The Uptown Finale: A Grubhub Guide to the UWS
As every New Yorker knows, restaurants are a vital part of any neighborhood. One of the best parts of living here is the vast array of places we have to eat on any given night, even during a global pandemic. Now that we’re deep into summer and the city’s back open in a way that seemed almost unfathomable not so long ago, New Yorkers can keep the feeling alive with a great meal, made with love, delivered directly to our homes with Grubhub! Plus, diners can donate the change and round up their orders to the nearest dollar and donate the difference to the Restaurant Strong Fund to support local restaurants impacted by the pandemic. It’s the most delicious way to support your local favorites or try something new. Gothamist and Grubhub are teaming up to celebrate amazing restaurants that, whether they’re a few blocks from your place or a bike ride away, are NYC favorites that we think you’ll love too. Next up: the UWS. Sandwiched between two of the city’s most beloved parks–the magnificent Central Park, of course, but also Riverside Park, with its Hudson River views and gracious promenade–the Upper West Side has long been coveted as one of the city’s best neighborhoods for raising a family… or, really, for doing just about anything else with your life. There are all those gorgeous pre-war residential buildings, some slick new developments, lots of lovely blocks lined with brownstones, world class cultural offerings, and plenty of places all up and down the avenues where you can get great things to eat. Almost every imaginable type of cuisine and craving is covered somewhere in the sprawling neighborhood, which stretches from Columbus Circle to Columbia University, including lots of exciting newer openings as well as old-school spots holding it down through all the changes over the decades–and those have been considerable since the late 1970s–and navigating the many challenges of our current pandemic era. It’s impossible to cover every restaurant worth trying on the Upper West Side in a single list, but here’s a look at some of our current favorites and go-tos, all of which make for a first-rate meal in the comfort of your home with delivery via Grubhub. It’s a safe, easy way to support your locals as restaurants everywhere in NYC continue to grapple with the ever-changing realities of the pandemic.
Chick Chick Newly opened last spring on the corner of Amsterdam and 90th Street, Chick Chick is chef and owner Jun Park’s glorious celebration of his two favorite foods, fried chicken and ramen. There are three different kinds of the former here: Park’s signature KSG, or Korean Sweet Gochujang; his take on Nashville Hot Chicken, which he drizzles with white sauce; and Crispy Chicken, extra-crackling on the outside and somehow still juicy within. You can get these in sandwiches, as a whole mess of wings, as boneless tenders, or as a whole or half bird. The chicken ramen is just as good, too, and the Kimchi Fried Rice with chicken sausage crumbles makes for an excellent side. A terrific addition to the neighborhood. For a more old-school chicken dinner, look no further than the flame-grilled birds of Chirping Chicken, which has been feeding the Upper West Side since 1982. They have two locations up here now, too, the original on Amsterdam and a newer model up a bit on Columbus. And the Peruvian-style roasted birds at Flor de Mayo, also with two locations in the neighborhood and always improved by a lot of hot sauce and a mound of black beans and yellow rice. Chick Chick is located at 618 Amsterdam Avenue – Order Now
Pastrami Queen The Upper West Side has long been known for having some of the city’s best Jewish delis and appetizing spots. But newcomers to the area are also always welcome, especially when they’re as good as Pastrami Queen, which opened on 72nd Street at the end of last year. Not that Pastrami Queen itself is new–the place can trace its provenance back to Queens in 1956–but we were definitely excited when it took over Fine and Shapiro’s longtime home after that venerable deli shuttered due to the pandemic. Anyway, the namesake smoked meat here is superb, and there are plenty of other jaw-stretching sandwiches to get as well, and the soups and sides make for fine accompaniments. If you’re more in the mood for a bagels-and-lox type situation, Murray’s Sturgeon on Broadway has been making people happy with their wide variety of smoked fish since 1946 (the sturgeon here is worthy of its titular appearance), and Zucker’s Bagels on Columbus is a solid choice for all kinds of eggy, fishy, or meaty bagel sandwiches and cream cheese spreads. Pastrami Queen is located at 138 West 72nd Street – Order Now
