By Annika Tomlin
Carb lovers unite, October is National Pasta Month. Pasta comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavors. From linguine and ravioli to tortellini and bow tie, the pasta choices are endless. Here are 11 places around the Valley to dine at during the month.
11. Humble Bistro
This neighborhood wine bistro serves anything but humble options. Fresh pasta creations available include pasta rosa and meatballs, Cajun chicken alfredo and cremini sachetti, a fresh handmade stuffed pasta with roasted cremini mushrooms and cheese in brown butter, truffle and garlic confit sauce topped with imported ricotta, lemon zest, chili flakes and basil oil.
Oregano’s prides itself on its huge portions and family atmosphere, making its restaurants one of the best places to celebrate National Pasta Month. Fan favorites include the Big Rig Pasta, a huge bowl of rigatoni pasta with a tasty tomato chipotle cream sauce, chopped basil, diced tomatoes, Parmesan and a spicy finish. The Lady is a Scampi has nearly a half-pound of big, tail-on shrimp mixed with spiral pasta, diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and imported Parmesan cheese swimming in a chipotle garlic sauce.
9. Streets of New York
Streets of New York has 15 Valley locations serving seven specialty pastas. Try out the Toscana pasta made with garlic chicken, artichoke hearts, spinach, onion, roasted garlic pecorino, pesto cream sauce and chopped Roma garnish on a choice of pasta. Or have Lorrie’s Lasagna; created and named after the CEO and founder, the lasagna is made with layers of delicious Italian components including ricotta cheese, Italian sausage and ground beef, mozzarella and pecorino cheese.
8. Pomodoro Italian Grill & Seafood
Pomodoro Italian Grill & Seafood is more than a fancy Italian restaurant with the owners’ passionate desire to share their deep-rooted Italian heritage and authentic Italian hospitality. Among the 13 homemade pasta creations are gnocchi sorrentina, ravioli short rib and mandilli di seta, chef’s signature thin pasta sheets, almond pesto, almonds and shrimp.
6710 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, pomodorousa.com, $26-$50
7. Crust Simply Italian
With over 10 pasta dishes on the main menu, there is something for everyone. Looking for a classic dish? Go for Grandma’s Pasta, served with meatballs, sausage, ricotta and marinara. Add some spice to your life with the spicy rigatoni sausage served in a marinara and cream sauce with broccolini; the heat comes from the calabrese chilis and the spicy sausage.
10 N. San Marcos Plaza, Chandler; 8300 N. Hayden Road, Suite F100, Scottsdale, crustrestaurants.com, $11-$23
6. Red, White, and Brew
Created in 2002, Red, White, & Brew is named such because each entrée can be enjoyed with its selection of red wine, white wine or beer. Within the pasta selections are Romano-crusted chicken over fettuccine pasta, pesto chicken over cheese tortellini, or bourbon-glazed pecan crusted fresh salmon plated with pumpkin mascarpone ravioli and spinach in a creole mustard sauce.
6740 E. McDowell Road, Suite 102, Mesa, rwbaz.com, $14-$35
This upscale Italian restaurant located in Phoenix features a wide variety of fresh, handcrafted pasta dishes. Guests can dine in the elegant atmosphere of Tomaso’s while trying dishes like the stuffed gnocchi made with silky handcrafted gnocchi, covered in a brown butter sage sauce and topped with basil and shredded Parmesan cheese. Other popular pasta dishes include the linguini with clams sauce, with little neck clams, roasted garlic, white wine and parsley, and spaghetti al amalfitana with jumbo shrimp, scallops, Calabrian chili, San Marzano tomatoes and house-made spaghetti in a saffron broth.
3225 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, tomasos.com, $24-$42
4. Campo Italian Bistro & Bar
A modern Italian tavern offering “field-to-farm” cooking, Campo Italian Bistro & Bar offers fresh pasta with a bevy of craft beers, wines and cocktails. The pasta listings include spaghetti cacio e pepe, fettuccine primavera, rigatoni and braised short ribs, and mafaldini pescatore made with squid ink pasta, mussels, clams, shrimp and spicy tomato broth.
8260 N. Hayden Road, Suite A102, Scottsdale, campoitalian.com, $19-$34
3. Picazzo’s Healthy Italian
Picazzo’s is an Arizona-based, family-owned and -operated, health-centric restaurant with locations in Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert, Paradise Valley and Arrowhead. It offers gluten-free pasta dishes including classic mac and cheese, linguine and meatballs and Beyond sausage mushroom and pesto made with brown rice penne, pesto sauce, fresh garlic, spinach, Beyond sausage, herbed mushrooms, fresh basil and diced tomatoes. Picazzo’s also offers a vegan pasta menu that includes vegan spicy chipotle chick’n and vegan picatta pasta.
2. Buca di Beppo
For all of October, Buca di Beppo is celebrating National Pasta Month with three specials: roasted mushroom ravioli in a creamy alfredo sauce with garlic mushrooms; smokey bacon and sausage shells made with hearty spicy Italian sausage, roasted cherry tomatoes and Parmesan, and campanelle rustica created with hearty sausage, fingerling potato and fresh broccoli rabe in a creamy sauce.
1. Brio Italian Grille
Brio Italian Grille is celebrating Pasta Month with two savory pasta dishes plus a truffle garlic bread appetizer. Campanelle carbonara is made with creamy egg sauce, fennel and sausage topped with crispy pancetta, while frutti di mare is made with a homemade arrabiata sauce, spaghetti, roasted grape tomato, shrimp, scallops and mussels.
2150 E. Williams Field Road, Suite 118, Gilbert, brioitalian.com, $24.99-$29.99