I've mentioned this on soifeats.com a couple of times but here's my new favorite pastime: Go to a fairly fancy Italian restaurant and order the first one or two pasta dishes on the menu--the absolute lowest, cheapest, most basic stuff they make and a cheap bottle of Italian red to go with it. IT'S SO MUCH FUN! It provides an important opportunity to judge these restaurants, not on their ossobuco or their veal piccata or their carpaccio, but on LITERALLY their spaghetti and meatballs and how much thought they put into their wine list around the $30 mark.
My intention with this is not to start a huge Rosa's vs. Giuseppe's fight, but that's probably inevitable. These are both capellini pomodoro. Both very very good. The 2 approaches to the dish is obvious. ⏩@slogiuseppes is a rich, reduced, finely ground, oily, seasoned, well-integrated sauce with Parmesan throughout. ⏩@rosas_pismobeach went the direction of bright pink huge chunks of barely blanched tomato, cheese optional, bright and delicate and fresh.