Rhode Island’s Best Fall Pasta Dishes + Where To Get Them

Thursday, September 26, 2013


One of the only things that can help salvage the "end of summer heartache" is the hearty food that accompanies the cooler temps of fall. As we move away from light and fresh salads and fish we turn our attention to pasta and other belly-warming foods. We set out to find 5 tasty pasta dishes for you to try and came back with these...

Al Forno, Providence...Baked Pasta in the Pink

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If Rhode Island had a state pasta election, we would vote for the baked pasta at Al Forno. For too many years now, a pilgrimage to this Providence icon has included a version of their Pasta in the Pink. Humble shells are tossed with tomato, cream and five cheeses and baked in a shallow dish. The dish and its shallowness is important here: it allows for those almost-burnt, crispy edges. That little bit of texture against the lush, creaminess of the sauce takes this to another level. This time of year, you can also still get the version which features local sweet corn. Even better! 577 South Main St. 273-9760, www.alforno.com

Parkside, Providence: Fettucini with Rotiserie Chicken

When a fire derailed Parkside a couple of years ago, we were worried. This was one of a handful of restaurants in Providence that first dared to be different. A rotisserie in Providence? Fuhgetaboutit. Now, however, when they are moving towards marking 20 years on the culinary scene, they are a welcomed bit of tradition. Funny what time does. We love lunch at the bar with bartender Mike. And we love the fettucini with pulled rotisserie chicken. The sweetness of the caramelized onions, the bitterness of the broccoli, he saltiness of the pancetta. It all comes together with the sweetness of roasted garlic and basil cream. The chicken remains the flavorful star though. It's delish! 76 South Main St. 331-0003, www.parksideprovidence.com

Local 121, Providence: Housemade Squid Ink Cavatelli

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Housed in the gorgeous and historic Dreyfus Hotel space, this restaurant is what supporting the local, sustainable, seasonal food movement is all about. The food is culled with purpose and a conscience, and the resulting dishesnever disappoint. We have opined previously about their sublime BLT, which is near perfection.We recently fell for the squid in cavatelli. Local clams, Jonah crab and Taylor Bay scallops are tossed with the housemade pasta and broccoli rabe. The broth was very flavorful and the whole thing got a kick from the addictive, little, toasty, chili breadcrumbs. The pasta was a real star, too--light and perfectly cooked. 121 Washington St. 274-2121, www.local121.com 

The Canfield House, Newport: Lobster Mac and Cheese

One of Newport's hidden gems is the Canfield House. Located back off of Memorial Boulevard and hidden by the Newport Casino building, people pass this spot by all the time. And it's a shame, because they are serving some very good food. This dish that we picked is an appetizer, but it made quite the impression. Rich and silky, it stayed with us. Champagne and brie are the unexpected ingredients here, and they work incredibly well with the lobster. The dish is served with campanelle pasta and those little trumpet shapes hold a perfect amount of sauce. Top it with chives and lemony breadcrumbs and you have the cure to a cold night. 5 Memorial Blvd. 847-0416, www.canfieldhousenewport.com

Siena, Providence: Tagliatelle alla Bolognese

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Always on top of local "Best Italian" lists, Siena--both "on the Hill" and in East Greenwich--is a little bit of Tuscany here in Rhode Island. Chef Anthony Tarro is one of the best we have doing Italian in Rhode Island and all of his talent--and love--is on display in this simple, perfect rendition of the ubiquitous Bolognese. When something is on almost every menu around, finding the standout version can be tough. That wasn't the case at Siena. Ground sirloin, pancetta and pork are simmered with finely diced vegetables, tomatoes and cream. Most places go with a tube pasta but Tarro chooses ribbons of Tagliatelle. It's a perfect choice. It holds just enough sauce for our tastes. 238 Atwells Ave. 521-3311, www.sienari.com


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