Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Mia Dona
206 E. 58th St., nr. Third Ave.; 212-750-8170
Michael Psilakis, a proven meatball master, has taken the logical next step: introducing these soft and airy orbs to a bowl of spaghetti.
Spaghetti al Pomodoro
355 W. 14th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 212-691-0555
As widely celebrated as Scott Conant’s signature is, it’s not without its critics—or make that critic—namely a blogger named Giorgio Armani, which only proves you can’t believe everything you read online.
- Capri Caffé
165 Church St., nr. Chambers St.; 212-513-1358
What makes this $7.50 plate of penne such a bargain is the sweet cherry tomatoes imported from Capri, and the kitchen’s knack for never overcooking the pasta.
25 W. Houston, nr. Greene St.; 212-219-2113
They serve Mamma Dora Marzovilla’s exquisitely textured handmade dumplings here in the classic Apulian way, with broccoli rabe.
Linguine with Clams
- Del Posto
85 Tenth Ave., nr. 16th St.; 212-497-8090
Locavores, avert your gaze: The secret is the singular vongole verace overnighted from the Veneto with a brief layover in Holland to skirt a pesky customs regulation.
45 Tudor Pl., at 42nd St.; 212-599-5045
Where some carbonaras are frighteningly gloppy, this modern interpretation is smooth as silk thanks to an unusual chicken-stock-enhanced pecorina fonduta.
141 E. 57th St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-826-7101
The classic Emilia-Romagna version: an orderly stack of skinny pasta sheets fortified with a rich ragù alla Bolognese and judicious lashings of Parmigiano-Reggiano throughout.
402 W. 43rd St., at Ninth Ave.; 212-564-7272
Maybe the last thing you’d expect to find at a fancy fish house: delicate sheep’s-milk gnocchi in a vibrant tomato sauce. Neglect them at your own peril.
777 Seventh Ave., at 51st St.; 212-582-1310
Marco Canora’s gnocchi are legend; his featherlight Swiss-chard gnudi (pictured), afloat in a Parmesan broth, might be even better.
Here’s the best of the basics.
From the 2009 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine