Do you like dipping your bread into olive oil or using it to mop up the sauce on your plate? If so, then you need to know about testaroli, the Tuscan dish of crêpe-like pancakes that are treated like pasta and tossed with pesto sauce. Here's how to make them at home.
'Pasta' on Serious Eats
This deeply flavorful sauce, made from both fresh and dry mushrooms, tomatoes, white wine, and aromatic vegetables, is so hearty, you won't believe it contains no meat. It's delicious on pasta or polenta.
Deep purple-red beets are used to transform classic fresh egg pasta into an eye-catching but simple main course. The root vegetable is boiled and puréed before it's mixed into the dough. The result is a neutral-flavored pasta that pairs well with a wide range of different sauces and fillings.
We've shown you how to make classic fresh egg pasta; now we're taking it one step further, with a bright green dough, naturally colored with a spinach purée. The result is a versatile, neutral-flavored pasta that can be used for noodles, ravioli, tortellini, and beyond.
You can stop at classic fresh egg pasta, or you can transform the pale yellow noodles into a rich orange hue. This recipe is as easy to make as traditional Italian pasta, only it's colored with some added tomato paste. It yields a tender and delicate neutral-flavored pasta that goes with just about anything.
Aromatic squid ink is used to color this classic fresh egg pasta and give it a silky black hue. But while it may smell strong, the resulting noodles are relatively neutral in flavor. It's traditional to pair them with seafood, but they'll taste good with any sauce or added ingredients that play well with a subtle hint of brininess.
Normally I'm all about innovation and deep digging and hardcore testing here at The Food Lab. But this time I'm starting with a dish so iconic, so incredible, so damn-near-flawless in its original form that the best I can possibly hope to do is tweak it just a bit to suit my very particular personal tastes. I'm talking about the ricotta gnudi at The Spotted Pig, April Bloomfield's West Village gastropub. Thin, thin pasta surrounds a core of creamy, explosive sheep's milk ricotta all served in a brown butter and sage sauce. And the good news is that my favorite dish isn't even that hard to make.
We're not going to lie: Potato gnocchi can be a little tricky and require some practice to get right. But if you know a few basic rules, it's really not that hard to make ones that are light and tender, not leaden and gummy. This recipe walks you through those steps, starting with choosing a gnocchi-friendly potato and cooking it the right way; then we leave it up to you whether to add egg yolk or not (yolks make a dough that's easier to work with, but also firmer); and finally we add just enough flour to make a cohesive dough while being careful not to overwork it to the point of gumminess. The result are lovely little gnocchi in a sage-butter sauce that will prove that good gnocchi aren't out of reach.
Long before ships brought native crops from the Americas to Europe, Italy was a land without red sauce, corn polenta, or potato gnocchi. But even without the potato, gnocchi still existed, such as in the form of the classic gnocchi alla Romana, this custardy oven-baked version made with semolina, egg, cheese, and butter. You could say these are the OG: the original gnocchi.
There's a version of pasta e fagioli for just about every region, province and household in Italy, from brothy ones packed with vegetables to creamy ones made only with beans and pasta. This one belongs to that latter group, and the secret to its greatness is all in the beans themselves.
Picture this: gorgeous oversized ravioli filled with a ring of creamy ricotta surrounding a perfectly intact, perfectly runny yolk. They're rich, delicious, and freaking beautiful.
Classic homemade ricotta ravioli gets some tang from Parmesan cheese, a tart squeeze of lemon juice, and a subtle hit of nutmeg. All it needs is a splash of olive oil and it's ready to serve.
A sweet and funky butternut squash and blue cheese-stuffed homemade ravioli, served in a brown butter sauce with frizzled sage.
Deeply flavored roasted zucchini and tomatoes are the star of the dish; pasta just plays a supporting role. Slow-cooking garlic and rosemary infuses olive oil with flavor that fills the entire bowl, while a dusting of our dehydrated olive and miso shake gives it over-the-top savory flavor.
This deeply savory, slightly tangy, and aromatic condiment can be folded into or sprinkled onto your food for a big hit of flavor. It's 100% vegan and designed to take the place of Parmesan in a pasta dish, but it's also great sprinkled on salads, sandwiches, roasted meats, grilled fish, burgers, or pizza. Anywhere you want extra savory flavor.
Turning a bean purée into a pasta sauce may sound strange, but just think of it as a variation on the classic Italian soup pasta e fagioli, just with a lot more pasta and only enough "soup" to coat the noodles. It's delicious, and it just happens to be vegan (though we won't snitch if you decide to add grated parm to it).
Homemade tortellini are delicate, flavorful showstoppers that also lend themselves well to cooking with a partner or group of friends. This version is filled with a savory purée of sautéed mushrooms, shallots, and Parmesan cheese.
If you were to pick a president and el tigre numero uno of the ragù world, it'd be ragù Napoletano, a meaty stew with big chunks of beef, pork, and sausages simmered until fall-apart tender in a rich tomato sauce flavored with wine, onions, garlic, basil, and plenty of good Southern Italian olive oil. It's the precursor to Italian-American Sunday gravy: just add some meatballs, serve it with spaghetti, and you're there. It's also the perfect dish for a lazy Sunday with family or friends at home.
We all know about lasagna Bolognese, the Northern Italian casserole made with fresh pasta layered with cheese sauce and a slow-cooked meat sauce enriched with cream. But what if I told you that there was another lasagna out there every bit as decadent, involved, rib-sticking, and delicious? I introduce to you Lasagna Napoletana, a lasagna that comes stuffed with an insanely meaty and savory red sauce, small tender-crisp meatballs, slices of sausage, and not one, not two, not even three, but four types of cheese. Are you ready to have your gut busted and your mind blown? Let's go.
Slow-cooked until meltingly tender, pork shoulder is braised in fragrant mix of sautéed fennel and onions, crushed tomatoes, Mediterranean herbs, and white wine. Once your slow cooker has 10 hours to work its magic, the pulled meat tops pasta, and the sauce is spooned on top. Add final shower of Parmesan, and you're golden.