It's in my blood that I love pasta. To me, pasta is one of the most satisfying dishes that I can have. I cook it a lot and I eat it a lot in restaurants. I had plenty of outstanding pasta in restaurants this year, traditional and creative. The three most memorable and most sensationally delicious pasta dishes I had in 2010 were:
- Trofie, Squab & White Truffle - Roberta's - Brooklyn, N.Y. Pure decadence. Forget the freshly shaved white truffles for just a moment. This dish would have been killer without them. Carlo Mirarchi takes squab that he ages himself and minces the meat and the organs using the whole squab and then makes a Bolognese type sauce, which he uses to flavor immaculately cooked, perfectly al dente trofie to create an umami rich, textural tour de force of pasta. Now add an intoxicating, freshly shaved snow of white Alba truffle and the transport to heaven is complete. (No post yet).
- Roasted Potato and Parmesan Gnocchi with Iberico Bellota Ham, Morel Mushrooms, Fava Beans and Local Scallions - Stella! - New Orleans, LA. More decadence. Perfect, light and fluffy gnocchi, some of the finest ham in the world, fresh favas, Parmiggiano and incredible morels all executed without a flaw by Scott Boswell and his crack kitchen team - this dish simply rocked.(see here for the whole dinner)
- Baby Goat Agnolotti, sweet carrot and spicy paprika - Brooks Headley (Del Posto) - Pastry Chefs at Aldea Dinner - NY, NY. If the pastry chef at Del Posto is making pasta this wonderful, what must the Chef Mark Ladner be doing? I must find out! (see here for the whole dinner)
- Whole Wheat Pici, Shaved Matsutakes, Toasted Hazelnut & Rosemary - The Oval Room - Washington, D.C. Tony Conte's perfectly cooked and seasoned pasta supported the terrific, savory sweetness of the shaved mushrooms leaving the rosemary and hazelnut to play accent notes. (see here for the whole dinner)
- Miso & Yuzu Kosho Casarecce with Crab - Alex Talbot & Aki Kamozawa (Ideas in Food) - The Alchemy of Taste and Smell Dinner at The Astor Center - N.Y., N.Y. Served with chopsticks that had been twice sprayed with a scent of coffee, black pepper and nutmeg, the combination of the perfectly ala-minute-cooked, bright tasting pasta, the lusciously rich crab and the pepper-rich scent made for an impeccably balanced, deeply delicious and soulfully satisfying dish. (see here for the whole dinner)