Our Pasta Programme

Every season, we shine the spotlight on a series of traditional pasta shapes fabricated using age-old techniques. Delve into their culinary anthropology, from the historical events that gave birth to them to the regional touches that have shaped them over time.

This Spring, twirl light and bright into our new slate of pasta shapes and vibrant plates. Savour the Calamarata con Pesce Spada alla Ghiotta, a bountiful plate featuring all things delicious from Sicily, including the majestic, indigenous swordfish, caught at the height of its season. Delight in Ciccioneddos al Sugo d’Agnello, small bites of gnochetti sardi from Sassari, a tribute to the pastoral landscapes of Sardinia.

From Italy’s Deep South comes two distinctive contenders: Spaghetti alla Corte d’Assise, a simple yet fiery Calabrese creation named after Italy’s most relentless judicial body; and the return of Struncatura Ammollicata from our Spring of ’22, once crafted from the remnants of wheat mills and sold to the poorest in Reggio Calabria, now a testament to Lucanian culinary art.

Embark on a journey through Italy’s nuanced regional diversity, season by season, one pasta strand, parcel, or shape at a time.

Calamarata con Pesce Spada alla Ghiotta
Calamarata pasta

Calamarata con Pesce Spada alla Ghiotta

Origins: Messina, Sicily (Islands)
Bronze-extruded short wide tubes with poached swordfish, Sicilian pistachios, oregano and capers

There are plenty of pasta in Sicily that feature a combination of nuts—pistachios, pine nuts or almonds—and seafood. Swordfish, or pesce spada, in particular, is a majestic, indigenous species of fish that play an important role in the cuisines of Sicily and Calabria, where they have been historically fished. Highly prized for its meaty texture and delicate flavour, it is as quick as it is easy to prepare. Every Spring, the Straits of Messina, which carves out the borders between Sicily and Calabria, carries an abundance of swordfish passing through in pairs. Fishermen from both regions will set out to sea in uniquely constructed vessels known as passarelle, strategically going after the female swordfish knowing that her male counterpart will valiantly defend her honour, whereas a captured male will only see the slippery female fading away into the current. Alla ghiotta, which translates to “glutton’s style”, comes in a heaping plate of admittedly good things from Sicily: tomatoes, capers, olives, onions, Pistacchio verde di bronte D.O.P., fresh herbs, and savoury anchovies. The use of swordfish sets this dish apart as a thorough-bred Sicilian gastronomic tradition.

Gramigna Paglia e Fieno pasta

Gramigna Paglia e Fieno

Origins: Bologna, Emilia Romagna (North)
Egg-based, bronze extruded short pasta coloured ‘paglia e fieno’ with a condiment made from pork sausage and Parmigiano Reggiano D.O.P.

A curlicue-shaped pasta from the Emilia-Romagna region, Gramigna is Italian for Bermuda grass, and adopts the shape of the namesake weed. It is also commonly found in border areas of Le Marche, where it is touted to be an interpretation of couscous, which has been imitated in many pasta shapes across Italy throughout history. Originally grated with a large-holed grater—and later, using a specific utensil with a large-holed die—today it is made using bronze dies which are known as gramignoni or spaccatelle. We prepare our Gramigna in the style of ‘Paglia e Fieno’, a traditional Italian dish originating from Siena, which translates to ‘straw and hay’—egg gramigna for the straw, and spinach gramigna for the hay. There are various ways to dress this dish, but none more satisfying than a buttery condiment made using pork sausage and Parmigiano Reggiano D.O.P.

Gramigna Paglia e Fieno
Ciccioneddos al Sugo d'Agnello
Ciccioneddos pasta

Ciccioneddos al Sugo d’Agnello

Origins: Sassari, Sardinia (Islands)
Short pasta made with semola and water, rolled over a pettine, and paired with a hearty lamb sugo and smoky shavings of Fiore Sardo D.O.P.

The island of Sardinia may be surrounded by crystal-clear waters and fresh bounty of the Mediterranean Sea, but it offers just as many delicacies from the land. Products like pecorino and the celebrated Sardinian roast suckling pig, porceddu, are the result of long-standing pastoral traditions. Among these delicacies is gnochetti sardi, a historic pasta shape that has been a staple in the kitchens and restaurants of Sardinia for centuries. While similar pasta shapes exist throughout Italy, the gnochetti from Sardinia have a unique heritage characterised by the simple ingredients of durum wheat, water, and salt. A smaller variation, known as Ciccioneddos, originates from the town of Ittiri in Sassari. These little pasta pieces are known for their sauce-trapping grooves and are traditionally rolled out for weddings and celebrations. We pay homage to the Sardinian hinterland with a hearty lamb sugo and Fiore Sardo D.O.P, a smoky pecorino imbued with flavours distinct to the island.

Spaghetti pasta

Spaghetti alla Corte d’Assise

Origins: Reggio Calabria, Calabria (South)
Bronze-extruded long pasta with a modest but classic spicy tomato sugo, pecorino and raw shavings of Tropea onions.

