Pasta & Cuore restaurant
Pasta & Cuore opened just under a year ago in the centre of Mt Eden Village, co-owned by John and Bologna-native Stefania. The food is authentic Italian, with many of the recipes coming from Stefania's mother and grandmother, because why change something that's already perfect? And perfect it is; I doubt you could find better pasta anywhere in the country. Naturally, Pasta & Cuore has very quickly become one of my favourite places to have an indulgent lunch or dinner.
Pasta & Cuore is also my favourite restaurant to look at from the outside; the chefs complete the final stages of pasta-making at a bench in front of the shop window, so passersby can catch a glimpse of the fettuccine being sliced and the tortellini being shaped into delicate parcels, one by one. Every time I see the Pasta & Cuore window at night, all golden and glowing, it makes me fall in love with food a little bit more.
Like all of my favourite restaurants and cafes, Pasta & Cuore uses only the best ingredients - free range eggs and meat, organic milk and coffee, and fresh vegetables. It has delicious Italian desserts, and you can buy fresh, uncooked pasta and pottles of handmade sauces to cook at home, if you're wanting the beautiful food without the restaurant dining (a pretty fantastic, gourmet alternative to grabbing a burger for dinner). In summer it's certainly worth staying at the restaurant, however, in the small, pretty courtyard out the back.
But on to the specifics of the food! On my last visit I ate the buffalo ricotta tortelloni, which has a hint of nutmeg and a butter and sage sauce. The chefs also created a beautiful salad of raw zucchini ribbons, Modena balsamic and shavings of aged Parmigiano Reggiano. Needless to say, I was a very, very happy food writer.
Pasta & Cuore also offers pasta making classes twice a month - an elementary class, for simple pastas, and an advanced class for filled pastas. You can also make a private booking of 8 people, a perfect setting for a unique corporate event or a fun get-together (made all the more fun because each person goes home with a good deal of fresh pasta for dinner). Classes can be booked and reservations made here.
The final word: This is pasta as it should be - fresh, handmade, and created with love. The only risk is that after experiencing the real thing, you might become a bit of a pasta snob... That plastic packet of spaghetti will never look quite the same again.
Photography by Wyo Paul