Wine and Pasta Pairings from New York's Top Italian Restaurants
The pasta: Preserved-Tomato Paccheri
Rather than make conventional tomato sauce, Missy Robbins, chef at Brooklyn's Lilia, uses her preserving skills to marinate tomatoes in a mix of garlic, spices, citrus and olive oil. The result is a supple, incredibly flavorful coating for the thick, tubular paccheri pasta.
The wine: 2013 La Miraja Le Masche Barbera d'Asti Superiore
This red is simple, elegant and super food-friendly, with great notes of fruit to combat any spiciness.
Chefs Ryan Hardy and Tim Caspare team up to make dishes like this sumptuous baked pasta with tender braised pork. The pureed garlic-infused milk that the pork cooks in makes an incredibly flavorful sauce.
The wine: 2013 J.L. Chave Selection Circa Saint-Joseph Blanc
"Northern Rhône wines like this white blend have a long, long history with cream-based dishes." -Robery Bohr
The pasta: Toasted Capellini with Clams and Dashi
At Momofuku Nishi in New York City, owner David Chang challenged chef Joshua Pinsky to mash up Italian and Asian flavors. Here Pinsky adds a Portuguese accent to the already unusual mix, riffing on the classic pasta fideos using a broth of dashi and soy.
The wine: 2014 Punta Crena Vigneto Reiné Mataóssu
"Mataóssu, an ancient variety from Italy's Liguria region, might be the most intriguing wine you've never heard of. The grape can be finicky, but the old-vines bottling from Punta Crena is bright, minerally and slightly saline--just like the clams in this dish." --Jordan Salcito, beverage director
Known as mandilli, this dish from chef Tim Cushman has something for everyone who loves Italian classics. First he cats delicate sheets of pasta with pesto, then stuffs them with ricotta and sets them atop a pool of tomato sauce.
The wine: 2014 Piazzo Piemonte Barbera
"I drink Barbera with all things tomato--love it with pizza, love it with pasta. I especially love it with this stuffed pasta because with each bite you can create a new combination of the pesto pasta, creamy ricotta and rich tomato sauce--then cap off each one with a sip of this Barbera." --Tim Cushman
Café Altro Paradiso
Chef Ignacio Mattos's first rule of pasta: "Make sure your cooking water is well salted, so it tastes like the sea." His second rule is to use just a few well-chosen ingredients--like brussels sprouts, lemon, mint and pecorino--to make a wonderfully satisfying dish.
The wine: 2008 Benanti Pietramarina Etna Bianco Superiore
"You could have this ultraminerally white from Sicily's Mount Etna with many of our pastas because it's not precious. It's an everyday wine: very, very good and at a lower price point. It's not a great wine, because great is sometimes the enemy of good." --Thomas Carter
Union Square Cafe
At Union Square Cafe, reopening this month, Carmen Quagliata makes a luxurious version of spaghetti and meatballs with whole-wheat pasta, chanterelles and corn cream instead of standard tomato sauce.
The wine: 2011 Montebruno Crawford Beck Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
"This Pinot has a brightness that's hard to find in Oregon, yet still has wonderful earthy tones that marry so well with mushrooms." --Jason Wagner, wine director
The pasta: Cavatelli with Sparerib Ragú
This hearty ragú, from chef Josh Laurano of Manhattan's La Sirena, features both little riblets and tender chunks of sparerib meat in a rich tomato sauce. Adding pork skin to the sauce makes it next-level luscious.
The wine: 2012 Fattoria Fibbiano L'Aspetto Toscana
"Fattoria Fibbiano has some of Tuscany's most ancient vines. The L'Aspetto--equal parts old-vine Sangiovese with Canaiolo--is rich, vibrant and deeply fruity. Combined with the salty tang from the Parmigiano in the pasta, it puts you right on the Tuscan coast." --Luke Boland, wine director