AUTUMN SEASON

Our Pasta Programme

Every season, we shine a spotlight on a series of traditional pasta shapes fabricated using traditional methods and their culinary anthropology—from the moments in history that led to them, to the regional influences that shape them from past to present.

From the North to the South, and into the Islands: partake in hearty celebrations of Norcia’s rural treasures with Umbricelli in the style of their famous pork butchers.

Fall in love with Piemonte’s Tajarin, in the very dish that allegedly besotted the region’s last ruling King to marry his family cook. Treat yourself to a rarefied eating experience that is Raschiatelli, a scraped pasta from Potenza with close relations to Orecchiette—also making a triumphant return as a special treat for weekend lunch.

You’ll be surprised how these little parcels, strands and sheets of joy can paint a vivid picture of Italy’s astounding regional diversity.

Cappellacci di Zucca Ferraresi con Burro e Salvia

Origins: Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna (North)
Egg pasta filled with winter squash, Parmigiano Reggiano D.O.P. and nutmeg, dressed in a butter and sage emulsion

Literally translated as “the pumpkin hats of Ferrara”, these pasta parcels are shaped like the straw hats typically worn by peasants during the Renaissance – when the first documented recipe of this dish emerged. Made using soft wheat flour and eggs for a tender texture, the dough for the cappellacci is kneaded and rolled traditionally with a mattarello into a translucent-thin layer. Each cappellaccio is stuffed with a velvety mix of pumpkin (or winter squash) and Parmigiano Reggiano, and traditionally seasoned with nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. While pumpkin might have been considered a peasant food in the 16th Century, the spices made this a dish reserved for banquets and special occasions. Today, the only spice that remains in the traditional recipe is nutmeg. Our version is as close to tradition as you can get, including the part where it is dressed with a sage-butter emulsion – the essential condiment for any pasta involving the squash family.

Tajarin in Bianco con Tartufi

Origins: Cuneo, Piemonte (North)
Long, thin, hand-cut egg pasta, dressed with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano D.O.P. and shaved white winter truffles

This Piemontese equivalent of tagliolini are traditionally made using only egg yolks – 30 to 40 yolks per kilogram of flour. Originating in the rural kitchens of the viticultural regions of the Langhe and Monferrato, tajarin made with whole eggs instead are likely to be more typical as a more accessible option for cost-conscious housewives. The yolk-only iteration is reserved for grander occasions and gourmands due to its richness. So delectable is this Piemontese specialty that it has allegedly inspired at least one marriage. King Victor Emmanuel II made the family cook, Rosa Vercellana, his morganatic wife (a marriage between nobility and someone of low birth, where titles are not inherited), and was reportedly very fond of her tajarin con ‘comodino’, a chicken liver-based ragu. While most industrial companies are now producing this delicacy with the help of automation, in Piemonte it is still contentious to think of tajarin made and cut by any other method other than manual processing by hand: hand-rolled out with a rolling pin and cut with a knife. Our version opts for whole eggs instead of pure yolks for a lighter affair with better texture and produced with the very same skill and labour—perfect as a foil for our choice of serving, in bianco—dressed simply but richly with butter, Parmigiano Reggiano, and shavings of heady white winter truffles.

Umbricelli alla Norcina

Origins: Norcia, Perugia, Umbria (Central)
Handmade long ropes of eggless pasta with crumbled pork sausage, Pecorino Romano D.O.P. Crosta Nera, black winter truffles

Etymologically speaking, Umbricelli either gets its name from ‘umbrico’ or ‘earthworm’ in the Perugian dialect, or its region of origin. Its former moniker comes from its shape of fat, hand-rolled strands made with a dough constructed from just wheat flour and water. While simple, this pasta has been recognised by Italy’s Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies as a Prodotto Agroalimentare Tradizionale (PAT) or a “traditional agri-food product” due to its historical and rural beginnings. We offer a sauce of commensurate heartiness for this rustic pasta: alla Norcina, or in the style of Norcia’s famous pork butchers – who are renowned for their delicious charcuterie. Crumbled pork sausage forms the meaty base for this sauce, which is then enriched with white wine, ricotta, Pecorino and freshly milled black pepper. This soul-and-belly warming sauce is lifted and completed with black winter trufffles.

