When it comes to the relationship between love and food, who can say where one ends and the other begins, or whether the two can be separated at all.  Indeed, when it comes to Italian cuisine, they are uncompromisingly intertwined; it isn’t Italian unless it’s made with love. And while this sense of care and tradition is palpable, traditions vary across Italy, making notions of what constitutes a “genuinely Italian” dish rather flexible. This season, Chef Derik plays with this traditional flexibility by putting his own twist on a classic pasta: amatriciana.

Amatriciana (a-mah-tree-chana) is an uncomplicated yet flavorful pasta dish named for the town of its origin, Amatrice. The Romans made it a classic, and it is now the official pasta dish of Italy’s Lazio region. The signature flavor profile is characterized by tomato, onion, chili, and most importantly, guanciale (gwan-chalay) or pork jowl.  Most often served with spaghetti or bucatini, many different pastas can support this light sauce with a surprising depth of flavor.

Chef Derik has paired his Amatriciana with house-made tagliatelle (tah-lyah-tell-eh), parmesan, and scallops.  He makes the pasta by hand each day and then air-dries it, thereby allowing each dish to be cooked to order.  The pasta is firm to the bite (al dente), and tossed in the light-bodied sauce. The scallops, hand harvested and flown in daily, are delicately sautéed and placed atop the pasta. Micro greens from Dragsmith Farms garnish the plate. Add to that a glass or bottle of Terradora di Paolo, Falanghina, Campania ($9/39), and you have yourself an Italian classic with a modern twist.

As cooler weather sets in, so does the craving for comfort food, and nothing soothes the soul better than a traditional pasta. Join the conversation on tradition at Dakota.

Read more about our Fall Menu HERE

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