Searching for Perfect Ravioli

Rarely do I find myself captivated by travel-focused food books. Most tend to fall under the “I went here, I ate this, I stayed here” storyline, which at best can transport the imagination, but rarely leaves me craving certain flavors and dishes.

For our November issue, however, I had the chance to preview James Beard Award-winning author Laura Schenone’s forthcoming The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken. By the last page I was ready to buy a plane ticket to Italy - so I could learn to roll pasta dough with Italian nonnas. I had become completely obsessed with tasting the perfect ravioli - which the author spent five years searching for. As I read about Schenone’s quest to find the authentic Genoese ravioli her great-grandmother used to make, I realized I had never truly experienced real, authentic ravioli. Because my tiny New York City apartment kitchen is all but non-existent, I wouldn’t dream of rolling out my own dough to make ravioli as Schenone did (her book includes great recipes). Instead, I asked Schenone where to go to taste real-deal ravioli. Her short list:

  • Chanterelle, NYC

  • Felidia, NYC

  • La Brinca in Genoa, Italy (“They still roll out the dough with a rolling pin there,” says Schenone. “That kind of authenticity you just won’t find in a fancy restaurant.”)

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