Best Restaurants with Handmade Pasta in Washington, D.C.

March 5, 2014 8:00 AM

Dried pasta is great for making pasta dishes at home, but when you go out for dinner, try to go to an Italian restaurant that serves handmade pasta. The difference is remarkable. Fresh, handmade pasta noodles are lighter, softer and better able to absorb the delicious sauces they are drenched in. Make a reservation at one of the following restaurants to try some of the best handmade pasta in D.C.

Red Hen
1822 1st St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 525-3021

While all of the dishes are great, pasta is the highlight of the menu at this cozy Bloomingdale restaurant. Saffron-infused fettuccine is one of the best choices, as is the ricotta cavatelli. Cavatelli are small dumplings shaped like little shells, which some say resemble little hot dog buns. The cavatelli dish is spicy and also rich, with chilies, beans, spinach and mascarpone cheese that is soaked up by the lovely pasta. Another great choice is the spaghetti, which is swirled in a creamy black pepper and cheese sauce. Too many choices? Don’t worry, no matter which pasta you order, you can’t go wrong at the Red Hen.

Alba Osteria
425 I St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 733-4454

This new venue, opened by restaurateur Hakan Ilhan and headed by the famed Executive Chef Roberto Donna and Chef de Cuisine Amy Brandwein, specializes in homemade pasta. Try its trofie pasta, which is a twisted, small pasta that is light and fluffy. The lasagna is also soft and luxurious, enhanced by the silky béchamel sauce covering it. All of the pastas are available in half portions so you can sample more than one.

Related: Best Italian Food In DC

Casa Luca
1099 New York Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 628-1099

Sister restaurant to Fiola, one of D.C.’s best Italian restaurant, Casa Luca is Chef Fabio Trabocchi’s second venture in D.C. Based on the restaurant’s perfect handmade pastas, it is bound to be as popular as Fiola. The pasta menu has several options, each one better than the last. Try the fusilli, which is pasta that resembles a corkscrew. Topped with decadent cheeses, basil and peppercorns, it is heavenly. Bucatini, which is a spaghetti with a hole in the center, is also delicious, as is the perfectly made ravioli.

Al Tiramisu
2014 P St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 467-4466

Sinfully good is the only way to describe the pasta dishes at Al Tiramisu. Pappardelle, which are large, flat noodles, are elegant and just the right size. The wonderful mushroom ragu that the pappardelle is doused in makes the noodles even more sublime. Handmade ravioli, delicately filled with cheese and Swiss chard, is equally as satisfying. Linguine with clams is another popular option.

2029 P St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 872-1180

The menu at this D.C. gem changes on a daily basis, but as an Italian restaurant, it always has pasta as one of the courses and the options are always perfection. Past choices have included different handmade raviolis such as beet ravioli, watercress ravioli, zucchini ravioli and even poached egg ravioli, spaghetti served “alla chitarra” which means the noodles are cut in a square, rather than round shape, and tagliatelle, perfectly light pasta ribbons tossed with different vegetables.

Related: Best Places For Spaghetti In Washington DC

Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at