When it comes to pasta, there’s nothing quite like the magic of authentic homemade pasta. I am always in search of a restaurant that delights in serving grandma’s secret sauce recipe, and pasta that is freshly made as a labor of love. The perfect pasta is a perfect combination of texture, flavor, and nostalgia that has you coming back for plate after plate. If you are craving real homemade pasta, the easiest way to find the best pasta in San Diego is to ask locals, check foodie apps, read reviews, and follow your nose. Luckily, I’ve already done all the taste tests for you.
The pappardelle con il ragù d’agnello at Siamo Napoli in North Park is right at the top of my list of favorite pasta dishes in San Diego. And for a very good reason. I’m immensely jealous that I cannot make a dish this well at home, even though I have tried. They slowly braise the lamb all day so that it is soft and tender. Absolutely no knife is required. And when you combine that beautiful ragu with their Cabernet-infused pasta, you have my favorite pasta dish in San Diego.
The pappardelle pasta with bolognese sauce has been one of my favorite items on the menu at Buona Forchetta for so long. I love the Encinitas, South Park and Coronado locations – but truth be told, it’s the San Marcos location that completely changed the way that I enjoy this dish. They recommended that I add fresh burrata on top – now I have to get it that way. It’s that extra bit of cheese on their gorgeous pasta and delicious ground beef bolognese sauce that makes it so yummy.
If you’re dining at RustiCucina, I’m going to suggest that you order the chef’s cheese wheel pasta. And there’s two reasons for that – firstly, the visual presentation of it being prepared tableside is almost as visually delicious as it is to eat – but also because it changes regularly, so it’s worth asking what the special is. It’s always prepared in a 36-month parmesan cheese wheel. It’s the perfect amount of pasta and cheese.
If you said that Piacere Mio has an obsession with freshly made pasta, it would be a very positive statement – so often I have dined here and I’ve seen them making the pasta fresh. And my favorite way to enjoy it, is the pappardelle with the bolognese sauce. It’s a generous portion, even more so with a heavy rain of cheese on top. If you’re dining with someone else, make sure you each get a different pasta and sauce so that you can share and enjoy more than just one of each. (Pro Tip – go to the South Park location – not Del Sur).
After seeing the open kitchen at Al Dente, you’re going to want to order pasta. It’s because you can literally watch them making fresh ravioli. I recommend getting the oxtail ravioli. Or the duck pappardelle which is in a delicious light red wine sauce. They also have gluten free pasta every day.
RoVino Restaurant + Bar
This is an easy one, because I absolutely love the food at Rovino Restaurant + Bar – and while the pasta is fantastic, so is everything else. You are going to want to try their tortellini signature dish, which is stuffed with chicken, and has pesto cream and lots of cheese – but try to save room for the arancini, grilled lamb chops, burrata and rotisserie chicken.
If you go into the kitchen at Sorrento Ristorante, you can see them making gnocchi at a frantic pace – it’s because it’s such a popular item, and it’s always made fresh (just like the lasagna and ravioli). It’s some of my favorite gnocchi in San Diego. They offer a version at lunch, but it’s the Gnocchi Tuscan that is served at dinner that is my favorite. Their delicious homemade gnocchi is served with a short ribs and duck ragu, along with a porcini mushroom sauce: it’s pure perfection on a plate.
Read my post: The Best Guacamole In San Diego