At Ornella Trattoria Italiana, a Massive List of Vegetarian Options

Pasta di castagna at Ornella Trattoria Italiana | Tara Mahadevan
Pasta di castagna at Ornella Trattoria Italiana | Tara Mahadevan

The Veggielante is on a mission to spread the word about places to order good meatless grub. Check out this week's pick.

Destination: Ornella Trattoria Italiana (29-17 23rd Avenue, 718-777-9477)

Neighborhood: Astoria

Cuisine: Italian

Overview: Owners Ornella and Guiseppe Viterale opened Ornella Trattoria Italiana in Astoria in 2009, right off the Astoria-Ditmars stop on the N/Q subway line. The restaurant specializes in cuisine from Rofrano, Italy, which is located in the Salerno province in the southwest. While the restaurant is home to traditional Italian food, Ornella Trattoria's menus feature some traditions with a twist -- like the expansive vegetarian menu, which has both vegan and gluten-free options.

Highlights: Ornella Trattoria has two pasta di castagna ($18) dishes; the dish we chose is the most popular vegetarian dish at Ornella. Pasta di castagna is always made with chestnut flour; this version is served in a pistachio cream sauce and topped with truffle oil. While the pasta is al dente, as it should be, the sauce has a hint of garlic and is slightly sweet, thanks to the pistachio. Note that I t's a hefty portion, and it's fairly rich.

Ornella Trattoria's vegetarian menu also has a wide selection of gluten-free and vegan options to choose from -- just ask your waiter. Some of the more popular vegetarian dishes are the risotto al funghi ($18), the melanzana alla parmigianna ($18), and the gnocchi al gorgonzola ($16).

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