100 Favorite Dishes, No. 98: Pasta with Uni Butter at Nonna
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.
Bay scallops and pasta dressed in uni butter at Nonna.
One of the harder things about compiling 100 dishes over an extended period of time is dealing with restaurants whose menus are constantly changing. This pasta dish can evolve daily at Nonna, so what you find when you visit could be significantly different but you should seek it out because the constants -- bread crumbs, uni butter and fresh pasta -- are a perfect marriage of flavor and texture.
You likely don't cook with breadcrumbs at home very often because the canned ones you grew up on tasted like shit. Real bread crumbs though, ones made from stale pieces of delicious bread, can add a welcomed toasted flavor and texture to many dishes, especially soft, slippery noodles. (You likely don't cook with uni because you don't know where to find it, and wouldn't know what to do with it if you did.)
Julian Barsotti, on the other hand, knows exactly what to do with all of these ingredients, and when they come together in support of a perfectly cooked bowl of fresh pasta life starts to look pretty great. If you see this dish on the menu, or any uni butter pasta variant jump on it. There's no telling when you'll see it again.