El Mitote We’re always tempted to call El Mitote, which specializes in dishes from owner Christina Castaneda’s hometown of Guadalajara, a hidden gem, mostly because we never really hear much about it in the city’s wider food-obsessed circles. And yet, the lively, festively-decorated place nearish Lincoln Center (and very near the big AMC Lincoln Square movie theater) is always packed with locals during prime times, so clearly it’s not “hidden” from them. The Tacos, Quesadillas, and Burritos are all great, packed with fresh ingredients and loaded with big flavors, and the more composed “Comida Corrida” platters starring things like carnitas, or chipotle garlic shrimp, or wild mushroom tinga, are also deeply satisfying. And if you order delivery via Grubhub, you don’t have to wait for a table! There are tons of other good Mexican spots around these parts as well, including Noche Mexicana up on Amsterdam and 101st Street (the Queso Fundido Burrito is a delicious cheese bomb), and Tacombi, the taco-party spot near 78th Street that’s one of ten locations of the fast-growing chain and always sends out reliably good Yucatan beach classics. El Mitote is located at 208 Columbus Avenue – Order Now
Tom’s Restaurant Like all self-respecting New Yorkers, Upper West Side residents love their diners, and each little micro-community in the neighborhood seems to have their favorites, classic spots that keep hanging in even as so many other such restaurants across the city are closing. Decades ago, Tom’s up on 112th and Broadway was a frequent a late-night go-to, before first Suzanne Vega and then Seinfeld made the place a cultural icon. And a recent revisit showed that, despite some sprucing up for the tourists, Tom’s still rocks one of those massive diner menus, standards like the Cheeseburger Platter and Corned Beef Hash remain solid choices, and, whether dining in or ordering for delivery via Grubhub, you can feel good about yourself by supporting a local legend. Other diners and diner-like spots abound on the UWS, including The Viand Cafe with locations on both Broadway near 75th and Columbus a half-mile uptown, and City Diner farther up on Broadway at 90th Street (the Tuna Melt is a good move here, if you’re in the mood), and going up another ten blocks or so, Metro Diner, which, among its other claims, presides over the ground floor of one of Manhattan’s rare wooden buildings. Tom’s is located at 2880 Broadway – Order Now
Moonrise Izakaya If you’ve walked by the corner of 98th and Amsterdam at any time since about October of 2019, you’ve definitely noticed Moonrise Izakaya, thanks to the Japanese muralist Shiro covering just about every inch of the place, inside and out, with her signature manga-style characters. It’s fun and exciting to be sure, especially in a neighborhood which usually vibes toward a more safe, family-friendly style, but you should know that real appeal here is the food, which includes such memorable bangers as gooey Cheese Corn, crisp Monkfish Kaarage, hefty Katsu Sandos, fiery Mapo Tofu, and lively Avocado Bombs, all of which you can get delivered to your home via Grubhub. Just spray paint your apartment and dig in for the portable Moonrise experience. If you’re craving a more ramen-based Japanese feast, Jin Ramen, with locations on both Amsterdam at 82nd and on Broadway near the Harlem border, has some of the neighborhood’s best bowls of noodles (the Spicy Tonkotsu is our favorite), and Naruto Ramen on Broadway is also a solid choice. Moonrise Izakaya is located at 774 Amsterdam Avenue – Order Now
Jacob’s Pickles We can’t think of another Upper West Side restaurant that ever became such an instant hit and, if anything, has increased its popularity some ten years after first opening, as Jacob’s Pickles on Amsterdam near 85th Street. Part of that has to do with lively atmosphere and warm hospitality, but most of the success of Jacob’s Pickles can be attributed to the food, which specializes in huge portions of comforting delights like Biscuit French Toast, Shrimp and Bacon Grits, Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, and the superb Patty Melt. Really, the only downside here is how hard it can be to get a table, so sometimes it’s better to just order this stuff via Grubhub and relax at home. Jacob’s Pickles has a couple of spinoffs, too, including Tiki Chick located almost right next door (get the Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich and the delicious Spam and Cheese with “pink wave sauce”), and the slightly fancier Maison Pickle over on Broadway which, among its many strengths, offers one of the best French Dip sandwiches in town. If you’re closer to Lincoln Center, The Smith has a similarly crowd-pleasing menu, which includes a massive, first-rate burger-and-fries platter. Jacob’s Pickles is located at 509 Amsterdam Avenue – Order Now
