Dish: Pasta Night at Cittanuova

The orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe at Cittanuova in East Hampton. Courtesy photos

At any Italian restaurant, there is nothing better than Pasta Night — and Cittanuova knows it.

A fixture for more than a decade, the Thursday night special at the East Hampton eatery is geared toward locals, giving them a taste of the on-season life for an off-season price — to the tune of $15 per pasta entrée, no exceptions, according to manager Mike Emmanouilidis, who wastes no time enjoying the Orecchiette himself.

“I just love how all the flavors come together: the broccoli rabe, the Italian sausage, the chilies and grana padano, with the orecchiette pasta,” he said. “On a cold winter night, I just welcome a bowl of orecchiette.”

Bucatini at Cittanuova.

Head chef Joseph Andrews is partial to the Bucatini — “It’s spaghetti and red sauce, essentially, but put on another level,” he said — served with La Quercia pancetta, Calabrian chilies, tomato sauce and pecorino Romano.

In the coming weeks, he will roll out a new menu with updated items, including two pasta entrées that will be included in the special. One is a manicotti dish — which uses crêpes instead of traditional noodles — filled with ricotta and parmesan cheeses, spinach, garlic and shallots, served in marinara and topped with buffalo mozzarella.

The other will be a crowd favorite, Andrews said. He can tell already.

“It will be cavatelli with roasted oyster mushrooms, spinach, garlic and ricotta cheese,” he said. “That’s a very rustic-style noodle, very old world and kind of thick. On these cold nights, that’s going to be the number-one pasta — especially for anyone who’s a little vegetarian.”

But for the carnivores, in his mind, they have no choice but to start any Pasta Night with Polpette della Nonna, or Grandma’s meatballs, baked in marinara and served with garlic toast and grana padano.

“You can’t forget the Polpette appetizer,” Andrews said. “It’s a staple. You have to get that along with any of the pastas. That brings it all together.”

Pasta Night at Cittanuova, located at 29 Newtown Lane in East Hampton, is not applicable to take-out orders. For more information, call (631) 324-6300 or visit