F&W Best New Chef 2017 Noah Sandoval, of Chicago’s Oriole, has created one of the most delicious pastas we’ve ever eaten. The fresh capellini is redolent with caraway and rye, and gets tossed with an umami-rich truffle butter sauce and just a whisper of citrus. Making the pasta takes a bit of effort, but the results are well worth it.
Justin Smillie is known for the spectacular fresh pastas he makes at Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, such as the pappardelle here. The chewy texture and wide ribbon shape of pappardelle make it an ideal match for hearty sauces like his chicken thigh ragù.
Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with Tomato-Butter Sauce
Chef Tommy Habetz describes gnudi as "ravioli filling without the pasta." He learned how to make his outrageously light and creamy version while working at Mario Batali's former New York City restaurant Pó.
The pasta for this tortelli (a larger version of tortellini) is extremely silky and supple, which makes it excellent with the creamy ricotta-and-spinach filling. If there's any dough left over, cut it into noodles, as Marco Canora does, then dry it and store it in bags in the refrigerator to have on hand for last-minute dinners.
Chef Vic Casanova flavors house-made pasta with cocoa to serve with his luscious pork ragù. The inspiration: traditional Italian recipes like this one, in which a little cocoa powder deepens the savory flavor of a meaty sauce.
Johnny Monis slowly roasts the baby goat in milk until it's meltingly tender, then simmers it in tomato sauce before spooning it over fresh, eggy pappardelle noodles. The key to the dish is giving all of the elements enough time to come together: "We never serve our ragù the same day we make it," Monis says. "When the ragù is allowed to cool overnight, the flavor and texture completely change."
For supertender gnocchi, Steve Corry is careful not to overwork the dough. After draining the gnocchi, he sautés them until they're slightly crispy, then tosses them with the lemony sauce. Instead of sprinkling the gnocchi with Parmesan cheese, Corry likes to shave bottarga—dried and salted gray mullet roe—over the top, but they're also delicious without it.
Potato Gnocchi with Garlic Butter, Mushrooms and Snails
Chef Gabriel Kreuther makes gnocchi using fromage blanc, a fresh French cheese that creates a light texture and lovely tang; sour cream is a fine replacement. Snails add an earthy flavor to the dish (though the recipe is also delicious without them).