Gray’s Papaya Gray’s Papaya has always been a welcome–and welcoming–fixture on one of the neighborhood’s busiest corners since the 1970s, and slinging some of NYC’s best hot dogs, “for when you’re hungry, or broke, or just in a hurry,” as the slogan goes. And with the seemingly never-ending “Recession Special” still in place after all these years, you can get three dogs and drink for under ten bucks. Just remember to tip your Grubhub delivery person well! And here’s hoping Gray’s sticks around for another 50 years or so… For a different kind of diet staple, the Shake Shack on Columbus Avenue, right near the Museum of Natural History, serves reliably good burgers (the SmokeShack, with bacon and cherry peppers, is my usual) and sweet, thick shakes. And for pizza we’re going to give a shout to Koronet up near Columbia, for those monster-sized slices wolfed down on many, many late-nights. Gray’s Papaya is located at 2090 Broadway – Order Now
The Avin-ue of ECQ food solutions
Avin Ong, CEO of the Fredley Group of Companies, has a thriving food business, regularly feted for entrepreneurial excellence. The Fredley Group is behind such popular brands as Macao Imperial Tea, Liang Crispy Roll, New York Fries & Dips, Café and Maison Kitsuné, Hosaku International Buffet, Nabe Japanese Izakaya + Hot Pot, and Mitasu Yakiniku. Back in February 2021, The Manila Bulletin featured him as a prime mover of this nation’s food and beverage industry. Still aggressive during the first ECQ, he’s now operating over 250 stores nationwide.
With this second round of ECQ, the challenge of offering Shabu-Shabu/Yakiniku food concepts has had them diversify, improvise, and meet the challenge head-on. Both Shabu-Shabu and Yakiniku are all about participating in the cooking process, and making it an interactive, communal dining experience. How to recreate this experience at home, and still keep it both affordable and easy, was the crux of the problem. What they came up with are portable hotpot and grill sets, that can be used at home.
They’ve been the only ones to offer this, and my first hand experience of these portable hotpot and grill was an enjoyable one. From the comfort of home, I can say I was really pleased with my #NabeMoments, and my #MitasuExperience.
For Nabe, along with the portable hotpot (which brought things to a boil really quickly), I had the preparation of tonkatsu sauce to add to water and become the base soup, some tender slices of pork, choice pieces of chicken thigh, and assorted food balls. To give it a more authentic touch, from our own kitchen, I added vegetables to the pot – enoki and button mushrooms, lettuce, and gai-lan. I was transported! My taste buds were super-happy, as all the pre-mixed sauces worked to perfection.
The Mitasu experience was equally satisfying. We were given beef slices, two sets of different pork cuts, and I loved how we had the option of Ponzu or sweet sauces to indulge in. Just pour some cooking oil on the grill, and off we were, thinking we were experts in Yakiniku grilling. The meat was tender, filling, and we loved having the option of deciding on the doneness of what we’d eat.
For NYFD, Fredley has onboarded all their branches in top tier third party food aggregators, such as GrabFood and FoodPanda. If you’re a NYFD fan, look out for the three new promos that will be launched as their Early Christmas Treat – it promises to be flavorful surprises.
Liang Crispy Roll is the new “baby” in the group. Again, the main sales driver during ECQ, would be food aggregators. The key to the Crispy Roll success is the pancake batter – it’s fluffy, flaky and crispy all in one; a hybrid of paratha, roti, and pancake, once it’s cooked. You add the signature savory or sweet fillings of your choice, and you have a perfect mobile snack that you can enjoy at home, any time of the day. GrabFood and FoodPanda are the apps to head to for your first bite of these delicious rolls.
