Since October is National Pasta Month and today (October 17) is National Pasta Day, there’s never been a better excuse to order a fresh bowl of pasta at Austin eateries old and new. See five of our favorites below.
This North Austin favorite serves classic Italian cuisine that’s chock full of local and seasonal ingredients. Diners rave about their fresh-baked herb bread, but the real draw here is housemade pasta, like the ravioli ai funghi, a mushroom-and-ricotta-filled ravioli in a saffron white wine sauce with green peas, and the gnocchi alla piemontese, which is served in a meaty tomato-cream sauce and topped with shaved Parmesan. 2521 Rutland Dr., 512-719-3377
Any restaurant that uses guanciale in their pasta is worth trying, and Asti fits the bill with both their rigatoni amatriciana, a dish featuring crushed tomato, Niman Ranch guanciale, chili flakes, and Pecorino, and their spaghetti carbonara. The intimate dining room will make you feel like you’re stepping into a warm, welcoming Italian bistro. 408C E. 43rd St., 512-451-1218
No list of Austin pasta restaurants would be complete without Mandola’s, the casual yet classy Italian grocery and restaurant run by Damian and Trina Mandola. Try the tortellini moda mia, stuffed with chicken, pork, mortadella, prosciutto, ricotta, and Parmigiano, and tossed in a cream sauce with mushrooms and peas. Then linger on your way out to peruse the jars and cans of imported Italian grocery items, the fresh-baked bread, the antipasti to go, and of course, the gelato bar. 4700 W. Guadalupe St., #12, 512-419-9700
This modern Italian bistro serves delectable homemade pastas, such as orecchiette with a braised leg of lamb in red wine, herbs, and grana padano, and papparedelle with sweet Italian sausage, fresh tomato ragu, and basil. If you’re not feeling too hungry, take advantage of Cedro’s recent partnership with the Halfsies program. Patrons order a half-sized portion of their meal for full price, with the restaurant donating half of your payment to nonprofits working for food security and sustainability, such as Austin’s Sustainable Food Center. 14028 U.S. 183 #210, 512-243-6555
A South Congress favorite since 1998, Vespaio focuses on handmade dishes with local ingredients—the chefs even do their own butchering, make stock from scratch, and produce their cheese in-house. And of course, there’s the pasta. We love the butternut squash and amaretti-filled half moon pasta topped with pecorino, sage brown butter, and walnuts. And the spaghettini alla carbonara, with its crisp pancetta, scallions, Pecorino-Romano, Parmesan Frico, and a poached egg on top, is the real deal. 1610 S. Congress Ave., 512-441-6100