Celebrate World Pasta Day

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We’re not sure if a “World Pasta Day” is needed, but 25 October has been given this designation. Still, why not celebrate this wonderful stable of the Italian kitchen. We asked four chefs for their valuable advice on reproducing their flagship recipes at home. 

Osteria Romana

Filippo La Vecchia’s pasta alla carbonara: “The perfect carbonara depends on the chemical balance in the sauce, which must be dense enough not to be watery, not too compact to become grainy like an omelette. To achieve this, take the yolks and beat them with a whisk to denature the egg proteins. Add pecorino, pepper and a little bacon grease. The sauce becomes foamy and velvety. Wait until your pasta is cooked and mix everything together!”

Osteria Romana, Avenue Legrand 11, 1000 Brussels, www.osteriaromana.be

Nina Restobar

Nonna’s scialatielli con sugo di pomodoro: “It’s not always easy to find good tomatoes in Belgium! Nothing like San Marzanos, full of flavor. We add the basil to the sauce after cooking (to avoid bitterness), just before mixing and filtering. And we generously add more to the plate at the end! And why not also add some cherry tomatoes candied in cane sugar, salt and pepper for a little extra touch?”

Nina Restobar, Chaussée de Boondael 332, 1050 Brussels www.ninarestobar.be

Da Mimmo

Louis Vestrepen’s star truffle pasta: “For the black truffle taglioni, we prepare a sauce base made from chicken stock, black truffle paste and a little butter. The secret, as you can imagine… Above all, don’t use cream! But don’t hesitate to finish the pasta binding with Parmigiano Reggiano. We always finish cooking the pasta in the sauce base (chicken broth, truffle) so that the starch present in the pasta acts as a binder. And we obviously refine it with parmesan for creaminess!”

Da Mimmo, Avenue du Roi Chevalier 24, 1200 Brussels www.da-mimmo.be

La Cocina Châtelain

Chiara Cucinotta’s calamarata frutti di mare: “Our secrets for unforgettable seafood pasta? Above all, choose your frutti di mare carefully. Be careful not to overcook them, to prevent them from becoming rubbery: turn off the heat as soon as they start to open. Always finish cooking the pasta in the seafood cooking juices. The lemon zest adds an extra touch, a nice note of freshness to the dish. Garlic is optional, but not olive oil (good quality) and parsley!”

La Cocina Châtelain, Rue Washington 149, 1050 Brussels www.squadracocina.com

PREGO!

An excellent way to enjoy top quality pasta at home is to visit a PREGO! Or order online. PREGO fresh pasta can be warmed up in just two minutes in boiling water, before being garnished with sauces and gourmet toppings. A short instruction manual is also provided with each order to ensure optimal preparation. All recipes from PREGO! are only made with Italian and Belgian ingredients. From fresh pasta semolina from Parma to Sicilian ricotta, including local meats, PREGO! highlights the terroirs by guaranteeing obvious traceability. Pasta dishes include tortelli con funghi alla tartufata, rigatoni ti PREGO! 

www.prego.be