The Fredley e-store website, (order.Fredleygroup.com), is where to head to in order to enjoy these food treats. They’ve been working with food aggregators and digital payment platforms to make sure they’re present in practically every channel. If it’s about making their customers and newbies have an easy time accessing their food options, Fredley is right in the midst of the action.
Until the end of 2021, they even have active promotions that target vaccinated individuals. Check the aforementioned website for details. It’s all part of Fredley wanting to be more than just a food solution, and encouraging the whole citizenry to be part of the pandemic solution. It’s about thriving in the food business, and having loftier ambitions that go beyond the industry. We wish them the best of success!
22 Pasta Dishes Every Home Cook Should Know, According to Chefs
Ask a chef to name their favorite pasta, and they’ll likely narrow down the list to their top three. Often, a go-to pasta is based on nostalgia or heritage, and recipes are derived from regional dishes or passed down by grandmothers, generation after generation.
Since pasta has been so widely adopted and adapted, even the slightest misstep in a sauce can easily be rectified with the addition of another ingredient (or a lot more cheese). Whether you’re in the mood for spaghetti with clams, macaroni and cheese, or another comforting pasta, here are the recipes top chefs from Milan to Miami recommend adding to your pasta rotation.
Three Pepper Cacio e Pepe Credit: Victor Protasio
Cacio e Pepe
“Cacio e Pepe is a simple and flavorful recipe I think everyone should know. It falls under ‘ricetta povera’ or ‘poor man’s recipe.’ It consists of pecorino, black pepper, and pasta—ingredients most people usually have at home. Like anything else, it’s not the easiest to master, but if you mess it up, just add more pecorino and you’ll be alright.” — Michael Pirolo, chef/owner of Macchialina in Miami
“This is a typical Roman recipe that has seen numerous iterations in centuries past, but I personally love to keep it traditional with a good amount of pecorino cheese and juicy tomato sauce. I love staring at the guanciale (cured pork jowl) as it gets crispy; it’s poetic and peaceful for me. The pivotal moment is to remove the guanciale after it crisps up, and pour the tomato sauce in the sizzling fat from the meat."— Gabriele Muro, executive chef of Hotel Vilòn in Rome
“Who doesn’t love potatoes and pesto? Bake your potatoes the night before, and allow them to cool (you’ll peel and rice them the next day). The recipe I learned working in Italy is currently on the Firetower menu. It has three ingredients—Yukon Gold potatoes, semolina, and salt—and could not be simpler or more delicious. When making pesto, be sure to blanch your basil to keep the pesto bright green.” — Joel Werner, executive chef of The Firetower at Blackberry Mountain in TN
Buttermilk Macaroni & Cheese with Baby Kale Credit: Kelly Marshall
Macaroni and Cheese
“I really like macaroni and cheese. It certainly had a moment on every New York City menu in 2007, but it’s still a great dish to make at home from scratch with good cheddar, béchamel, roast garlic, and breadcrumbs on top.” — Aidan O’Neal, chef and partner of Bar Blondeau, Le Crocodile, and Chez Ma Tante in Brooklyn
Spaghetti with Mussels
“In my region of Le Marche, Italy, on the Adriatic coast, mussels are called moscioli. They are not farmed, but are wild harvested from reefs near the port city of Ancona, off a stretch of coastline known as the Riviera del Conero. The fishermen often cook them right on the beach and sometimes in the boat! In a dish as simple as this one, there is nothing more important than the freshness and quality of the wild mussels. The liquid created in the opening of the mussels is so delicious, there is even a festival every June to celebrate it.” – Fabio Trabocchi, chef/owner of Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants, which includes Michelin-starred Fiola DC
