From penne and puttanesca to pappardelle and pesto, we’ve carb loaded to find the best pasta dishes in Sydney. Hidden within the menus of some of Sydney’s best Italian restaurants, these dishes keep us coming back time and time again.
From outside appearances it would seem that there is little that can be done to improve piping hot bowls of trofie pesto, orecchiette norma (eggplant and ricotta) or rigatoni ndija with spicy sausage at Pizza Autentico. Ohh, but that’s where you’re so very wrong, because at this Surry Hills pizzeria you can indulge in unlimited serves of the stuff at their all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta nights for a crisp $20 bill.
Buffalo Dining Club
The buffalo mozzarella (imported three times a week from Campania, Italy), likes to pretend it’s the star at Buffalo Dining Club. But ask anyone who has tried the cacio e pepe (pasta with salt, pepper, olive oil and parsley cooked in a pecorino cheese wheel) which meal they would pin on their bedroom wall and blow kisses to at night, and you will get a different drooling response.
A new addition to the Italian dining scene in Sydney, ACME is killing the pasta game with chef Mitch Orr's creative takes on Italian food. Kim chi in your pasta? You got it! We're particularly enarmoured with the macaroni with pigs head and egg yolk because it's salty, creamy and just damn delicious. Read our full review here.
The Roman God Janus is a double-faced deity where you never know what you’ll get. This restaurant named after him, on the other hand, are a more honest affair. This stylish restaurant serves up delicious rustic Italian cuisine that is equal parts authentic and contemporary. Our pick of their daily hand-rolled pastas are the Alaskan crab linguine; the pappardelle al ragu with melt-in-your-mouth lamb and, for the vegetarians, homemade ravioli with pumpkin, burnt butter sage topped with brioche herb crumb and shaved parmesan.
Granatas, the little sister of Five Dock’s Via Leoni in Pemulwuy, is located under a gym. Perhaps it’s a pre-emptive recommendation on where you might need to head to after indulging in some of the best pasta in Sydney. The penne pistachio with thinly sliced prosciutto and chardonnay cream sauce topped with crushed nuts and the fusilli via Granata with chicken, mushrooms and peas in a pink sauce are our picks from this Italian restaurant in Sydney’s west.
Jamie Oliver is really good at a few things… Cute English accents, quick-to-copy cookbooks and chains of Italian eateries. Those who aren’t into lisps or have better places to be than their kitchen, are usually still charmed by the oodles of noodles on the menu at his Sydney restaurant. The most popular pastas are the pappardelle with slow-braised fennel sausage ragu, squid ink pasta with scallops and tagliatelle with finely minced truffle tossed with butter, parmesan and nutmeg.
If your GPS fails you, an easy way to remember this Church Street restaurant is to remind yourself that its name refers to the number of its address. Not that you’ll forget the food at Restaurant 317 in any rush, especially those with eating intolerances looking to enjoy Italian cooking. The gluten-free penne chicken with shallots and mushrooms in a creamy white sauce or the spaghetti bolognese have both definitely earnt their award-winning accolades.
Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta
We suspect patrons may come for the beach views at this Bondi Italian restaurant. But after sampling the calamarata with calamari, cherry tomatoes and chilli and the malloreddus with saffron infused Italian sausage we believe that it’s the top quality pasta that keeps them coming back for more.
This Potts Point Italian restaurant literally translates as “brother’s paradise”, and it’s heaven for anyone who loves hearty pasta dishes. Brush up on your Italian while you wait for your carbs to cook. You’ll need to let your waiter know the bolognese lasagnetta or raviolo san marzano and ricotta was delizioso (delicious).
This Smithfield institution is a home away from home for Italian nonnas, who aren’t bold enough to brave Norton Street’s little Italy. And it’s no surprise – the simple, hearty cuisine like the linguine al limone or the tagliatelle porcini could convince almost anyone they’ve been transported to a little Calabrian village where they make their own cheese and hand-pick tomatoes themselves.
This Surry Hills institution has been serving up ravenously good pasta dishes on this tree lined street for years. We can't go past the pappardelle with duck ragu which is decadently rich, filling and is truly like a big ol' hug for your insides. Sure, you may have to wait a while for a table, but no matter - just leave your number on the wait list, head down to Bar Baretto (owned by the son) and have a prosecco while you wait. Perfect.
For your fix of hand made pasta in Sydney, you can't go past Pasta Emilia in Surry Hills. Primarily using organic ingredients, Anna Maria Eoclidi has been making pasta for hungry diners (and home cooks – products are available to take home) for the past ten years. Don't miss the duck and truffle tortelli – it's worth the indulgence!
Image credit: Jamie's Italian