Fat and seductive, the pasta section at fine-dining Monello is our focal point when we want to be satiated and wowed. Chef Mike DeCamp has a wizard's touch with eggs and flour — noodles and shapes with pockets to conceal yet more surprises. With more than a half-dozen variations on the menu, they become a canvas for color, for seasons, for sauce. Even strange but wonderful bedfellows like tea, tahini, or avocado make appearances.
A mozzarella-filled tortellini tinted with the spring green of basil pesto is like the aroma of the garden — the fecundity of soil and oily essence of herb. Bobbing around in chamomile broth and finished with golden tomatoes, parmesan and fresh herb, it was a Polaroid of summer on the tongue.
Now that ice has obliterated these particular possibilities, DeCamp will offer an of-the-moment approach: butternut squash cappelletti, roasted beet agnolotti, rigatoni with Middle Eastern spices. But don't settle. Treat yourself. A half-dozen different pasta preparations goes for $65 (add wine pairing for an additional $40).
1115 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis