.; 713-807-7271
Your taste buds will thank you for ordering the pacchettini at the upscale Galleria spot. The pyramid-shaped pasta — stuffed with lobster and shrimp — is served with fra diavolo red sauce, which packs a gentle heat.
Drink This: Massolino 2011 Barbera d'Alba ($15 per glass)
Details: 5161 San Felipe St.; 713-960-0333
Truffle pasta at Da Marco
The Upper Kirby gem does it right with a traditional tagliatelle Bolognese that features a slow-cooked meat sauce made from locally raised beef.
Cost: $8 per half order; $15 for the regular portion
Drink This: Pinot Noir, Tolloy, Dolomiti, Alto-Adige 2012 ($8 per glass; $27 per bottle)
Details: 3215 Westheimer Rd.; 713-522-1934
For a vegetarian standout, head to the Provisions half of this two-concept restaurant, where chefs present cresta di gallo pasta (named for its resemblance to a rooster's crest) with hen of woods mushrooms over Parmesan foam.
Cost: $14 per half order; $23 for the regular portion
Drink This: Chardonnay, De Westoff, “Limestone Hill”, W. Cape, South Africa, 2014 ($13 per glass)
Details: 807 Taft St.; 713-628-9020
You may not think to order pasta from the menu of old-school Gallic favorites, but the mushroom ravioli with port wine, white truffle oil and aged Parmesan stands up to its Italian counterparts.
Cost: $12 per half order; $22 for a regular order
Drink This: 2011 Nicolas Rossignol, Pinot Noir, Burgundy ($14 per glass; $49 per bottle)
Details: 1101-11 Uptown Park Blvd.; 832-668-5808
Raviolis de champignon at Etoile
The Rice Village eatery’s take on spaghetti carbonara features pasta tossed with black pepper, chopped parsley, salumi, an egg yolk and Parmesan cream. The sauce is added tableside for your mixing pleasure.
Drink This: Any of four big Italian wines: Amarone, Brunello, Super Toscan, Barolo (all $20 and under per glass)
Details: 5210 Morningside Dr.; 713-522-3535
All noodles are housemade (and well worth the carbohydrates) at the contemporary Museum District cafe including the lamb Bolognese with balsamic vinegar and ricotta salata cheese.
Drink This: Artazuri Grenache, 2013, Navarra Spain ($10 per glass; $40 per bottle)
Details: 1801 Binz St.; 713-520-0108
The newly opened Midtown hot spot has a glass-enclosed dough room where you can watch bread, pizza dough and pasta come together in-house. On the roster of affordable, seasonal American cuisine is this must-try pappardelle with pan-seared sea scallops, stracciatella cheese and neonata (Calabrian pepper) sauce.
Drink This: Andre-Michel Brégeon, Muscadet, Loire, France 2013 ($47.50 per bottle)
Details: 2808 Caroline St.; 713-654-1970