The folks at Dave’s should spruce up an old ice-cream truck and go from town to town ringing its bell, hypnotizing white-collar patrons with their savagely good Italian menu. Watch as the Bluetooth set come running like Pavlov’s dogs for pumpkin-sage ravioli and puttanesca, their MasterCards glinting in the sun as they pay with yuppie glee.
Until then, trek to Davis Square. Within walking distance of the movie theater and T station, you’ll find the best homemade pasta outside the North End. The list seems endlessly creative, with saffron, chipotle, and squid-ink pastas ($4, $3.75, and $5/pound, respectively). Eight-ounce cream sauces come in furious flavors like nutmeg, smoked tomato, and wild mushroom ($3.95, $3.95, and $4.25). The take-home, by-the-pound ravioli list alone will give you vertigo; robust concoctions include crab and sweet red pepper ($9.99), prosciutto and sweet pea ($8.99), shrimp and roasted garlic ($9.99), and artichoke fontina ($7.99), to name only a handful. Add to that, big, deep pans of store-made lasagna, and sandwiches as big as a shoe. Recommended are Dave’s Prosciutto ($7.95) and the Italian ($7.95). The former is a generous amount of thin-sliced prosciutto coupled with mozzarella and fig spread, and is great when grilled panini-style. The latter is a cold-cut cornucopia of mortadella, capicolla, and salami, with provolone and a heap of Italian veggies. Finally, throw in a modest but smart bottled wine selection, New England–area goodies (Vermont’s Madhouse potato chips, Toscanini’s ice cream, Somerville’s own Taza chocolate) as well as a rotating variety of olives, spreads, peppers, cheese, and bread to sample while you wait. Maybe they should change the name to Dave’s Feeding Frenzy.
Dave’s Fresh Pasta, located at 81 Holland Street, in Somerville, is open Monday through Friday, from 11 am to 7:30 pm, and on Saturday, from 11 am to 6 pm. Call 617.623.0867.