Squash Makes a Successful Pasta Replacement at Serafina


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

Destination: Serafina (7 Ninth Avenue, 646-964-4494)

Neighborhood: Meatpacking District

Cuisine: Northern Italian

Overview: Serafina’s location in the Meatpacking District occupies a landmark four-story house only a couple blocks from the Hudson River. The story goes that owners Vittoria Assaf and Fabio Granato were once lost at sea, and the only thing that kept them going was the thought of making the perfect pizza. Thus, the first Serafina, Serafina Fabulous Pizza, was born in 1995 on the Upper East Side. Since then, the duo has opened locations abroad — in Asia, the Middle East, and Brazil — one location in Philadelphia and nine locations in the state of New York, some of which specialize in certain dishes.

Highlights: While Italian restaurants typically have a plethora of choices for vegetarians, we checked out an atypical dish: Serafina’s vegetarian platter ($18), which features spaghetti squash with sautéed mixed vegetables — carrots, spinach, zucchini, squash, corn, and asparagus — and pine nuts, with a splash of tomato sauce.

The spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta, and it mimics the texture of al dente noodles nicely. Thanks to restraint with the salt, the flavor of the vegetables shines through, and, unlike pasta, the dish is very light, making it a great option for a hot day. The vegetarian platter is both gluten- and dairy-free, too.