The Italians know a thing or two about simple comfort food that fills the belly and turns any bad day around. A few simple ingredients are all it takes for a great chef to serve you the pasta of your dreams. Ragu, truffle, cannelloni and ravioli—we don’t care how it comes, we want all of the pasta, all of the time. Here are some of the best pasta dishes in Sydney.
#1 The Casarecce Palmolese at A Tavola
Classics done well are what A Tavola is known for and the casarecce palmolese is no different. Strozzapreti pasta are tossed in a fresh tomato sauce and topped with shaved buffalo mozzarella for a simple and elegant fool-proof pasta dish.
#2 Cannelloni con Ripieno di Zucca at La Rosa
Located in The Strand Arcade, the baked cannelloni at La Rosa is equally as luxe as its surroundings. The plump cannelloni is stuffed with pumpkin, mustard fruit, ricotta and is topped with parmigiano and burnt butter sage.
#3 Squid Ink Chilli Crab Tagliatelle at Piato McMahons Point
Conveniently located a short jaunt from the CBD, this north side restaurant makes a mean chilli crab tagliatelle. Just as you would imagine, the dish is simple and oh-so delicious, served with fresh tomato, lemon, spinach, parsley and a hint of anchovies.
#4 Pumpkin Ravioli at Casoni
Served with pistachios, burnt butter and sage, the pumpkin ravioli at Casoni can do no wrong (can pumpkin ravioli ever truly be wrong?). Served simply on one of their brightly coloured plates, the little pillows of heaven are topped with crispy pumpkin chips.
#5 Pappardelle with Braised Lamb Shoulder Ragu at Salt Meats Cheese
By now we all know that Salt Meats Cheese never disappoint when it comes to traditional Italian fare, so what are you waiting for? Order their pappardelle with braised lamb ragu with gremolada, burnt orange and thyme, stat!
#6 Truffle Egg Fettuccine at Buon Ricordo
There’s a reason that Buon Ricordo has lasted the distance as a top Italian restaurant in Paddington. That reason is the truffle egg pasta. With only three ingredients (cream, parmesan, truffle egg), your meal will come together right in front of your eyes as it’s tossed at the table. Talk about fresh.
#7 Duck Ragu at Il Baretto
Il Baretto is a classic Italian restaurant in Sydney with many delicious options on the menu, but the fresh egg pappardelle pasta with roasted duck ragu is easily one of our faves.
#8 Cacio e Pepe at Buffalo Dining Club
Served from a huge wheel of pecorino cheese (yep), the cacio e pepe at Buffalo Dining Club really ups the theatre ante with this one. The dish is a simple combination of salt, pepper, olive oil and parsley and we promise that you’ll return next week for round two.
#9 Pig’s Head Macaroni at ACME
Don’t be put off by the alarming presence of pig’s head in your macaroni at ACME, because this three-ingredient (macaroni, pigs head and egg yolk) pasta dish is executed with finesse. The head happens to be one of the most succulent and tasty cuts of meat, if prepared correctly.
#10 Duck & Truffle Tortellini at Pasta Emilia
Only using certified organic ingredients in their dishes, the duck truffle tortellini at Pasta Emilia comes from the Italian town of Castell’Arquato and is served in a lush sage butter and sage sauce.
#11 Liquorice Farfalle at 10 William St
An adventurous dish for all willing brave souls, the liquorice farfalle with rabbit and carrot from 10 William St is worth the trip for anyone who has a penchant for the aniseed treat.
#12 Pecorino Consommé at Pilu at Freshwater
A delicate bowl of rich pecorino consommé with hand rolled fregola and crunchy zucchini flower sprinkles is a lighter pasta option at Pilu, but equally as warming as any hearty ragu.
#13 Potato Gnocchi with Spanner Crab at Balla
A little slice of Milan boasting some of Sydney’s best views, Balla knows their way around the ‘00’ flour. Go on; order the potato gnocchi with spanner crab, broccolini, chilli and garlic. You know you want to.
#14 Capsicum Tagliolini at Ormeggio at The Spit
It only seems right to order a seafood dish, considering the proximity of Ormeggio at The Spit to the water. The capsicum tagliolini with Piedmont hazelnuts and sand crab will do quite nicely, we think.
#15 Orecchiette ‘Osso Bucco’ at Otto Ristorante
For the ultimate in the ‘winter warmer’ category, order the orecchiette ‘osso bucco’ at Otto Ristorante. They’ve put their own spin on the dish, serving saffron infused ear-shaped pasta with braised veal, gremolata and salted ricotta.
#16 Linguini Gamberi at Machiavelli Ristorante Italiano
Flat pasta served with king prawns, tomato, basil, garlic and chilli is all of the fresh ingredients you want in authentic Italian pasta... Because the classics never go out of style here at Machiavelli.
#17 Orecchiette at Berta
The menu at Berta is small, with only two pasta dishes on offer. But we think this is a good thing because it’ll reduce your risk of food envy when you order the orecchiette with diamond shell clams and tomato.
#18 Lasagne at Vini
When done well, lasagne is one of those dishes that you will come back for time and time again. The lasagne at Vini is definitely one of those dishes. A twist on the classic, their version is a lasagne of polpette, cauliflower, montasio and peas.
#19 Spaghetti Mancini alla Ligure at Mantecato
You will recognise this dish instantly by its vibrant green hue and delicate shavings of cheese at Mantecato. Made with mancini spaghetti pasta, fresh basil pesto and tomato sauce reduction, it really packs a herby punch. We’ll just assume it’s as good for us as the green smoothie we pretend to drink every morning and call it a day.
#20 Mushroom Agnolotti at LuMi
One of eight courses in an impressive dinner degustation, the agnolotti with mushroom and rye dashi at LuMi is one to hold out for. Don’t fill up too much on the preceding two dishes, because this one is worth the stomach space.
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Image credit: Jackielyn Powell at Casoni