Kitchn Love Letters

I Used to Work at This 100-Year-Old Pasta Shop and It’s the Only Place I’ll Buy the Fresh Stuff From

published Apr 4, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Pasta al Limone in skillet.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

I’ve worked at an iconic pasta shop and line-cooked at an eatery known for their house-made pasta, but believe it or not, I’ve only once made pasta from scratch myself — and it was a complete fail, even with the support of a pricey KitchenAid and the proper attachments. Luckily, I can just hop over to my favorite family-owned NYC pasta shop, Raffetto’s Fresh Pasta, when I am craving deliciously fresh pasta. And now you can too because they ship nationwide through Goldbelly!

The special thing about Raffetto’s pasta is not only that it’s made fresh daily, but that they have infused flavors. (Yes, you read that right!) The pasta possibilities are truly endless with their Choose Your Own Pasta Variety Pack. We’re talking lemon linguine, rosemary pappardelle, black pepper fettuccine, and so much more.

I was lucky enough to work at Raffetto’s, a Greenwich Village staple since 1906 that supplies local restaurants and home cooks with the best (and best-priced, might I add) freshly made pasta. I’d help customers shop their favorite Italian specialties, and I’d even hand cut the papardelle. Needless to say, I’ve tried all seven flavors offered in this $25 variety pack. Keep reading for the rundown on my four faves before you select your Choose Your Own Pasta options.

Lemon Fettuccine: Ever had pasta al limone? It’s one of my favorite springtime pasta dishes. If you can’t get enough of the bright touch that the lemon brings to a butter and parmesan sauce, I recommend kicking it up a notch with the lemon fettuccine from Raffetto’s.

Lemon Red Pepper Linguine: If shrimp scampi over linguine is on the menu where I’m eating, I’m ordering it. But better than any restaurant’s version is the one I make at home using the lemon red pepper linguine from Raffetto’s. Scampi is typically sautéed shrimp in a sauce made from white wine, lemons, and red chili flakes, and this infused pasta matches that flavor, bringing a slight kick mellowed out by sweet lemon.

Rosemary Pappardelle: I’m a big proponent of wide noodles for meat sauces; texturally it’s a match made in heaven. Thus, when Sarah Raffetto, fourth-generation owner and manager of the shop, recommended I pair my bolognese with rosemary pappardelle, I was in love at first bite. Pappardelle is a 1″ noodle, and the infused rosemary complements the Italian meat sauce. Try this one with butter or marinara alongside a roast chicken or with Pasta alla Norma, an eggplant-based sauce, for a vegetarian spin.

Spinach Fettuccine: Compared to the other flavors, the spinach-flavored dough is very mild. It’s similar to plain pasta in that you can really take it in any direction you’d like to go, but I recommend leaning into a green spring theme. Make pesto and toss it with seasonal vegetables like zucchini, snap peas, and asparagus.

When you receive your variety pack, choose the one you’re going to enjoy first and store the rest in the freezer until you’re ready for your next pasta night. There’s no need to thaw or defrost, just drop the frozen noodles in salted boiling water, and cook until al dente or to your toothsome liking.

I grew up eating boxed pasta, but after being introduced to the fresh stuff, it’s hard to go back. I’ve fed Raffetto’s to friends and family many, many times, and everyone (even born-and-bred Italians) always raves something to the tune of, “It’s the best pasta I’ve ever had.” The variety pack also makes a perfect gift — who wouldn’t be excited to receive fresh pasta, right?

All in all, Raffetto’s is truly an Italian food powerhouse. You can tack on an order of ravioli (there are eight types to can choose from) by the box or in a 5-pack. They also offer a variety of house-made sauces that can be shipped along with your pasta. (I’m dreaming of pappardelle swimming in Raffetto’s mushroom pesto, how about you?) If you have trouble deciding what to order, take my advice and start with one of my picks above, or choose the one that most appeals to your taste buds. Buon Appetito!