Cold weather can cause carb cravings, and pasta is a sure-fire cure. But here in Edina, we like our pasta any time of year. Good choices abound.
Go with something you know and love, or break new ground. Pick from bow ties, spaghetti, tagliarini, penne, fettuccini, lasagna or gemelli spirals. Served hot or cold, plain or fancy, pasta is sure to please.
Tagliarini di Locanda del Lupo
Pasta goes by the number at Broders’ Pasta Bar. Enter the famed No. 18, tagliarini di Locanda del Lupo, a housemade pasta with prosciutto rossa, truffle pesto and cream. The recipe hails from the atmospheric Locanda del Lupo restaurant and inn of Soragna, Italy, nestled in cypress-lined hills and renowned for gourmet food. “It’s just the right amount of earthy, fruity truffle flavor without overdoing it,” says owner Molly Broder. The tagliarini, a long noodle with a thinner and narrower cut than fettuccini, swirls through the meat and sauce. Crunchy sheets of baked Parmesan add a salty finale. Broder’s captures the enchantment of Italy in the tagliarini di Locanda del Lupo. “I’m telling you, when you eat the pasta, you think you are in Italy. I’m transported,” says Broder. $16.50. 5000 Penn Ave. S.; 612.925.9202.
Cold Pasta Salads
The selection of deli salads at Byerly’s is something to behold. Features change daily, but a few favorites stand out. The cherry chicken pasta ranks as a top-seller. Big chunks of all-white chicken meat, dried chewy Bing cherries, crunchy fresh celery and sweet poppy-seed dressing go over gemelli spiral pasta. “We don’t skimp on the ingredients. You can see them,” says one of Byerly’s Edina FoodE Experts, Emily Deutsch. On the warmer side, the chipotle pinto pasta has the Southwest flavor of poblano peppers. “This one has a little bit of a kick,” says Deutsch. Pinto beans, black beans and corn make a marvelous meatless option. Asian flavors enliven the Thai peanut pasta, brimming with long noodles, carrots, chicken and peanuts. The milder chicken bow tie pasta comes dressed in a red wine vinaigrette that pairs well with other dishes. Fresh green spinach and bright red tomatoes give the salad a festive look. Cherry chicken pasta $8.49/pound, chipotle pinto pasta $6.99/pound, Thai peanut pasta $8.49/pound, chicken bow tie pasta $7.99/pound; all prices are subject to change. 7171 France Ave. S.; 952.831.3601.
Go beyond the ordinary and fire up your taste buds with Crave’s lamb meatballs. Nestled like fragile eggs atop a bed of fresh black-pepper fettuccini, the lamb meatballs look as impressive as they taste. A spark of heat flickers from the lamb chorizo and poblano cream sauce. Fire-roasted red peppers and white goat cheese crumbles pop with color. A spicy blend of garlic, cumin, toasted fennel seed and chili permeates the dish. The aromatic spices have a pep that will infuse a little Latin-inspired flavor into a January chill. Executive chef Evan Freeberg calls the lamb meatballs “my personal favorite.” $14.95 for lunch; $23.95 for dinner. 3520 W. 70th St.; 952.697.6000.
The chicken penne at D’Amico and Sons is a hit with pasta lovers.
The chicken penne here has delighted diners. since the mid-1990s. “It’s been around for a long time. We took it off the menu and people were ordering it anyway,” says Jim Weides, executive chef. The chicken penne made a comeback. In addition to a creamy sauce finished with a balsamic reduction, the perfectly cooked penne pasta has tender pulled chicken, roasted peppers, fresh arugula leaves and tomato. “The balsamic vinegar pulls everything together,” says Weides. While the chicken penne is not a spice-forward dish, a bit of garlic, crushed chili flake and black pepper add Italian-style zing. Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese tops everything off with a dairy-rich crown. Dine in or treat your lucky friends and loved ones to a family-style takeout—“great options to feed a family or any gathering,” says Weides. $13.59 single, add a side Caesar or mixed green salad for 2.59. Gluten-free linguine $2 more. $37.95 family-sized. 3948 W. 50th St.; 952.926.1187.
Penne a la Vodka
Daring and different, the penne a la vodka has warmth without too much spice. A splash of vodka makes the dish, with a hint of sweetness to tickle the tongue and warm the heart. The addition of vodka makes an updated, more adult take on traditional Italian penne pasta, with rosy-red crushed tomato sauce, and a regal and robust allure with a real Italian accent. Complete your Euro-to-go meal with a light green salad and crusty French bread from Jerry’s bakery. $7.99/ pound. 5125 Vernon Ave. S.; 952.929.2685.
Homemade Pappardelle Bolognese
At Mozza Mia, the pasta is made fresh daily in-house. Executive chef Corinne Sherbert–DeCamp takes pride in a meticulous preparation that respects traditional Italian cooking techniques. Savory and flavorful with a touch of a spice, the pappardelle has an all-beef Bologna-style sauce infused with carrots, onions and celery. A touch of heavy cream, red wine and butter make the savory sauce shine. Set off your meal with a glass of Italian red wine such as Canaletto Montepulciano ($10 for 9 oz.) or Ruffino Chianti D.O.C.G. ($12 for 9 oz.). Pasta $12–$31; sizes from individual to family. 3910 W. 50th St.; 952.288.2882.
Two great flavors unite in buffalo chicken mac & cheese at Noodles & Company.
Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
Macaroni and cheese just grew up and got bold. “It just makes sense to blend two great comfort foods together, so we united the flavors of chicken wings and mac and cheese,” says Erin Murphy, senior manager of communications. The ever-popular mac and cheese has a new taste twist with Parmesan chicken, spicy buffalo sauce, creamy blue cheese crumbles and snappy green onions. The pungent mix adorns macaroni with a medley of intense savory flavors. $8.49. 6531 York Ave S.; 612.886.8425.
Pasta takes many tasty forms at Q. Cumbers. Served both hot and cold, it’s a year-round staple. During the winter, rich house-made lasagna is a true crowd-pleaser. Frilly sheets of pasta, creamy red tomato sauce and fresh ricotta cheese alternate showy bands of color, each loaded with flavor. Fresh scallions add garden green freshness and surprise crunch. A crusty melted cheese topping enrobes the dish with an indulgent layer of creaminess. “My personal favorite pasta dish here at Q. Cumber’s is our chicken lasagna, served for a lunch buffet every Tuesday. I love that each bite is different. Sometimes a creamy bite of ricotta, and sometimes a crunch of scallion,” says Karina Carney, manager. Lunch buffet $11.25; $6/pound to-go; $26 for a whole take-and-bake lasagna. 7465 France Ave S.; 952.831.0235.