25 Best Pasta Dishes In NYC

There are few meals as nourishing, comforting, and delicious as a heaping bowl of pasta. In New York City, there are endless exceptional pasta dishes to choose from, with inspiration ranging from all over Italy — Tuscany, Piedmont, and Emilia-Romagna — featuring quintessential dishes like cacio e pepe and carbonara, as well as innovative flavor pairings of cream and seafood. 

Like all dishes, pasta is subjective. Your favorite may be a bowl you can eat several portions of, or alternatively, a combination so decadent you can barely finish in one sitting. The commonality between all our favorite New York City pasta dishes is the freshness of the ingredients, including the pasta dough, and the thoughtful pairing of noodle shapes to pasta sauce to allow for optimal flavor and creaminess. We rounded up our favorite pasta dishes across the city, including pasta from several of Tasting Table's best Italian restaurants in NYC, so you can plan your next pasta adventure.

Fusilli with red wine braised octopus and bone marrow from Marea

For over a decade, diners have come to Marea, a high-end coastal Italian restaurant at the base of Central Park, to savor the fusilli with red wine braised octopus and bone marrow. Behold a dish thick with red sauce and tender octopus wrapped around corkscrews of tomato-laced fusilli. 

Fusilli, which originates from Southern Italy, is an excellent pasta choice in this dish as the grooves in the pasta carry all of the sauce's richness. Bone marrow isn't often paired with octopus, but the marriage of flavors from the land and the sea is what makes this dish a surprising standout. This pasta embodies supreme decadence. Marea is temporarily closed for renovations but will reopen in September.

Gnocchi di ricotta from Uva

Speaking of decadence, if your wildest pasta dreams include being submerged in a bowl of truffle and cream, look no further than Uva's gnocchi di ricotta. Homemade gnocchi is a rich pasta dumpling from Northern Italy, crafted from either ricotta or potatoes rather than wheat. Ricotta gnocchi is lighter and more flavorful than potato gnocchi and stands up to bold sauces well. 

Uva's gnocchi di ricotta features in-house gnocchi bathed in a sauce of creamy black truffle and chives. The chives add a touch of freshness and bite to an otherwise cheese-forward dish. Uva is located on the Upper East Side and is better known as a wine bar. We recommend pairing your glass with a bowl of gnocchi rather than sampling the rest of the menu.

Sheep's milk cheese filled agnolotti, saffron, dried tomato, and honey from Lilia

Lilia is a beloved Italian restaurant in Williamsburg that is warm and buzzing. Lilia's known for many of its handcrafted pasta, but none is more sought after than the sheep's milk cheese-filled agnolotti with saffron, dried tomato, and honey. 

Angolotti is similar to ravioli but is made from one piece of dough rather than two that are pinched on both ends to seal the pasta. The ends of the agnolotti soak up sauce brilliantly and the thinner exterior allows the filling to anchor the dish. Lilia's angolotti is rich and buttery with a complex flavor profile of acidity, umami, and sweetness thanks to the combination of dried tomato, saffron, and honey.

Bucatini with pancetta, tomato, chilies, and pecorino from L'Artusi

Bucatini is a pasta that closely resembles spaghetti, but is thicker and features a hollowed center. That center allows the noodle to lap up sauce so that every mouthful is slick with tomato. L'Artusi's bucatini with pancetta, tomato, chilies, and pecorino is a complex and well-balanced dish with acidity and sweetness from the tomatoes, heat from the chilies, meaty intensity from the savory chunks of pancetta, and tangy creaminess from the shredded pecorino. 

This is the type of pasta you can eat several bowls of as the sauce is immensely flavorful, but not too heavy. L'Artusi is a must-visit West Village gem.

Pappardelle al limone from I Sodi

I Sodi is a Tuscan restaurant in Greenwich Village run by Rita Sodi, a chef from Florence who is also the co-chef and co-owner of Via Carota, whose cacio pepe is featured on this list. The pappardelle al limone at I Sodi is a bowl of bright house-made thick noodles with fresh Meyer lemon, creamy pecorino, and cracked black pepper. 

While the lemon adds acidity and brightness to the dish, the tang and richness of the pecorino ground the pasta with a creamy simplicity. Because pappardelle is a larger noodle, it's excellent at carrying sauce and bringing forth flavor.

Sheep's milk ricotta-filled occhi, bottarga, and lemon from Misi

Lemon is an everyday ingredient that instantly enhances the flavor of any dish it's added to by amping up the acidity. At Misi, Missy Robbins' modern Italian restaurant in South Williamsburg, lemon is used in the restaurant's famous sheep's milk ricotta-filled occhi which is covered in shavings of bottarga. 

