Philadelphia has no shortage of fantastic pasta, and it comes in so many forms, shapes, sauces and preparations that you could eat it every night and not repeat a single dish. Whether you crave pasta on a daily basis or save it for special evenings, here are the 10 plates of pasta you need to try in Philly.
Malfatti at Ristorante La Buca
Spinach has never tasted so ethereal as in these rough-hewn cousins of gnocchi, hand-shaped daily at this below-ground Washington Square gem by 80-year-old chef-owner Giuseppe Giuliani himself.
Drink This: Juicy, lightly oaked or unoaked Chardonnay
711 Locust St.; 215-928-0556
Lasagna at Modomio
Housemade sheets of fresh pasta layer over ultra-classic meat sauce at Peter McAndrews’ petite Girard Avenue BYO, but the real fun comes when you pierce the fried egg on top and let the richness of yolk ooze through each bite.
Drink This: Assertive, cherry-rich Chianti
161 W. Girard Ave.; 215-203-8707
Cacio e Pepe at Amis
Restaurant pasta doesn’t get more rustic than Brad Spence’s rough-cut spaghetti tossed in pecorino and black pepper at his 13th Street trattoria, but it also doesn’t get any better.
Drink This: Mineral-forward white like the Poderi Foglia Conca Bianco
412 S. 13th St.; 215-732-2647
Maccheroni alla Mugnaia at Le Virtu
Bring someone you share everything with to this East Passyunk Italian and take turns twirling your fork through your communal board holding chef Joe Cicala’s single, amazingly long strand of pasta tossed in olive oil, garlic, hot pepper and pecorino cheese (order 24 hours in advance).
Cost: $18 per person
Drink This: Smooth, creamy white like Verdicchio
1927 E. Passyunk Ave.; 215-271-5326
Pasta With Italian Gravy at Dante & Luigi’s
At this centenarian dining room in Bella Vista, it almost doesn’t matter which noodle you select (spaghetti, linguini, penne, rigatoni, fusilli and perciatelli are your choices), because the main event is the gravy, tomatoes simmered for a whole day with garlic, spice and meat (it’s also sold by the jar, so you can recreate the experience at home).
Drink This: Rich, full red like Barolo
762 S. 10th St.; 215-922-9501
Corzetti at Il Pittore
Thick coins of housemade pasta stand up to chef Chris Painter’s rich red sauce with braised goat, mint and chile oil, and each toothy bite of the combination seems like it has twice the expected flavor
Drink This: Soft and fruity Cabernet Sauvignon or Nero D’Avola
2025 Sansom St.; 215-391-4900
Chestnut Triangoli Ravioli at Osteria
At Jeff Michaud’s spacious Italian dining room on North Broad, sweet chestnut flour pasta is twisted in triangles around chestnut purée blended with buffalo milk cheese and drizzled with farmer’s honey for a plate of gracefully satisfying bites.
Drink This: Contrasting, clean white like Pinot Grigio, or complementary, sweet white like Moscato
640 N. Broad St.; 215-763-0920
Casonsei at Palladino’s
Ruby-red roasted beets mixed with smoked ricotta tint the transparent candy-wrapper pasta nuggets that Luke Palladino smothers in poppy seed butter sauce at his new Italian beacon at the end of East Passyunk.
Drink This: Sparkling rosé
1934 E. Passyunk Ave.; 267-928-4339
Angry Crab Spaghetti at High Street on Market
At the acclaimed Old City cafe he runs with Ellen Yin, chef Eli Kulp threads habanero oil-kissed peekytoe crab through a tangle of Old Bay-flavored pasta for this plate that may have helped land Philadelphia the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Drink This: Bright, slightly sweet white like Grüner Veltliner or Gewürztraminer
308 Market St.; 215-625-0988
Mezzelune Ripiene at La Famiglia
Made with the same family recipe for more than 40 years, the shrimp-arugula filling in these housemade half-moons of pasta melts easily in your mouth, blending with the mushroom sauce for a bite that’s creamy but not cloying.
Drink This: Sparkling white like champagne or Prosecco
8 S. Front St.; 215-922-2803