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Do we need National Pasta Day on October 17 to inspire us to find a great bowl of pasta? Probably not. But it's as good an excuse as any to discover the incredible Italian restaurants that New York has to offer -- especially as the temperatures start to fall and a huge plate of rigatoni sounds ever-more enticing. Here are some of the best spots in New York to enjoy pasta. 

Marea: A stunning restaurant known both for seafood and pasta, there's no reason to choose at Marea. After a beautiful plate of raw crudo, opt for one of the many housemade pastas or risottos, like the squid ink lobster ravioli with coral bottarga, or fusilli with red wine-braised octopus and bone marrow. The Spaccatelli -- with jumbo lump crab, tomato, sea urchin, and basil -- is famous in New York food circles, and for very good reason. 

Osteria Morini: Whereas Marea is dressed up, Morini is buttoned down -- and none the worse for it. One of the most likable, reliable restaurants in New York, Morini is a place to indulge: dive into the gnocchi with a short rib ragu, the garganelli with peas, truffle butter, and prosciutto, or the fusilli with Neopolitan pork shoulder ragù and Robiolina cheese

Roberta's Pizza: This classic Brooklyn venue is best known for its pizza, and that's how it should be. But once in awhile, it's worth forgoing the pizza once in awhile for a perfect cacio e pepe or ribbon-shaped malfadine with a sultry oxtail ragu. 

Massoni: Dale Talde isn't a traditionalist -- every cuisine that he works with, he brings his own brilliant interpretation to. Whether you opt for the bucatini with bacon, pomodoro, and chili; the campanelle with Thai basil pesto and stracciatella; or the lobster alla vodka over pappardelle, there's no wrong choice here. 

Charlie Bird: If you like high-energy downtown restaurants with a modern soundtrack and a killer wine list, Charlie Bird is for you. But weren't we discussing pasta? The gnocchi rosa, with a ricotta, basil and tomato fonduta, and the tagliatelle with farm lamb bolognese are both off the charts. 

[Photo: Massoni]

Topics: italian, restaurants, new york

Written by Carey Jones

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