The origins of occhi are disputed lore, with Missy Robbins taking partial credit for the round ravioli-esque pasta with a smooth band around the dough rather than ridges. Robbins is also at the helm of Lilia, where her sheep's milk cheese agnolotti is amongst our favorites. At Misi, sheep's milk ricotta serves as the filling for Robbins' occhi, which is balanced with a pop of lemon and the salty, umami intensity of bottarga — a cured fish roe that is generously dusted over the pasta.

Short rib & bone marrow agnolotti from Scarpetta

All of the pasta at Scarpetta is made in-house with locally-sourced ingredients, but the star of the menu is the short rib and bone marrow agnolotti. Bone marrow has been used in French cooking for centuries and is now becoming an increasingly popular ingredient at high-end restaurants worldwide to infuse dishes with richness, nuttiness, and buttery intensity. 

The pairing of short rib and bone marrow in Scarpetta's agnolotti enhances the meatiness of the pasta on the level of texture and flavor, ensuring tender indulgence in every bite. The short rib melts in your mouth and the al dente angolotti soaks up the buttery sauce brilliantly.

Tajarin alla Carbonara from Dell'anima

At Dell'anima, our favorite pasta dish is anything but simple. The tajarin alla carbonara features a bright yellow egg yolk, coarse black pepper, thick chunks of speck, and generous shavings of Pecorino Romano. 

Tajarin is the Piemontese version of tagliatelle, which is made with more egg yolks than the latter resulting in an amplified noodle flavor. Here, the tajarin carries the flavor of the egg through both the noodle and the decadent whole egg yolk. The inclusion of speck, a cured smoked ham, in this dish adds fat and salt, which is met with creamy, peppery richness. At Dell'anima in Gotham West Market in Hell's Kitchen, sit at the chef's counter to enjoy a hearty bowl of the stuff.

Grandma Walking Through Forest in Emilia from Rezdôra

Rezdôra in the Flatiron District is a quaint Italian restaurant highlighting the cuisine of Emilia-Romagna, a region in Northern Italy, and holds one Michelin star. All of the housemade pastas at Rezdôra are worth sampling, but we have a soft spot for Grandma Walking Through Forest in Emila, which features bright green cappelletti filled with the sharp sweetness of sautéed leeks and black mushroom puree. 

Cappelletti is an Italian pasta dumpling that is shaped like a hat and is thicker than tortellini. This thickness allows it to hold a hearty filling and to soak up the sauce it's paired with — here with delicate flavors that are at once creamy and acidic.

Lasagna for two from Don Angie

Nothing says pasta night like lasagna. The lasagna for two at Don Angie is a dish that is in and of itself a reason to celebrate. Served in a massive ceramic dish, the lasagna for two, is cut into thick ovals so you can gape at the layers of melted cheese and rich Italian sausage bolognese before diving in. 

The lasagna sits atop a bed of sauce and whipped robiolina — an Italian cheese that resembles cream cheese but is simultaneously tangy and delicate. The lasagna noodles at Don Angie are freshly made and very thin, making each bite of lasagna all the more special.

Agnolotti braised short rib stuffed pasta, duck jus, chive from Forsythia

The second short rib pasta to grace our list comes from Forsythia, a Roman trattoria in Nolita. At Forsythia, the braised short rib serves as the filling to delicate agnolotti pasta, in a similar preparation to the Scarpetta iteration, but here, featuring the indulgence of duck jus instead of bone marrow. 

Duck jus is the resulting fat and juices from cooking a duck with a taste that is supremely rich and delicious. Forsythia's agnolotti is topped with freshly snipped chives, adding sharp flavors of garlic and a brightness that counterbalances the decadence of the tender short rib and the duck jus.

Spaghetti alla chitarra from Rubirosa

Rubirosa in Nolita is perhaps best known for its pizza, but don't sleep on Rubirosa's pasta. The spaghetti alla chitarra with fresh tomatoes, shredded basil, and shaved Parmigiano is your quintessential bowl of tomato, cheesy goodness that is as satisfying as it is flavorful and nuanced. 

The chunks of thick tomato are central to this dish where the delicate noodles serve as a vehicle for the sauce made with Parmigiano, and fresh basil. Rubirosa is a warm and rustic restaurant that is a perfect setting for a date or family meal, where you'll find high-quality ingredients and dishes that amplify Italian classics.

