Lunch Today: Mafalde alla Bolognese at Giovanni Rana in Chelsea Market
Mafalde alla Bolognese ($8) is a classic pasta, and it falls under that same category on Giovanni Rana's takeaway menu. It's an extremely generous portion, and even more so when you consider they only use fresh homemade pasta.
The noodle is the perfect choice for a thick meat sauce—its wavy edges gently grab hold of the meaty sauce as they twist around your fork. The noodles are firm, but give way with a playful snap.
The bolognese is a deeply flavored delight in the dead of winter. At Rana, they use only beef, and if it doesn't come from Pat LaFrieda or F. Rozzo & Sons, they seek the inventory of Buon Italia just down the hall in Chelsea Market. It's braised in tomatoes with the traditional aromatics that make any ragu or bolognese satisfying: carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and fresh herbs.
Giovanni Rana's dine-in menu covers more exotic pasta ground, but does so at mostly double the price of items on the takeaway menu, on which nothing exceeds $14. We're pretty impressed with a to-go pasta that's so high quality, in a portion that can really fill you up.