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Buffalo's great housemade pastas

Fresh pasta is a daunting task for restaurants, requiring significant investments. Sometimes it requires expensive equipment, but it always demands cooks skilled in forming its shapes and cooking them in the narrow time window fresh pasta allows.

Here’s to places that make housemade pasta a priority.

1) Ristorante Lombardo, 1198 Hertel Ave., 879-4291

Pasta dish: Tonarelli with oxtail ($22, $12.50)

Tonarelli with oxtail from Ristorante Lombardo on Hertel Avenue. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Tonarelli with oxtail from Ristorante Lombardo on Hertel Avenue. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Housemade pastas anchor the pasta section here, including this tonarelli pasta (also called spaghetti alla chitarra) dressed with shredded braised oxtail, horseradish crema made with housemade labneh (thickened yogurt) with pickled Flat 12 mushrooms and seasoned bread crumbs.

[Read about Ristorante Lombardo in Galarneau's Top 20 restaurants so far]

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2) Craving, 1472 Hertel Ave., 883-1675

Pasta dish: Fettuccine with squash puree and pickled garlic scapes ($23)

Fettuccine with squash, spinach and scapes from Craving on Hertel Avenue. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Fettuccine with squash, spinach and scapes from Craving on Hertel Avenue. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Fettuccine is dressed with a puree of locally grown winter squash, and tarted up with garlic scapes, also grown locally and pickled at Craving. Chef-owner Adam Goetz said this vegetarian dish has pleased many diners with special dietary needs, and can be made vegan.

[Check out Sharon Cantillon's photo gallery of these pasta dishes and their creators]

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3) Linguine’s, 5380 Genesee St., Bowmansville, 683-6542

Pasta dish: Tagliatelle with sea bass ($27.95)

Tagliatelle with sea bass from Linguine's. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Tagliatelle with sea bass from Linguine's. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Housemade tagliatelle, pasta that’s between linguine and fettuccine in size, here serves as a foundation for a chunk of sea bass. The fish is seared and finished, then dressed in a pomodoro sauce of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil, with a thicket of greens at its side.

[Read the dining review for Linguine's]

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4) Trattoria Aroma, 5229 Main St., Amherst, and other locations, 631-2687

Pasta dish: Pappardelle with rabbit ($24)

Tagliatelle with rabbit from Trattoria Aroma. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Pappardelle with rabbit from Trattoria Aroma. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Broad ribbons of housemade pasta are sauced with a ragu of rabbit that’s been braised with root vegetables, wine, mushrooms and pancetta. The tender meat is fired in a saute pan with braising juices, then finished with a bit of goat cheese and fresh rosemary.

[Read the review of Trattoria Aroma on North French]

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5) Osteria 166, 166 Franklin St., 858-3118

Pasta dish: Tomato-eggplant ravioli ($16)

Tomato-eggplant ravioli from Osteria 166 on Franklin Street in downtown Buffalo.  (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Tomato-eggplant ravioli from Osteria 166 on Franklin Street in downtown Buffalo. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

On the menu since Osteria opened in 2013, the pasta is filled with a mixture of roasted eggplant puree with tahini, similar to babaganoush. Then it’s topped with a layer of reconstituted and marinated sun-dried tomatoes, before being cooked and finished with marinara and
caponata.

[Read about Osteria's addition of Villaggio in Ellicottville]

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6) Carmelo’s, 425 Center St., Lewiston, 754-2311

Pasta dish: Spaghetti carbonara ($14)

Spaghetti carbonara from Carmelo's in Lewiston. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Spaghetti carbonara from Carmelo's in Lewiston. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Spaghetti and other extruded pastas like lumache are mainstays at Carmelo’s, which makes carbonara the Italian way, without cream. Housemade pancetta is crisped before being joined in the pan by chicken stock, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, pasta water and an egg to develop the creamy sauce.

[Read the review of a stellar meal at Carmelo's]

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7) Mulberry Ristorante, 64 Jackson St., Lackawanna, 822-4292

Pasta dish: Farfalle with broccoli ($15.49)

Farfalle with broccoli from Mulberry Ristorante in Lackawanna. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Farfalle with broccoli from Mulberry Ristorante in Lackawanna. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

With the simplest dishes, the quality of ingredients like housemade farfalle stand out. Blanched broccoli is sautéed in a simple combination of olive oil and garlic, tossed with a touch of Parmigiano-Reggiano and finished with crispy bread crumbs and ricotta salata cheese.

[Read the dining review from Mulberry]

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8) Rizotto Ristorante, 930 Maple Road, Amherst, 204-4455

Pasta dish: Maccarancini with short rib ragu ($17/$8)

Rizotto's homemade maccarancini with a short rib ragu. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Rizotto's homemade maccarancini with a short rib ragu. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Large ridged tubes similar to ziti or rigatoni, at Rizotto the housemade pasta is sauced a variety of ways. One is with braised beef short ribs, simmered in tomato sauce until tender, and shredded. After cooking, the pasta is sautéed with the sauce to allow it to absorb flavors.

[Check out Andrew Galarneau's previous Gusto centerfold: Breakfast specials in Buffalo]

Email Andrew Galarneau at agalarneau@buffnews.com

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