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca con Tonno

Origins: Ischia, Naples, Campania (South)
Bronze extruded long pasta with a red sauce of tomato passata, olives, capers, parsley, anchovies and fresh tuna

The origins of spaghetti are murky, with sources placing the first record of dried pasta in the 5th Century Talmud, and the long, thin forms we are familiar with today originating in 12th Century Sicily, with pasta having been introduced to Europe by way of Arab conquest. Similarly, the original pantry pasta, alla puttanesca, sees some debate about its beginnings. While some stories draw a link from its name to the Italian word for a lady of the night—“puttana”—a more widely corroborated story credits sugo alla puttanesca to one architect/nightclub owner Sandro Petti. Faced with a dearth of kitchen ingredients one night, Petti threw the dish together after being asked to “make any kind of garbage” or “facci una puttanata qualsiasi” by a hungry patron. Our version uses spaghetti extruded from a traditional bronze die, creating that prized porosity to better hold our sauce, made with the classic triple flavour-punch of olives, capers, and anchovies with homemade tomato passata. Fresh tuna is tossed in at the last moment as a finishing, which adds some heft to the dish.

Raschiatelli con Ragù alla Potentina

Origins: Potenza, Basilicata (South)
Short pasta made using heritage organic durum wheat (Saragolla Lucana) dressed with a sugo of veal and pork. Garnished with peperoni cruschi, freshly grated horseradish and Canestrato di Moliterno I.G.P.

Made by scraping cylinders of semolina dough across a wooden board with one’s fingers, raschiatelli—from the word “raschiare”, meaning “to scrape’’—finds its roots in the historical region of Lucania (modern day Basilicata), where scraped pasta like orecchiette are popular thanks to the very modest equipment required in their production. While its origins are humble, it is definitely no lesser. The bean pod-shaped raschiatelli offers a rarefied eating experience, with each piece offering one smooth side, and one concave, rough side that perfectly traps chunky, meaty sauce. We do ours with the celebratory ragù of Potenza, a sauce made with whole cuts of veal and pork ribs. Integral to the unique cultural experience of Lucania are the traditional garnishes of peperoni cruschi, a dried sweet pepper made crispy with a dip in hot oil, freshly grated horseradish and Canestrato di Moliterno, a renowned Lucanian hard cheese made from sheep and goat’s milk.

Lorighittas al Sugo di Polpo

Origins: Morgongiori, Oristano, Sardinia (Islands)
Semola-based short pasta with a sugo of octopus, tomatoes and shellfish stock

Every year on November 1st, women would gather in kitchens across the Sardinian village of Morgongiori to knead semolina and water to braid the dough that would become the pasta that is lorighittas, in celebration of All Saints’ Day. Named after the iron rings once fixed to the walls of homes to tether working animals, the word ‘lorighittas’ loosely translates to the Sardinian word for ears. A fading art, making lorighittas involves wrapping and then braiding two thin threads of dough to form a ring (‘sa loriga’ in Sardinian). Today, this endangered ring or ear-shaped pasta is handmade by no more than 10 women in the Sardinian village of Morgongiori, and only when the season calls for it. As perhaps an homage to the island, our lorighittas is paired with the gifts of the island’s surrounding seas — a sugo of octopus, tomatoes and shellfish stock.

Rigatoni Lisci con Sugo alla Norma

Origins: Catania, Sicilia (Islands)
Bronze extruded short pasta with a Sicilian eggplant-tomato sauce, basil and ricotta salata

Is a rigatoni without ridges still a rigatoni? In eastern Sicily, the rigatone lisce proves its own identity, made by extruding pasta dough from a bronze die. Unlike its industrially made cousins with ridges that help sauces cling to its tubular body, this voluptuous iteration holds sauces just as well, thanks to its porosity. Catanian folklore lends inspiration to this dish — one involving an opera house named Norma by Vincenzo Bellini, and the other, an artist’s lunch by a Lady Marietta which he claimed was absolutely “norma”, or marvelous in Catanese. Whichever the story, this rustic summertime plate is the flagship dish of Catania.

Orecchiette al sugo d’agnello

Only available for weekend lunch

Origins: Bari, Puglia (South)
Ear-shaped short pasta in a braised lamb shank sugo

Formed one at a time by hand and a butter knife, each Orecchietta sports a pronounced dome shape with a rough exterior to catch and complement our braised lamb shank sugo simmered with crushed tomatoes, anchovies, white wine and Pecorino Romano DOP. In Bari’s Old Quarter, the last bastion of Orecchiette makers that line the ‘Strada Delle Orecchiette’ producing Orecchiette the traditional way, are the custodians of this beautiful shape. The highly skilled movements approximating mechanical precision and speed is a sight to behold and the iconic cultural identity of Bari and largely, of Puglia.

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