Get Your Bucatini and Bolt: Spaghetti Incident Serves Pasta in a Go-Cone

Salmone & asparagi — steamed asparagus, capers, and chopped fresh salmon sautéed in creamy vodka sauceEXPAND
Salmone & asparagi — steamed asparagus, capers, and chopped fresh salmon sautéed in creamy vodka sauce
Photo by Sara Massarotto

All over the world, carnivals sell street foods that represent individual cultures. In the U.S., that often means funnel cake, a hot dog on a bun, popcorn, fried anything, and plenty of animal products on sticks. For Italians, it's the usual fare packaged in handheld form — risotto transformed into portable balls (arancini) and gelato smooshed into sliced bread (brioche con gelato).

Back in the 1950s, that custom included pasta in a cone. Inspired by the street food festivals of the mid-century, Emanuele Attala, chef-owner of the West Village Malatesta and Malaparte, has opened Spaghetti Incident (231 Eldridge Street; 646-896-1446) with partners Ettore Pardossi and Giovanni Gentile. The Lower East Side restaurant serves only long pasta, served in a cone when ordered to go.

"The idea came from a tradition typical from my region, Romagna, that's located on the Adriatic coast," Attala tells the Voice. "I remember seeing pictures of people walking on the lungomare [boardwalk] with a cone of wrapped paper in their hands. At that time, Italy was poor and most of the food was street food served in paper cones: fried food, pasta, fruit, candies. The paper was called carta oleata because it was waxed and wouldn’t let the oily sauce go through."

With that, a restaurant concept was born. For months, Attala, Pardossi, and Gentile worked on developing the cone. They went on a full-scale search, looking for the ideal non-spill material that could stand up to New Yorkers intent on eating pasta while walking around — hey, we've all seen someone scarfing Cup Noodles while sprinting through the subway. The original idea was to open a takeout and delivery joint, scouring the city for locations. Then, when the trio happened to find a place with good bones and an open kitchen, they slightly altered their design. In late May, the eatery opened its doors for dinner service. In a couple of weeks, it will be adding a takeout window in the front, utilizing the specialty cones. 

Chitarra with homemade mozzarella and basil in fresh tomato sauce; salmone & asparagi (right)EXPAND
Chitarra with homemade mozzarella and basil in fresh tomato sauce; salmone & asparagi (right)
Photo by Sara Massarotto

Spaghetti Incident offers nine pasta dishes, ranging from $8 to $12. There's classic carbonara ($11) with crispy pancetta, parmigiano, organic egg yolk, and black pepper. Bucatini amatriciana ($10) is another Roman favorite, with sautéed onion and pancetta in tomato sauce. Pesto gets an extra dose of nutrients in a bucatini ($12) made with kale, walnuts, garlic, and parmigiano in a light cream sauce. The salmone and asparagi ($12) includes homemade fresh spaghetti with steamed asparagus, capers, and chopped fresh salmon cooked in a creamy vodka sauce.

Make sure to try the bucatini trevigiana ($10) with Italian bacon, pine nuts, and radicchio in cream. Spaghetti and similar shapes came about from a practical perspective; it's easier to eat in this format. "Long pasta is perfect to be rolled up in a circular shape like a cone and to have the sauce embracing it," Attala says. "A cone is a hug to pasta."

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera. Follow @forkintheroadVV.


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