Delighting a diner with a dish today earns it a spot on Instagram, but back in the ’50s, it would secure a name and a legacy passed down through generations. This particular dish hails from 1958 in Marina di Gioiosa Ionica, a quaint town in the province of Reggio Calabria. The Agostino family, proprietors of one of the most esteemed post-war restaurants, the hotel restaurant “da Rocco,” witnessed the birth of this culinary creation. Gaetano, a young and imaginative chef, crafted a spaghetti dish with a simple yet fiery sauce, embodying the essence of Calabrian cuisine, in an effort to impress a distinguished judge and his companions one evening. The judge, captivated by its bold and direct flavours, took the liberty of naming it “Spaghetti alla Corte d’Assise,” drawing a parallel between the sauce’s unrelenting spiciness and the Italian court that adjudicates the most severe crimes. In keeping with tradition, we serve this modest yet spicy tomato sugo with bronze-drawn spaghetti, topped with pecorino shavings and crisp, raw slivers of Cipolla rossa di Tropea I.G.P., cultivated on the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria.

Spaghetti alla Corte d'Assise
Struncatura Ammollicata
Struncatura pasta

Struncatura Ammollicata

Origins: Reggio Calabria, Calabria (South)

Bronze-extruded long rye pasta with anchovies, taggiasca olives, chilli and breadcrumbs

Struncatura is a long bronze-extruded pasta that resembles a thick trenette that was once the ancient cucina povera speciality of Reggio Calabria. Translated from the Calabrese dialect, struncatura means “scraps” or “crumblings” or “sawdust” and, in this case, refers to the floor sweepings of wheat milling operations in the past, where by-products of the process would carpet the mill flour which would either be swept from the floor, destined to be animal feed, or used to produce a very cheap, dark coloured pasta product, peddled to only the most destitute. Often known as a ‘poor man’s dish’ because it was prepared with low-cost ingredients, it has since emerged from notoriety and earned its cult status in Lucanian gastronomy. We stay true to its humble origins with Mediterranean flavours of anchovies, taggiasca olives, chilli and Mollica di Pane—sauteed breadcrumbs that were considered ‘cheese of the poor’.

Trofie pasta

Trofie di Recco con Tocco de Funzi

Origins: Recco, Liguria (North West)
Hand-rolled spirals made with ’00 and water. Dressed with a sugo of fresh cultivated field mushrooms, white wine and Parmigiano Reggiano D.O.P.

Available in limited quantities as a special only

Trofie, a short, hand-twisted fresh pasta, get their name from the verb ‘strofinare’, or ‘to rub’, and are the result of more precision than meets the eye. Invented in a town on the eastern Ligurian Riviera called Recco, Trofie are one of the many hand-formed pasta shapes that are descendant of the gnocchi family, with many referring to them as “Ligurian dumplings”. Made with durum wheat flour, salt and water, Trofie are small pieces of pasta that have been stretched and twisted, thicker in the middle but with pointed ends. Legend has it that the women of Liguria would sit on chairs along the coast twisting the pasta pieces as they pined for their fishermen husbands to come home, although the tricky and labour intensive production has seen the art of making these by hand fall out of favour in recent years for machine made ones—but not on our watch. We let the nuances of the hand-twisted Ligurian spirals speak for themselves in an earthy sugo of fresh cultivated field mushrooms, white wine, garlic and parmigiano reggiano D.O.P.

Trofie di Recco con Tocco de Funzi
Frègula con Gamberi Rossi Crudi e Stracciatella
Frègula Sarda pastina

Frègula con Gamberi Rossi Crudi e Stracciatella

Origins: Cagliari, Sardinia (Islands)
Hand-grown pastina made with semola and water, cooked in an intense shellfish stock and paired with stracciatella and raw gamberi rossi.

Available in limited quantities as a special only

Bearing a distinctive pebble-like appearance similar to cous cous, frègula (sometimes mistakenly Italianised as fregola) hails from the island of Sardinia, and is one of its most emblematic and rarest pasta shapes. The preparation of frègula sarda is a family rite of Sardinian tradition that has been kept alive with the use of traditional methods and tools, where finely milled granules of flour are painstakingly “grown” into tiny balls of pasta by hand in an enameled terracotta dish called a ‘scivedda’. This is achieved with the random but purposeful cycle of “wetting” and “drying”: by adding water to moisten the flour granules, alternating with more flour over the moistened granules. As this cycle is repeated, layers of flour and water build over time and each granule is grown until increasingly large frégula balls come to life under skilled hands. A work of patience, dedication and generosity, it is ultimately the rapid hand movements and intuition of the frégula maker that determine the consistency of the final product.

First documented in the 14th century, frègula’s true origins may stretch even further back to the 10th century. Some food historians believe that frègula was inspired by couscous, claiming that it was brought to Sardinia as a result of North African incursions. But the most accredited theory, as most Sardinians who are fiercely passionate about their culinary identity will tell you, would link its origin to a local tradition, the result of Sardinian craftsmanship and wisdom. Is frègula a native product obtained from the wise hands of Sardinian women or a derivation of a foreign dish brought to Sardinian soil? One cannot say for sure. But it is certain that the name frègula originates from the Latin term ‘ferculum’, which translates to crumbs—a fitting representation of its simple, rustic and rough structure, material but completely natural.