“If you do it right, I think gnudi is one of the sexiest pasta dishes to make. It does require a bit of prep to nail the texture of each component, but the bright, clear contrasts of the bite of the pasta against the ooziness of the cheese, and the richness of the beurre monté against the assertiveness of the tomato sauce, are irresistible. The concentrated tomato sauce—a classic pomodoro base enhanced with estratto (high-quality extracted tomato paste)—is my secret weapon. You don’t need much of this tomato paste; if you’ve never cooked with it, you’ll be amazed at how the estratto thickens the sauce by absorbing liquid, resulting in a thick, hyper-flavorful concentrate that’s almost like a roux. This dish doesn’t really need anything else, though if you want to gild the lily, add crispy guanciale for crunch and umami.” — Scott Conant, two-time James Beard Award-winning chef and author of Peace, Love, and Pasta: Simple and Elegant Recipes from a Chef’s Home Kitchen
Pasta Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino (Garlic, Oil, and Chili Pepper)
“Every person should know how to make this simple, three-ingredient pasta dish. The key is to have good quality pasta and great extra-virgin olive oil. At Kimika, we add a Japanese touch to this classic dish by adding some aonori (dried green seaweed) to the pasta, increasing the umami level.” — Christine Lau, executive chef of Kimika in NYC
Sauce-Simmered Spaghetti al Pomodoro Credit: © Christina Holmes
“I only make this dish in the summer, but once the tomatoes are sweet, it’s as easy as it gets. Find beautiful cherry tomatoes and slice them in half (I love to use Sungolds, if you can find them). Toast some sliced garlic in a good amount of very high-quality olive oil, throw in your tomatoes with some fresh basil leaves, and put a lid on the pan until they burst. Buy the best spaghetti you can find (don’t be cheap!) and toss the spaghetti together with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.” — Mario Carbone, chef and co-owner of Major Food Group
“A simple pasta al pomodoro is something everyone should have in their go-to dinner repertoire. It’s a versatile, year-round pantry staple, but becomes a thing of beauty when tomatoes are in peak season. We recommend starting by cooking spaghetti in well-salted water before going to work on the simple sauce. First, heat a generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Throw in some whole cherry tomatoes and quickly blister with small, diced red onion, a ton of shaved garlic, and a pinch of chili flakes. Add some of the pasta cooking water and additional olive oil to the pan, and finish cooking the pasta in the pan sauce. Finish with whatever fresh herbs you have on hand.” — Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow, co-chefs of Flour+Water in San Francisco
Spicy Sausage and Pepper Sugo with Orecchiette
“A simple and comforting pasta dish that every home cook can prepare is a spicy sausage and pepper sugo with orecchiette. This dish is reminiscent of my childhood family dinners of sausage and peppers and gives you an all-day cooked feeling without the all-day work. The most underrated star of this dish is the pasta water—it allows you to control the viscosity of the sauce. You can make it throughout the season with less water for a lighter sauce with fresh peppers in the summer or a thicker sauce with Brussels sprouts and kale in the winter.” —Danny Grant, chef and owner of etta
“This sauce tastes delicious and has a sexy history—what more could you want? Like most classic pasta sauces, puttanesca pairs nicely with any pasta shape and any flour variety you choose. The main ingredients you’ll need are anchovies, capers, olives, and garlic, but with pepper season coming to the northeast, I’ll certainly be throwing some fresh chiles in mine to liven things up a bit.” — Michael Poiarkoff, executive chef of The Maker Hotel in Hudson, NY
“I think everyone should know how to make pasta puttanesca, the origins of which are colorful and highly disputed. This is a pasta that can be made entirely from shelf-stable ingredients. Take the time you save and make your own from-scratch pasta! Pairing tomatoes with a mix of salty capers and olives, and adding the umami of anchovies, produces an unforgettable balance of flavors. Upgrade this dish by using height-of-season tomatoes, roasted garlic, or even Calabrian chiles. This dish started my appreciation for the fine balance between salt, acid, umami, and rich, eggy pasta.” — Ian Rynecki, executive chef of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards in VA
Fresh Cheese Spaetzle Credit: Â© Lucy Schaeffer