Tagliatella Tartufo from Fiaschetteria Pistoia

It may seem surprising that there aren't more truffle-forward pasta dishes on this list, but that's perhaps a testament to the variety of ingredients and flavor pairings that are imagined and reinvented by chefs throughout New York City. But because we are lovers of truffles (and the best ways to use them), we must shout out the homemade tagliatella with fresh truffles from Fiaschetteria Pistoia. 

Fiaschetteria Pistoia is a Tuscan eatery with locations in Alphabet City and the West Village serving authentic Italian dishes in an intimate setting. The restaurant's homemade pasta is made in front of you, so you can watch as the noodles are shaped and cut. The tagliatella tartufo showcases eggy tagliatelle in a creamy and decadent truffle sauce with fresh truffles shaved on top.

Spaghetti limone from Lil' Frankie's

Lil' Frankie's in the East Village is a quintessential New York restaurant with seating that spilled out onto the sidewalk long before the pandemic. While there are many excellent pasta dishes to choose from, our hearts and stomachs sing for the simple pleasure of lemon and butter. Enter: spaghetti limone, a heaping bowl of pasta served at Lil' Frankie's with Parmigiano Reggiano, lemon, and butter. 

The noodles are slick with butter and cheese and the bright freshness of citrus, adding a sharp acidity that complements the rich butteriness of the dish. The Parmigiano Reggiano is generously shredded on top of the noodles, ensuring cheesiness and decadence, making this pasta a comfort classic.

Cavatelli allo scoglio from Ci Siamo

The counterpoint to a simple lemon pasta dish is a pasta dish with seafood, alcohol, and chiles. Ci Siamo, just on the border of Chelsea, is a stylish restaurant and wine bar serving strong pasta with seasonal ingredients. The standout menu item at Ci Siamo is the cavatelli allo scoglio, which features chunks of tender lobster meat, hot chiles, bright cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, and a tangy broth made with vermouth. 

Cavatelli are small pasta shells made from flour or semolina that bare a striking resemblance to miniature hot dog buns and absorb sauces extremely well. The surprising flavor pairings in Ci Siamo's cavatelli make this dish memorable and distinct, as the vermouth complicates the flavor of the lobster and the chilis add a sharp satisfying heat.

Ravioli per Olivia from Nonna Dora's Pasta Bar

Ravioli is another classic Italian pasta that evokes feelings of nostalgia and comfort. At Nonna Dora's Pasta Bar in Kips Bay, a neighborhood restaurant with exceptionally fresh pasta prepared by Addolorate Marzovilla also known as Nonna Dora, you can enjoy any number of homemade pasta dishes in a variety of authentic Italian preparations. 

Our personal favorite is the Ravioli per Olivia, which is stuffed generously with creamy ricotta and swimming in a Sicilian pistachio pesto with small chunks of pistachio and pine nuts scattered throughout the rich, oily goodness. Every bite of this ravioli is savory, cheesy, and nutty.

JW gnocchi from Barbuto

Speaking of pesto, if you're a fan of the herby, garlicky, nutty brilliance, you must try the JW gnocchi at Barbuto. Recently reopened in a vast industrial space, Barbuto is best known for its JW gnocchi, a potato-based gnocchi with rotating vegetable accompaniments and flavor pairings based on the seasons. 

Currently, the JW gnocchi is served with fiddlehead ferns, snow peas, English peas, fresh mint, and a delicious housemade pesto. In the fall, you can find the JW gnocchi with pesto and roasted squash. Besides the excellent ever-changing vegetable pairings, Barbuto's gnocchi is legendary because it's both crispy and pillowy, with a texture that is satisfying, crisp, and nourishing.

Pappardelle alla fiesolana from Bar Pitti

Bar Pitti is a beloved cash-only Italian restaurant just south of Greenwich Village, which features a blackboard with a rotating handwritten menu heavily dominated by pasta dishes. No matter what you order, you really can't go wrong at Bar Pitti, but our favorite dish is the pappardelle alla fiesolana with smoked bacon in a rich tomato and cream sauce topped with Parmigiano Reggiano. 

The homemade pappardelle is lusciously fresh, wide, and flat, carrying the density of the sauce while also bringing its own delicate egg-forward flavor. Pappardelle alla fiesolana is true Italian comfort food that is cheesy, tangy thanks to the smoked pork, and decadent because of the cream and tomato.

Raviolacci truffle mushroom ravioli from Da Umberto

Joining the ranks of our truffle admiration is Da Umberto's raviolacci truffle mushroom ravioli. Da Umberto near Union Square is a Northern Italian restaurant that has been serving the neighborhood for over 20 years. That longevity can be felt in Da Umberto's classic white table-clothed interior and its commitment to authentic Italian dishes. 

