I’ve been passionate about Italian food and cooking for many years now. It’s hard to say exactly why but I love the marriage of great seasonal ingredients and uncomplicated cooking. It really feels like the sort of food and cooking we should all be enjoying at this day and age.
I love reading books about the regionality and variety of cooking in Italy. One evening after reading ‘La Cucina’, a brilliant collection of recipes from all over Italy, I had the idea of having a restaurant specializing in pasta main courses.
All too often we see the same generic pasta dishes in Italian restaurant menus – Spaghetti Bolognese, creamy carbonara, an assorted seafood pasta. None of these represents the authentic local food cooked in Italian kitchens. When was the last time you went to an Italian restaurant and ordered a pasta dish that truly caught your imagination, excited your taste buds and made you want to tell your friends about it? Most people I’ve asked can’t remember which I think is odd for something that many say they and their families love.
My plan was therefore to create a menu that changed throughout the year with honest dishes originating from various regions of Italy using the best ingredients available.
We’ll have great starters of soups, salads, vegetable dishes, cheeses and cured meats not commonly seen in many other menus. And the meal will always be finished with classic desserts such as lemon tart, homemade ice creams and chocolate torte. I’d like a simple, approachable wine list and of course, we’ll have brilliant coffee.
At this point, I should mention our choice of name for the restaurant which is Butta la Pasta! Translated it means “throw in the pasta!” and is used at home as we say “turn on the kettle” for a cup of tea. I like its simplicity and informality. It is a welcoming invitation to join us and enjoy a great meal.