The Ten Best Pasta Dishes in Miami

Angel hair with crab at Proof Pizza & Pasta.
Angel hair with crab at Proof Pizza & Pasta.

Valentine's Day has come and gone, but there's no need to stop celebrating. Nothing says “I love carbs” like Italian food, and nothing says Italian food like a big bowl of pasta. Sorry, pizza: It’s pasta's time to shine.

From authentic creations rooted in deep Italian tradition to more pasta-centric concepts with a dash of Miami style, discover where to get the best pastas outside of Italy.

The Ten Best Pasta Dishes in Miami (2)
Photo by Andrew Meade/Courtesy of MC Kitchen

1. Fiocchi di formaggio e pere at MC Kitchen 
The Design District’s upscale, contemporary Italian gem, MC Kitchen, is known for many things — indulgent seasonal dishes, a killer Black Mission fig pizza, and a drink menu that’s equally enticing — but you’d be hard-pressed to find a pasta as heavenly as chef Dena Marino’s take on fiocchi di formaggio e pere ($19). Imagine pockets of fresh pasta stuffed with roasted pear enveloped in white truffle cream and an epic blend of melted cheeses including robiola, Taleggio, and Grana Padano. Now that you’ve visualized the dish, go try it.

The Ten Best Pasta Dishes in Miami (3)
Courtesy of Il Gabbiano

2. Capellini all’arrabbiata at Il Gabbiano
The pricey but delicious downtown Miami pasta joint Il Gabbiano has perfected its list of offerings, proving you can never go wrong with simple and authentic creations. Cue the capellini all’arrabbiata ($26.75). Meaning “angry” in Italian, “arrabbiata” refers to the spiciness of the red peppers in the sauce — also including fresh garlic, Roma plum tomatoes, and extra-virgin olive oil — which goes beautifully over very thin pasta. The only anger you’ll experience is when the plate is empty.

The Ten Best Pasta Dishes in Miami (4)
Courtesy of Scarpetta

3. Spaghetti at Scarpetta
Sure, there’s nothing like homemade spaghetti, but if you haven’t tried chef Scott Conant’s famous spaghetti ($24) at his Fontainebleau hot spot, Scarpetta, you haven’t lived. Conant takes things back to basics through a classic approach to Italian cuisine that has a modern, refined flair. Grab a fork and twirl as many thick strands of pasta as you can fit into your mouth. Let the slow-cooked sauce — made with fresh tomatoes, basil, a dash of Parmesan, butter, and olive oil — drip from the corners. Yes, it's a messy, extravagant mouthful, but it will be love at first bite.

4. Agnolotti del plin at Macchialina
Miami Beach’s brick-walled trattoria helmed by former Scarpetta executive chef Michael Pirolo serves a bold and versatile menu of Italian eats at an affordable price for locals looking to escape the madness of South Beach. Italian imports such as prosciutto di parma and Taleggio cheese make great starters, and the show-stopping short-rib lasagna and margherita pizza are delightful. But the must-try dish is the agnolotti del plin ($15), containing fresh pillows of egg pasta filled with delicately textured veal, pork, and chicken. Pasta and meat courses in one dish? That just means more room for dessert.

Toscana Divino's tortelli di ricotta: Ricotta cheese and spinach, brown butter, and sage
Toscana Divino's tortelli di ricotta: Ricotta cheese and spinach, brown butter, and sage

5. Tortelli di ricotta at Toscana Divino
What you’ll find at this Mary Brickell Village eatery is mostly pasta, which isn’t a bad thing considering nothing else matters in life. These traditional pasta dishes are done right, diligently crafted and perfected by Italian chef Andrea Marchesin. It’s seen in the crowd-pleasing pomodoro e basilico, made with homemade spaghetti, fresh basil, and fior di latte, and the maccheroni al sugo toscano, a hearty beef ragu with Parmesan and olive oil. However, the simple execution and flawless flavors of the tortelli ricotta e spinaci ($22) — ricotta cheese and spinach tortelli drizzled in sage butter sauce — make this dish the star of Toscana Divino’s artisanal kitchen.

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