The Raviolacci truffle mushroom ravioli is an immensely flavorful pasta that also manages to be light — a perfect plate for sharing or an entree. The sauce that the ravioli is bathed in is rich and creamy and the filling is an excellent blend of nutty, meaty mushrooms with the elevated decadence of truffles. In 2020, the restaurant was recognized with a Michelin plate.

Pipette Ragu from Forma Pasta Factory

Forma Pasta Factory in Brooklyn is another pasta haven where you have your pick of exceptional and innovative pasta dishes. Our recommendation is the pipette ragu with Italian pork sausage in a creamy sauce that's laced with herbs and hearty shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano. 

The ragu is both creamier and richer than any other ragu we've tasted and is complemented brilliantly by the brightness of the fresh herbs. The curbed tubular shape of the pipette allows the pasta to fill with sauce, enhancing the flavor experience in every single bite. This dish is decadent, but one we return to Forma to order time and time again.

Fiore di carciofi from Bar Primi

The fiore di carciofi at Bar Primi is a work of art that beautifully recreates the artichoke using thick ribbons of pasta that are a cross between fettuccine and ravioli. Between the swirls of fresh pasta ribbons are flavorful cooked artichoke, pancetta, lemon, and shaved pecorino. 

We love the fiore di carciofi so much because we've never seen another pasta like it, nor have we tasted that particular pairing of peas and pancetta with the acidity of lemon, and the creaminess of the sauce that is thin enough it might even be considered a broth. To try this wonder, visit the hip Italian spot located on the corner of a bustling block in the Bowery.

Mafaldine from Barano

Barano in Williamsburg is a staple in the neighborhood known for its wood-fired pizzas. We visit Barano for its homemade pasta, specifically the mafaldine, which is a specialty ribbon-shaped noodle with ridges along both sides. Barano's mafaldine takes the pursuit of umami to a whole new level. The ribbons of pasta are paired with a medley of roasted artisanal mushrooms including hon-shimeji, cremini, and maitake, all swimming in a thick sauce of garlic, butter, and Parmigiano Reggiano, topped with sautéed sharp herbs. 

The richness of the sauce is wonderfully balanced with the meatiness of the mushrooms. The texture of the ridged noodles and the hunks of mushrooms create a satisfyingly nuanced texture.

Fusilli al ferretto e burrata from Felice

Felice is a Tuscan-inspired Italian restaurant and wine bar with multiple locations throughout New York City. The dish we find ourselves returning for is the fusilli al ferretto e burrata, a beautiful bowl of corkscrew pasta laced with San Marzano tomato sauce topped with a creamy mound of burrata and fresh basil leaves. 

We love this pasta because of the simplicity of the flavors, the acidity and sweetness of the tomatoes that take centerstage alongside the decadence of burrata, which is rich and buttery, but simultaneously delicate. In a pasta with such pared-back ingredients, you can taste each component of the dish and appreciate the freshness of the locally sourced vegetables and dairy.

Tonnarelli cacio pepe from Via Carota

Few Italian pasta dishes have catapulted to mainstream success in recent years as prominently as cacio e pepe, the classic Roman dish with cheese, pepper, pasta, and pasta water. The heir to the cacio e pepe throne in New York City is undoubtedly Via Carota, the walk-in-only Italian restaurant in the West Village co-owned by chef Rita Sodi. 

Via Carota's cacio pepe is made with tonnarelli pasta, which is thicker and wider than spaghetti, so the noodle is coated luxuriously with sauce. Because tonnarelli is classified as an egg pasta, the flavor of the noodle adds depth to the creamy cheesiness of the coarse black pepper and Pecorino Romano sauce. Every mouthful of cacio pepe is dreamy and decadent. This is easily one of the best pasta dishes in the city.

Spicy rigatoni vodka from Carbone

We saved the most iconic pasta dish in New York City for last. Carbone is an establishment that transcends the food world, finding notoriety in music and as a cultural touchstone of prominence. Often when a restaurant has such a celebrated following the food can't compete with the hype, but that's not the case here. 

Carbone's spicy rigatoni vodka is legendary for good reason. The sauce is made from tomatoes grown in volcanic ash and is thick and creamy with balanced heat from Calabrian chili peppers and onions that cling to the fresh rigatoni. The dish is so popular that Carbone began selling its famous spicy vodka sauce during the pandemic so you can recreate this exceptional dish at home.