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Eating with Emma

3 great restaurants serving delectable pasta around Sarasota

Napulé restaurant's crema di pistacchio e speck ($25.95).
Napulé restaurant's crema di pistacchio e speck ($25.95).
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Did you know that March is National Noodle Month? The one thing that will always, without fail, pick me up when I'm feeling down is noods.

I love lasagna, I'm fond of farfalle, I have a passion for penne, I cherish cavatappi, I'm mesmerized by macaroni, I fancy fusilli, I respect rotini, and I think orzo is o-mazing!

Pasta is perfect in every shape and size. The pasta-bilities are endless when it comes to plating this meal preference.

In a place with a plethora of pasta-serving places, it's im-pasta-ble to narrow down the list of restaurants who dish it out better than the rest. I'm going to do my best, but don't get upsetti if I leave off the place with your favorite spaghetti. (I have a word limit here, peeps.)

Let's pasta la vista, baby.


7129 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; 941-556-9639; and new location to come in St. Armands Circle

Let's Get Saucy: I believe that the sauce in this first dish, if you are a fan of pistachio and speck (cured, lightly smoked ham), very well may be the tastiest treat your tastebuds, tongue and tummy have ever tried. You will be forever pleased ordering the pappardelle con crema di pistacchio e speck ($25.95) made with homemade wide, wonderful and wow-factor fettuccine with crisp speck. This cream sauce will rock your world and make you wonder how you ever lived without this pairing of pasta and pistachio.

Napulé's Mezze maniche allo scoglio ($25.95).
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Endless Pasta-bilities: Regardless if you take my advice on the previous dish, you'll leave a happy patron. Everything I have ever bitten into at Napulé has made me fall in love with food all over again. However, might I suggest the Mezze maniche allo scoglio ($25.95)? My dad would have never let me write again if I didn't put this spectacular seafood serving in here. Rigatoni pasta with calamari, mussels, clams, scallops and shrimp in a light tomato sauce make for a divine dish from the sea.

Cassariano Italian Eatery

8209 Nature's Way, Lakewood Ranch; 941-355-8615 or 313 W. Venice Ave., Venice; 941-786-1000;

I hope you gnocchi that Cassariano's gnocchi is the best.
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Let's Get Saucy: Did someone say roasted creamy garlic sauce? Tagliatelle alla Rustica ($25) made with — you guessed it — tagliatelle— is truly terrific. It's homemade pasta plated with chicken, broccoli and a garlic cream sauce I could easily sip up with a straw. Cassariano is an expression of passion and culinary art in the form of, as their Facebook page says, “contemporary Italian cuisine." I will never hesitate in ordering this out-of-this-world saucy dish. The portions are plentiful and the sauce is scrumptious. Pair it with an appealing adult beverage to ensure a full foodie moment of magic.

Endless Pasta-bilities: By now you all gnocchi how much I love a good food pun. But after you read this, I hope you will know the best eatery in town for gnocchi is Cassariano's. The gnocchi Sorrento ($25) sends you to southern Italy the second you smell the vibrant aromas as the waiter carries your plate to the table. Uncomplicated, effortless and straightforward ingredients of gnocchi, tomatoes, incredible fresh mozzarella and bits of basil come together and remind me of why I love writing about food. The moment you taste the flavors and look around the table at who you are enjoying this meal with, memories are made. They should never be taken for granted.


1970 Main St., Sarasota; 941-365-4122;

Mediterraneo makes a mean spaghetti alla carbonara ($16.95).
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Let's Get Saucy: Set your sights on the spaghetti alla carbonara ($16.95) stacked with phenomenally delicious pancetta, egg yolk, packed-with-flavor percorino cheese and topped with just the right amount of black pepper. I've never been to Italy, but I feel like I flew first-class to a part of Northern Italy that I won't even try to spell or describe. The team at this marvelous Main Street cucina has continued to portray perfection since 1996. I will chase their carbonara until the end of time. In fact, a dear family friend frequents Mediterraneo each Wednesday due to their reliability, genuine Italian hospitality and really great food.

Always get the ravioli special at Mediterraneo.
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Endless Pasta-bilities: I hate adding something to my must-try list that isn't a major feature on the menu in the restaurant or online. I never want to let you foodies down. However, in this case, I have to recommend that you get the special ravioli if there is one! I don't know how much louder I could write and scream this recommendation. The ravioli that I have digested in this dining hall have forever changed my pasta perspective. One time at my uncle's birthday 70th party, I scarfed down a delicious butternut squash and sage butter rendition that really rocked my socks. Another time I picked the pecorino cheese and sausage ravioli. I still dream about these thin and tasty pillows of deliciousness.



Emma Burke Jolly

Emma Burke Jolly has worked at Observer Media Group since 2018 as the digital fulfillment specialist. Originally from Connecticut, this Gulf Coast transplant loves being by the water, reminiscing about what Longboat Key looked like in 1990, navigating life with her husband and their two Maine Coon cats, and sharing her foodie findings with you.

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