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In Search of the Perfect Pasta


Italian cuisine is loved all over the world. All restaurants have their own versions of pastas, and all families have their own favourite recipes, handed down from generation to generation. But to savour the authentic, traditional Italian pasta then you must go to its birthplace.

Italian restaurants take their pastas seriously: noodles made from real durum wheat are cooked to al dente perfection, and sauces are made from the freshest local ingredients. Some, like the Enoteca Pinchiorri Restaurant in Florence, prides itself on innovative dishes — so delicious that it was one of just a handful of restaurants in Italy to garner two Michelin stars. Be sure to order the ignudi, or ricotta-and-spinach dumplings with a lobster-and-coxcomb fricassee — considered by many to be one of the best in gourmet pasta.

In terms of nouvelle cuisine, the pasta dishes in Gualtiero Marchesi has pushed the boundaries, using unconventional ingredients like foie gras, asparagus, truffles, caviar and raw seafood were all brought into play. Some dishes are even served cold. Owner and chef Gualtiero Marchesi (after which the restaurant was named) was the first Italian chef to receive the “Personnalité de l’année” for gastronomy, aside from the “Chevalier des Arts et des lettres” medal by the French government, and the Grand Prix "Memoire et Gratitude", from the International Academy of Gatronomy. The Italian government also gave him the title of “Commendatore della Republica”.

For a more casual, family restaurant, the Osteria di Rubbiara in Rome is practically a landmark among locals. Heaping platters of delicately seasoned pasta — ricotta and herb filled tortelloni, strighetti with meat ragu — a wide array of side dishes, and famous house vinegars and homemade liqueurs (buy some to bring home!). For a quick al fresco lunch with no frills but lots of flavour, head for the Piazza Santa Maria, where Sabatini’s offers a spaghetti carbonara, ravioli consommé.


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Food & Drink in Italy


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