There’s something about the taste and texture of homemade pasta that puts it head and shoulders above the boxed, dried, factory-made varieties. But making pasta from scratch can be a laborious process — not to mention a bit of a mess. For fresh, authentic pasta without the headache, visit one of these local specialty markets and grab expertly made gnocchi, fettuccine, ravioli, and more to cook up at home.
Cantoro Italian Market
Since 1968, Cantoro Italian Market has brought a vast selection of Italian imports, baked goods, and prepared specialty foods to the metro Detroit area. Whether you visit the store’s flagship location in Plymouth or its smaller market in Livonia, you’re sure to find a rotating selection of fresh and frozen house-made pastas, from pillowy potato gnocchi to silky, egg-based pappardelle noodles. You’ll also find lesser-known pasta shapes like strozzapreti, an elongated version of cavatelli, along with filled pastas and fresh lasagna sheets. For a real treat, pair the market’s delicate beef ravioli with a few dollops of its creamy homemade ricotta cheese and a splash of robust San Marzano tomato sauce. If you’re at the Plymouth location, don’t forget to grab some vino — the market boasts one of the best selections of imported Italian wines in metro Detroit. Cantoro Italian Market — Plymouth, 15550 N Haggerty Road, Plymouth; and Cantoro Italian Market – Livonia, 19710 Middlebelt Road, Livonia; cantoroitalianmarket.com.
Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market
This beloved duo of metro Detroit markets placed in eight categories in our annual Best of Detroit list in 2021, including Best Gourmet Foods, Best Cakes, and Best Bakery. But one of the shop’s best-kept secrets is its selection of fresh, house-made pastas. Shoppers can choose from fettuccine, linguine, pappardelle, angel hair, cavatelli, and more in both traditional and gluten-free versions. The market’s most popular offering is its homemade lasagna sheets, which are made fresh daily. While you’re there, scope out the market’s impressive wine selection, or pick up a few of its famous house-made meatballs to pair with your pasta selection. Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market – Shelby Township, 55178 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Twp.; and Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market – Clinton Township, 41790 Garfield Road, Clinton Twp.; vinceandjoes.com.
Primi Piatti Market
Inspired by her Italian heritage and multiple trips to the country, Birmingham native Monica Bisignano opened this charming Italian specialty market in 2011. The shop’s selection of fresh pasta is so large, it’s almost overwhelming: linguine, bucatini, rigatoni, and a litany of other traditional shapes are available in a selection of creative flavors including lemon pepper, porcini mushroom, squid ink, and roasted beet. And on Sundays, the market offers unique ravioli varieties, like pear with pecorino and beet with mascarpone. Pair your pasta selection with handmade meatballs made from chicken, beef, and pork, or even vegetarian and gluten-free ingredients; or browse the store’s expansive selection of imported Italian cheeses. House-made antipasto platters, sandwiches, pizza dough, soups, and cannoliare also available to go. Primi Piatti Market, 550 N Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; primipiattimarket.com.
Ventimiglia Italian Foods
Originally located just east of Hamtramck on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit, Ventimiglia Italian Foods has been serving up Italian sandwiches, pastas, pizzas, and imports in metro Detroit for over 60 years. At its current Sterling Heights location, shoppers can purchase freshly made noodles, gnocchi, and ravioli by the pound, along with a rotating selection of house-made sauces and meatballs. Prepare for your post-pasta sweet tooth by grabbing a few scoops of the market’s homemade gelato, or snag a dozen freshly baked fig cookies to pair with an after-dinner espresso. If even boiling water seems like too much work, choose from an endless selection of prepared entrees and Italian-style submarine sandwiches. Ventimiglia Italian Foods, 35197 Dodge Park Road, Sterling Heights; ventimigliafoods.com.
Papa Joe’s Gourmet Market
At its full-service locations in Birmingham and Rochester, this upscale grocery store caters to discerning eaters with an impressive selection of freshly prepared foods. Both locations sport a large selection of homemade pastas, with an emphasis on creatively filled ravioli and gnocchi. For something special, try the market’s asiago-stuffed gnocchi: it’s all the pillowy, potato-y goodness of classic gnocchi with the indulgent cheese filling of ravioli. Whether you elect to keep things simple with a drizzle of artisan olive oil or pair your dumplings with a quart of the market’s homemade marinara, you can’t go wrong. Papa Joe’s Birmingham, 34244 Woodward Ave., Birmingham; Papa Joe’s Rochester, 6900 N Rochester Road, Rochester Hills; multiple locations; papajoesmarket.com.
Randazzo Fresh Market
In 1956, just three short years after emigrating to the United States, the late Giuseppe “Joe” Randazzo opened a humble Italian market on the corner of Mound Road and Outer Drive in Detroit. Over the subsequent decades, the Sicilian-born Randazzo saw his brand flourish into three full-service grocery stores, which are now operated by his children and grandchildren in Macomb, Clinton Township, and Warren. The markets offer several types of house-made filled pastas, from all-natural veal ravioli to tri-color cheese tortellini. You’ll find angel hair, fettuccine, linguine, and spaghetti too, along with a selection of fresh and imported Italian pasta sauces. The stores are also known for offering a lengthy menu of prepared foods, deli meats, and freshly baked Italian breads. Randazzo Fresh Market; multiple locations; randazzofreshmarket.com.
This post was originally published in 2021 and is updated regularly.