You need to try these pasta dishes

By: Katie Goncalves | October 18, 2022

Is there anything more comforting than a pasta dish? For me, the answer is no. Pasta has always been my go-to comfort food. Something about noodles in any shape or size just warms you from the inside out, regardless of what types of sauce and cheese are on top. With more frequency than I care to admit, I seek out special pastas from Detroit-area restaurants to see if they can take a place at the top of my list. On more than one occasion I’ve been absolutely blown away by the thoughtfulness and creativity poured into these dishes. These are the cream of the crop, and the ones you absolutely cannot miss. 


Paccheri All’Arrabbiata – SheWolf Pastifico and Bar

SheWolf has made a name for itself in the Italian food scene in Detroit as chef Anthony Lombardo makes all of his dishes from scratch each and every day. The paccheri is a large, homemade, tube pasta that is then coated in a slightly spicy lamb neck ragu sauce with tomatoes, banana peppers, and whipped ricotta cheese. While this one is at the top of my list from SheWolf, you’ll also want to try their Cacio e Pepe, one of the best in the city. 

Rotolo – Forest Grill 

When you read the menu at Forest Grill you’re not entirely sure what you’re going to get. Minimal description is the name of the game for an experience that will knock your socks off. I ordered the Rotolo at my first visit to Forest Grill and I was only given four words: goat cheese, caramelized onions. The arrival of this pasta dish exceeded all expectations I had and was gorgeously plated. The green-hued pasta is rolled and filled with the promised caramelized onions and goat cheese, and placed vertically on the plate. Certainly a feast for both the eyes and the stomach. There’s a reason this pasta is a staple on an ever-rotating menu.

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Mafaldine al Tartufo – Casa Pernoi

This one is specifically for the truffle lovers out there. And no, I don’t mean a dash of truffle, or a little hint of truffle. Casa Pernoi puts shaved discs of truffle over top of the entire plate of homemade pasta. To round out the woodsy flavors, local wild mushrooms accompany the dish in a light sauce. Come for the Mafaldine al Tartufo pasta, and don’t forget about the bread basket. 

Meat or Cheese Ravioli – Luciano’s Italian Restaurant

Touted as “the place Italians go when they want to eat Italian food,” Luciano’s is a fan favorite for all things Italian. The ravioli is simple yet delicious, freshly made in their kitchen each day and paired with their homemade sauce.

Potato Gnocchi – San Morello

You can’t have a top pasta list without choosing a gnocchi. San Morello in the Shinola Hotel creates my favorite in the city by far. The pillowy potato gnocchi is paired with gorgonzola cheese, walnut pesto, radicchio, and saba, which is a condiment used in a similar way as vinegar. It’s everything you want: slightly sweet, bitter, and acidic all in the same bite. 

Lumache – Oak & Reel 

Oak & Reel exploded onto the Detroit food scene since it opened its doors two years ago. Their Lumache pasta is a showstopper for those looking for a seafood extravaganza. The pasta is made with squid ink, giving it a dark black color mostly just for aesthetics. It’s then paired with shrimp, lobster, and herbs for the perfect combination of flavors and textures.

Lasagna with Meat – Livonia Italian Bakery 

What started as a market back in 1991, Livonia Italian Bakery evolved into a destination for delicious homemade Italian food. The lasagna at Livonia Italian Bakery is made fresh every single day. It’s four layers of fresh pasta sheets, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. The awesome part about this is it’s family sized and take and bake, which means you can have it on hand any time you like!