For the Love of Pasta
October is National Pasta Month, which gives us a full four weeks to overindulge in that versatile comfort food favorite. And there are so many delicious ways to celebrate: make your favorite homecooked dish for friends and family, try a new, unexpected recipe (chocolate chip stuffed shells, anyone?), or brush up on your trivia, like: did you know the United States produces 44 billion pounds of pasta each year?
Perhaps the most relaxing plan is to treat yourself to dinner at one of the area’s incomparable Italian restaurants. Since there are so many incredible eating establishments in Oneida County, we’ve narrowed it down to a handful that prepare their pasta from scratch.
Known for their friendly, attentive wait staff and family-oriented environment, Bella Cucina has been a standout in the community for two decades. Customers especially love their homemade hats and cavatelli, both made in-house and covered in the restaurant’s signature marinara sauce. Their menu is loaded with Italian specialties that aim to please neighborhood regulars and new customers alike. Come to Bella Cucina and you’ll feel like it’s Sunday with the family.
4479 Commercial Drive, New Hartford, NY 13413
Before your food is even set in front of you, you’ll love Carmella’s eclectic, casual décor and friendly servers. A longtime New Hartford staple, they’ve been serving up a menu of homemade Italian specialties since 1985. Try their pasta made from scratch a dozen different ways, including their famous chicken riggies. They also serve unique combo platters, so you don’t have to settle on only one dish—their California Combo with chicken, spaghetti, and steak is a crowd pleaser, as is the Pasta, Steak, & Pasta dish. Whether you’re famished after spending a day at the mall, or just want a relaxing evening out, Carmella’s always hits the spot.
8530 Seneca Turnpike, New Hartford, NY 13413
Don’t feel like cooking? Maria’s Pasta Shop has you covered. Their secret family recipes are used to create almost any pasta variety you could ask for—from scratch—including manicotti, fettuccini, and gnocchi. They also make whole wheat pasta and raviolis with a slew of different fillings. Homemade sauces are also available by the quart or pint for a complete meal. Better yet, just order one of their dinners to go for the most mouthwatering take-out around. Call ahead and they’ll have it waiting for you.
2520 Oneida St, Utica, NY 13501
Ventura’s has been preparing dishes based on old world recipes since 1943, passing them down for three generations now. Their family-focused atmosphere starts in the kitchen with head chef Rufus Ventura III, grandson of the original founders. Ventura’s high-quality standards mean their pasta is prepared from start to finish in-house. Expect comfort food staples like vodka riggies, fettuccini alfredo, and cannelloni smothered in marinara sauce, all created from the freshest ingredients.
787 Lansing Street, Utica, NY 13501