“Spätzle is the German answer to Italian pasta. It’s something a bit different, but in my (biased) opinion, it’s as delicious as spaghetti! My wife, Jennifer, loves her spätzle fried crispy and served with cucumber salad. My personal favorite preparation is the traditional southern German way—with lots of cream, rich cheese, and fried onions. There are just as many ways to prepare spätzle as there are gnocchi or ravioli!” — Philipp Vogel, executive chef and managing director of Orania.Berlin in Germany
Pasta al Pesto
“The pasta dish everyone should know how to make is the traditional Italian pasta al pesto. It’s very simple, since only six ingredients are needed. Once you gather all of the ingredients, you put them into a blender and the sauce is instantly ready. The secret to this dish is to only use top quality and local ingredients.” — Fabio Ciervo, executive chef at Hotel Eden in Rome
“It’s just a few ingredients, but when made right, and used in the proper proportion, pesto is magic. I love experimenting with different herb combinations, as well as different nuts or seeds, sometimes even adding a touch of miso for added umami. But I almost always revert back to the classic basil, toasted pine nuts, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Perfection!” — Michael Schwartz, James Beard Award winner, founder of The Genuine Hospitality Group, and chef/owner of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami
Pasta alle Vongole
“Linguine alle vongole is a fantastic seafood dish that is deceivingly easy. At Rosemary’s, we will source smaller clams like Manila clams and let them soak in salty ice water overnight to guarantee the clams won’t spit out any sand. My personal favorite way to cook the clams is with chopped garlic, parsley, chili flake, and some good, dry white wine.” — Michael Han, executive chef of Rosemary’s West Village in NYC
“Spaghetti alle vongole is a classic Neapolitan dish of briny clams, white wine, garlic, and pepperoncini. At Extra Virgin, we extract the essence of the clam by steaming them for their briny elixir. We then bring all of the ingredients together balancing the dish with a touch of butter and parsley to finish.” — Silvio Berrino, executive chef of Extra Virgin on Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady
Pasta e Fagioli
“Pasta e fagioli is my go-to pasta at home. It is a pasta of endless possibilities. Whether you have chickpeas, white beans, or lentils in your pantry, you can quickly come up with a delicious bowl of pasta. Always begin with aromatics (onions, garlic, pancetta, leeks—you choose), throw in your cooked beans (or soaked beans, but adjust timing), add some flavorful liquid (wine, stock, tomato purée), and cook until beans are soft. To finish, mash up the beans to get a chunky purée or all the way to a smooth sauce, add your cooked pasta (I prefer a short cut, like rigatoni or orecchiette), garnish with herbs and cheese, and you’re set.” — Felipe Riccio, chef/partner of Goodnight Hospitality, which includes Rosie Cannonball, Montrose Cheese & Wine, and MARCH in Houston
Pasta Bolognese Credit: © Fredrika Stjärne
“You can’t have an osteria without a pasta Bolognese dish. During my travels in Emilia-Romagna and its osterias, one thing was consistent—there was always a pasta Bolognese, and no two were alike. The base of Bolognese, or meat ragù, is the combination of soffritto (diced vegetables), ground or chopped meats (like beef, pork, and/or veal), tomato, wine, and sometimes dairy. Each chef or family starts there and makes it their own. In Morini’s case, a touch of chicken liver brings a depth of flavor and richness to the sauce. For most, the ideal pairing is with a long, flat pasta like tagliatelle, which we make in-house with premium flour and fresh egg yolks. The ragù can also become a base for other dishes. Combine it with a béchamel sauce and you have a beautiful start for a classic lasagna verde."— Bill Dorrler, corporate executive chef of Morini
“Bolognese is one of my go-tos. It’s great for an individual, a couple, or a crowd, easy to assemble, and is healthy and filling all at the same time. In addition to tomatoes and your meat of choice (ground beef, turkey, or chicken), it’s easy to toss in whatever veggies and spices you have on hand. I like how flexible and versatile it is, yet I know I’ll get something warm and comforting at the end. In addition to mixing it in with pasta, it can also be eaten with bread, put in a baked potato, made into lasagna, and is great to freeze and reheat later for leftovers.” — Brooke Williamson, co-chef/co-owner of Playa Provisions in Playa del Rey, CA
