The Italian film director Federico Fellini once said that life is ‘a combination of magic and pasta’. Pasta is certainly embedded in Italian life and culture, and in Milan restaurants know how to create pitch-perfect dishes using this ingredient. Pasta is an everyday staple in Italy: it can be found in many wonderfully simple recipes which require very few accompaniments while also being the basis for numerous complex dishes.
Typically, pasta is freshly made using just flour and eggs, and then dried naturally or machine-dried. Pasta began as a type of noodle, which is more commonly recognised today as spaghetti, and has since developed into a variety of shapes and textures. Milan’s restaurants have an exciting selection, whether you order a fresh seafood tagliatelle or a perfectly flavoured ravioli dish.
Ristorante Da Giulia
Best known for its Mediterranean flavours, Ristorante Da Giulia makes all its pasta in-house. Presentation is key for head chef Giulia Grande, with each dish looking as enticing as its taste. Choose from either the menu of the day, the tasting menu or the à la carte selection. Typical dishes include orecchiette pasta with cubed tomatoes, rocket and stracciatella cheese or with asparagus, bream and cherry tomatoes. Don’t forget to order a drink from the exclusively Italian wine list and if the weather is warm, dine al fresco in the restaurant’s garden.
Ristorante Da Giulia, Piazza Antonio Gramsci 3, 20149 Milan, +39 02 3651 2177
Fashionable hotspot Ceresio 7 is curated by Dan and Dean Caten, the founders of Dsquared2. As well as its cool and elegant atmosphere, the restaurant provides stunning views of Milan’s skyline. Close attention is paid to atmospheric details, with plants filling the balcony area while the interior has sleek wooden features to create a contemporary dining experience. The pasta dishes are fittingly sophisticated: favourites include lobster linguine with sautéed courgettes, veal tartare ravioli with fresh lime, and a filling gnocchi with green peas, horseradish and toma cheese. Ceresio 7’s drinks are equally inspirational – choose from the extensive wine list and cocktail menu.
Ceresio 7, Via Ceresio 7, 20154 Milan, +39 02 3103 9221
Un Posto a Milano
Although located in the centre of the city, this spacious and traditional kitchen and bar offers a glimpse of rural Italy with its farmstead aesthetic. In this renovated building high-quality food is produced using locally grown ingredients, some of which are organic and can be traced back to their origin. The menu at Un Posto a Milano depends on the fresh produce available at the time and everything is made by hand. Typical dishes include rigatoni with sun-dried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. There is always a filled pasta of the day using seasonal vegetables to try.
Un Posto a Milano, Via Privata Cuccagna 2, 20135 Milan, +39 02 545 7785
This Michelin-starred eatery provides visitors with traditional Mediterranean flavours with an innovative touch. The women behind Alice Ristorante – chef Viviana Varese and maître d' and sommelier Sandra Ciciriello – aim to serve creative dishes using the finest produce. Choose from the menu or ask the maître d' about the dish of the day. The pasta dishes are kept simple and include spaghetti with tomato sauce and basil, and a creamy tagliatelle with asparagus and parmesan, and the meat and fish dishes are just as popular. Finish your meal with a homemade sorbet or ice cream.
Alice Ristorante, Piazza XXV Aprile 10, 20121 Milan, +39 02 4949 7340
Il Ristorante Trussardi alla Scala
For a fine-dining experience, visit Il Ristorante Trussardi alla Scala. To experience a wide range of the restaurant’s dishes, which make good use of high-quality ingredients in innovative combinations, chose the five-course tasting menu which comprises a starter, a pasta dish, two main courses and dessert of your choice. Highlights include the fish soup with roasted and smoked gnocchi, octopus and nasturtium leaves. The ravioli stuffed with parmesan cheese, asparagus and pork, topped with a quail’s egg, is also delicious.
Il Ristorante Trussardi alla Scala, Piazza della Scala 5, 20121 Milan, +39 02 8068 8201