500BestSquareFettuccine Alfredo/Pasta Asciutta @ Impastato’s

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The finest example of fettuccine Alfredo I ever tasted (and I’ve had it at Alfredo’s in Rome, where the dish was created) came from Moran’s Riverside in the French Market (later Bella Luna). Jimmy Moran made his own paper-thin pasta in house. He prepared the sauce and tossed it with the pasta and parmesan cheese right at the table. The sauce was rich but light at the same time, barely but completely coating the noodles.

Joe and Sal Impastato worked for Moran before they opened their own restaurants in the late 1970s. They each brought Moran’s fettuccine routine with them, along with its red-sauce equivalent, pasta asciutta. (“Asciutta” means “dry,” implying that the pasta is tossed with the sauce, but not afloat in it.) Joe Impastato makes the pasta for both restaurants at his place in Metairie, with the same thinness that increases the flavor release. It makes for a dish that seems far too delicious for its simplicity. It’s a must order at both Impastato’s and Sal & Judy’s, who continue the tradition started at the now-extinct Moran’s.

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Impastato’s. Metairie: 3400 16th Street. 504-455-1545. Sal & Judy’s. Lacombe: 27491 Highway 190 , 985-882-9443.
Impastato Cellars. Madisonville: 240 Highway 22 E. 985-845-4445.

This is among the 500 best dishes in New Orleans area restaurants. Click here for a list of the other 499.

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