The NY Restaurant That Serves One Of Ina Garten's Top Pasta Dishes

Ina Garten is no stranger to pasta. She makes a simple bolognese stand out with the addition of red wine, giving the dish an extra kick of acidity. This easy-to-incorporate ingredient offers a boost to the dish's otherwise traditional flavors — and the Barefoot Contessa's innovation doesn't stop there.

The creative celebrity chef, known for her series of cookbooks and corresponding Food Network show, is also known for transforming basic recipes into restaurant-worthy delights (via the Barefoot Contessa). For example, Garten spruces up an otherwise classic vodka sauce by incorporating a baking step into her cooking process. And, her lemon cappellini is the kind of pasta dish that tastes way more complex than it is to make. Plus, it only takes ten minutes to make, and who doesn't want to speed up their cooking process? 

Yes, Garten is a pro in the kitchen for reason. She's clearly mastered an array of pasta recipes. All chefs, however, need the occasional breather, and one of Garten's favorite pasta dishes isn't her own. For a pasta that holds up against the Barefoot Contessa herself, Garten heads to Nick and Toni's: an East Hampton-based restaurant specializing in Italian food (via Food Network). The eatery opened in 1988, boasting a menu that includes all kinds of pizzas and pasta — one of which Garten routinely orders.

Nick and Toni's is an Ina Garten-approved eatery

"One of my favorite dishes at Nick and Toni's is the pasta vecchia bettola," Garten explained in a Food Network recipe video. "I can't even tell you how many times I've had that."

The pasta Garten referenced is a penne made by Nick and Toni's chef, Joe Realmuto. Per Discover Long Island, Realmuto works as the executive chef at Nick and Toni's, as well as other restaurants. He has appeared alongside Garten on three episodes of "Barefoot Contessa." 

Realmuto's penne alla vecchia bettola is a penne pasta made of a vodka-like sauce. According to Food Network, the dish incorporates Spanish onion and tomatoes, as well as spices like garlic, crushed red pepper, oregano, salt, and pepper. The sauce forms a creamy consistency with the addition of heavy cream and vodka — all topped off with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese and some fresh oregano.

So, if you're ever in Long Island, stop by Nick and Toni's to try penne alla vecchia bettola for yourself. Or, skip East Hampton altogether and make the penne from home. With enough practice, maybe your pasta will garner even Garten's stamp of approval.