Chris Cosentino adds briny flavor to his pasta with cured tuna heart. He shaves it on right before serving. To make this recipe simpler for the home cook, use anchovies rather than the tuna heart. Egg yolks form a silky sauce.
“I look forward to going to Sicily for many reasons,” says Frank Castronovo of his biannual trip to southern Italy. “One of them is because I’m amazed at how many times Frank [Falcinelli] can order linguine con vongole.” Their exquisite, supersimple version is packed with garlic and a judicious amount of crushed red pepper. If you prefer, shell the clams before tossing them with their juices in the pasta.
Pasta cacio e pepe (“cheese and pepper”) is made with Pecorino Romano, a tangy aged sheep’s-milk cheese originally from Rome, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. In Lazio, chef Antonio Ciminelli of Osteria Fontana Candida serves an elegant version with short pasta on the menu, and a rustic one with spaghetti for staff.
Marc Murphy grew up eating this intensely cheesy baked spaghetti. “When I was young, we lived in Genoa, where spaghetti is the pasta of choice. This is my mother’s version of macaroni and cheese,” he says.
Parsley, rather than the traditional basil, makes this pesto a year-round staple. Because the taste of almonds is more delicate than that of the usual pine nuts, we have chopped rather than ground them. Their flavor really comes through when you bite in to a nutty chunk.
Pairing Suggestion: Chef Chris Pandel of The Bristol worked with Goose Island to create a black IPA called A Beer Named Sue, a crisp beer with a dark color that belies its lightness. Pandel likes to pair it with this savory goat-and-olive ragù tossed with pasta. “Goat has just enough richness to combat an IPA’s bitterness,” he says (lamb shoulder makes a great substitute). For an easier-to-find beer alternative, serve this dish with 21st Amendment’s Back in Black from San Francisco.
Use mild or hot Italian sausage, according to your preference, in this updated classic. We call for red bell peppers but you can use green or one of each color. Plain spaghetti can replace the whole-wheat, too.
One of the most popular cured meats on restaurant charcuterie boards, soppressata is a hard salami from southern Italy. Andrew Carmellini’s family grinds their own meat to make it, but much easier is buying Italian sausages and removing their casings. To give the fresh soppressata extra spice, use hot sausages instead of sweet ones, or increase the amount of crushed red pepper.
$4 Spaghetti That’s Almost as Good as $24 Spaghetti
“The $24 spaghetti from Scott Conant’s Scarpetta in NYC is so delicious,” says Roy Choi of L.A.’s Kogi empire. “My $4 version tastes almost as good.” Roy’s trick: flavoring tomato sauce with a quick mushroom broth and slow-cooked garlic.
This pasta is an ode to the mountains of fried zucchini Gwyneth Paltrow ate at Elio’s, an Italian restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, growing up. Here, she adds the crispy zucchini slices to spaghetti that's tossed with shredded Parmesan cheese (which adds texture to the dish) and plenty of olive oil and basil.