Few items crafted lovingly by Italian nonnas combine a high level of labor with sheer delectability of result quite like homemade pasta. Some will say that the bite of die-cut dry noodles is the best, but for our money, fresh fettuccine, pappardelle, or ravioli, with its skinlike slickness, simply can’t be beat. These restaurants make most or all of their pasta from scratch, practically straight from the extruder to your plate.
1386 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean
This housemade pasta store also serves a full menu of varied victuals. But the spot’s raison d’être is its long list of freshly prepared noodles, each paired with the sauce of the diner’s choice. We like pappardelle with pork sausage and broccoli in a pecorino-cream sauce.
Mia’s Italian Kitchen
100 King St., Alexandria
Confirmed carnivores will be irresistibly drawn to the siren call of four meat products on one plate. That dish is Nonna’s Sunday Gravy. Chewy house rigatoni rests beneath beef braciole, chicken thighs, sausage, and housemade meatballs in long-stewed tomato sauce.
1723 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
Housemade pasta is at the heart of the multipage menu at this molto atmospheric haunt in Rosslyn. There are seven varieties of ravioli alone, including house-smoked mixed seafood and Maine lobster in anise-flavored Pernod sauce.
6361 Walker Ln., Ste. 140, Alexandria
Carmine Marzano and Elena Pouchelon, the father-daughter team behind Osteria Marzano, have one of the largest menus of handmade pasta in NoVA. It ranges from the intensely Italian (think fettuccine Bolognese in a veal-and-pancetta ragù) to orecchiette mac and cheese spiked with sweet maple-glazed bacon.
Robiolina Italian Cuisine
356 Garrisonville Rd., Stafford
Chef Noé Canales crafts his noodles to be every bit as eye-appealing as they are decadent. Case in point? The beet-infused pink Robiolina Ravioli. They’re filled with the creamy, tangy cheese that gives the restaurant its name and then finished in a truffle butter sauce.
1100 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
Can’t decide on just one or two of the ethereally slim noodles at chef Fabio Trabocchi’s only NoVA outpost? Get a pasta tasting. The deal allows you to choose three dishes, including regional specialties from Rome to the Amalfi Coast, all presented with petal-showered fine-dining panache.
The Wine Kitchen
7 S. King St., Leesburg
It’s unusual vino that gets star billing, but we say the other best reason to dine here is the year-round rotating roster of noodles. Recent evidence includes ravioli stuffed with goat cheese or ’nduja and burrata, tagliatelle cacio e pepe, and spaghetti fra diavolo with North Carolina shrimp.