Pasta—a seemingly simple combination of just eggs, flour, olive oil and a pinch of salt—is a creation much bigger than the sum of its parts. Once reserved only for the plates of Italian nobility, this spectacular starch has now become synonymous with the culture itself, and a box of one of the 350 different shapes can be found in almost any pantry. We find five handmade pasta dishes crafted by the deft hands of many Italian-born chefs. 

Chianti: When the ingredients are fresh and the pasta is homemade, simple is best. Chianti’s Aglio Olio e Peperoncino with spaghetti humbly combines garlic roasted in olive oil with red chili flakes, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes for a bright and fresh dish. Also pictured is their scratch-made tagliatelle. Chianti, 3900 Clark Rd., Sarasota, 941-952-3186,, @chiantisarasota.

La Dolce Vita: This isn’t your mom’s mac and cheese. La Dolce Vita’s Maccheroni alla Catanese tosses housemade maccheroni pasta with fried eggplants, mouthwatering Sicilian tomato sauce and grated ricotta salata. La Dolce Vita, 2704 Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota, 941-210-3631,, @ladolcevitasarasota.

Tortellino Bistrot: If the menu item is in the restaurant’s name, it’s probably a safe bet. At Tortellino Bistrot, fittingly, the hand-stuffed and sealed tortellini is a must. The Tortellini Carbonara is a traditional dish featuring parma prosciutto and parmesan-filled pasta, tossed with egg, parmesan and crispy pancetta to make the silky cream sauce. Tortellino Bistrot, 6584 Superior Ave., Sarasota, 941-388-7174, @tortellino_bistro.

Vino Vino: Native to the Puglia region of Italy, Vino Vino restaurant is famous for its handmade orecchiette pasta (meaning “little ears”). This classic Apulia dish is called Orecchiette ‘Cime De Rep,’ and features olive oil, garlic, anchovies and broccoli rabe. Also pictured are the hand-rolled cavatelli pasta shells. Vino Vino Restaurant, 2063 Siesta Dr., Sarasota, 941-330-9684,, @vinovinoristorante.

Andrea’s: With hints of curry powder and coconut milk, Andrea’s Black Ink Tagliolini is a global gastronomic feat. Tossed with crab meat and shrimp, dyed pasta combines with these complex flavors to create a culinary adventure. Andrea’s, 2085 Siesta Dr. #1, Sarasota, 941-951-9200,