By Jessica Sanchez and Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporters
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – No one knows the origin of National Pasta Day, which falls on October 17th, but carb-lovers are sure to be celebrating this Thursday. Of course some of Miami Beach’s top Italian restaurants are excited to share their favorite pasta dishes as well.
According to the National Pasta Association, there are more than 600 different shapes of pasta produced around the world. Macaroni, penne and spaghetti are the most popular according to HolidaysCalendar.com, who also report that Italians eat 60 pounds of pasta per person per year, while Americans eat about 20 pounds of pasta per person per year.
At the top of the list of Italian restaurants in Miami Beach is Pane & Vino (located at 1450 Washington Ave), which serves almost exclusively fresh-made handmade pasta. From their shopfront window one can watch it being made daily, which is a fun way to get familiar with the range of options available.
Owner of Pane & Vino, Angelo Quaglini, shared, “The most popular cuisine in the world is Italian, and there are many Italian restaurants in Miami Beach. Miami Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations, and many are Europeans who are familiar with Italian food.”
“After a few days of American food, European tourist typically want something comforting like pasta. Other tourist (American, Canadian, South American) visiting Miami Beach also seek out Italian restaurants for pasta.” Quaglini said.
As far as his favorite type of pasta, Quaglini explains, “Choosing a favorite pasta dish is a very hard decision. There many different types of pasta shapes and sizes, along with endless meat, seafood, vegetable based sauces.”
“If I had to absolutely pick one, it would be Bucatini alla Amatriciana. A thick hollow pasta tossed with pork cheeks bits sautéed in tomato sauce and a healthy portion pecorino romano. In this plate of pasta there is all the full flavor of Italy and it is a dish of our history.”
Another great option further up the beach is Jim and Neesie at Generator’s bar and restaurant located at 3120 Collins Ave. There Chef Daniel Roy is serving up four new pasta dishes for National Pasta Day for just $12 per plate.
Guests will be able to indulge in Braised Veal Shank with spaghetti alla chitarra, and truffle pecorino; Caramelle Pasta with spicy fig caramelized onions, and gorgonzola fonduta; Ricotta Ravioli with san marzano tomato sauce, and 24-month parmesan; and Angel Hair Alla Chitarra with squid in tomato wine sauce.
Also ranked high on the review list in Miami Beach is Cafe Prima Pasta, located at 414 71st Street. For more than twenty years, the family owned and operated restaurant has offered a wide range of traditional Italian dishes which blends the flavorful traditions of Italian cooking with the Argentinean heritage.
Some standouts for National Pasta Day are the Black Linguini Sea Food, with squid ink home made linguini and seafood with choice of creamy lobster sauce or fresh tomatoes sauce. Also the Fiocchi home made pasta filled with cheese and pear in a creamy truffle sauce with crispy prosciutto.
As a recent reviewer declared, “My Italian family LOVED our experience at Cafe Prima Pasta. The food was the best and most authentic Italian cuisine we’ve come across in Miami (I’ve been living here for 2.5 yrs). Cruise, our server, was exceptional. He was hospitable, attentive, and gave us superb recommendations. We will be back again. Grazie mille!”