Spaghetti al Limone
“I happened to spend a season living in Sorrento as a young cook, and fell in love with this pasta. There are a lot of variations; sometimes it will have chili flakes or Parmigiano-Reggiano, or even butter and cream, but for me, less is more. I like it with just olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, tossed with spaghetti and some of the pasta cooking water. (Pro tip: Always reserve some of the pasta water to help create a creamier sauce). Try it with grilled squid or shrimp, or use Meyer lemons when they are in season. We did a version at the restaurant topped with breadcrumbs and lardo that was delicious.” — Cody Cheetham, executive chef of Tavernetta Denver
“My lemon spaghetti is one of the easiest pasta dishes you’ll ever make, and is great as a light meal or a side to fresh fish. This dish was inspired by a famous pasta in Capri, and it’s quickly become a fan favorite both online and in my restaurants.” — Giada De Laurentiis, Emmy Award-winning chef and owner of GIADA at The Cromwell in Las Vegas
“I think a simple arrabbiata sauce of sautéed onions, garlic, and fresh Roma tomatoes—plus a little red pepper flake and parsley—is a great place to start. It’s delicious on its own, but you can take it to many places. For example, starting with lightly sautéed pancetta, it becomes sugo all’amatriciana. Add capers and olive to your arrabbiata and you have puttanesca. Pick your pasta, add chicken, shrimp, sausage, zucchini, or broccoli rabe, and you have numerous variations."– John Doherty, chef/owner of Black Barn Restaurant in NYC
“I recommend using artisanal pasta from the Italian town of Gragnano. Cook the pasta al dente in boiling, salted water and finish preparing the sauce using a little of the cooking water to adjust the consistency. Do not use butter and don’t skimp out on olive oil quality. I recommend using pecorino cheese—not Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano.” — Julian Baker, executive chef of Le Zoo in Miami
“Carbonara is one of the four pasta pillars of Roman cuisine. It’s beloved for its luxurious textures and richness. For me, it’s without question one of my favorite dishes to put together. Though simple, you must have deft touch and understand temperature and technique to execute. I use Bona Furtuna spaghetti, made in Sicily, to take my carbonara to the next level.” — Adam Sobel, partner and corporate executive chef of MINA Group
“This is a must know-how—it is a thing of beauty. Guanciale, egg yolks, pecorino, and black pepper—it’s like having breakfast for dinner.” — Michael Hudman, chef/partner of Josephine Estelle at Ace Hotel New Orleans
“Cavatelli is a fresh pasta mostly found in southern Italy that is shaped to soak in sauces perfectly. The pasta uses three simple ingredients: flour, water, and salt. It’s slightly time-consuming to make, but it’s worth the effort. I suggest making the dough the day before and refrigerating it. I then like to roll it out about 1/4 inch thick, and cut it into ¼-inch squares. You can shape it by hand and your thumb using a fork to create the canoe-like shape. Finish any cavatelli dish with grated or shaved truffle, and it will never ever let you or your dinner guests down.” — Brendan Collins, executive chef and partner of Fia in Santa Monica, CA
15-Yolk Tagliolini Credit: Greg DuPree
“My signature homemade lobster tagliolini is a delicate dish created with minimal ingredients that, once combined, allow the flavors to shine. All that is needed is homemade tagliolini pasta, fresh lobster, steamed and peeled garlic, basil, yellow cherry tomatoes, and olive oil. This delicious dish is perfect to serve as a starter or a main, and I recommend pairing with an Amalfi Coast white wine like Fiorduva di Marisa Cuomo.” — Christoph Bob, executive chef of Michelin-starred Il Refettorio at Monastero Santa Rosa on Italy’s Amalfi Coast
“Mostaccioli is a good pasta to have in your back pocket for a quick weeknight dish or when you’re in the mood for something a little bit heartier.” — Greg Baxtrom, chef and partner of Olmsted and Maison Yaki in Brooklyn
Pasta alla Norma