I was hanging around the reception area at Leiths School of Food and Wine when I picked up the latest Jamie Oliver magazine. Everything I love: Autumn leaves, hearty and robust flavours for colder days; hot chilli… sweet potatoes… fresh pasta…(hold up). Fresh pasta. No. Why. Those words defeat me every time. It’s like trying to fight off my cravings with a sword made of soft boiled spaghetti.
I start flipping through the magazine like a rabid hamster to find the recipe. I can already picture myself rolling the dough with flour-covered hands. Instead, there’s an entire spread on PADELLA, a new fresh pasta place next to the Borough Market in London. Boasting seven pasta dishes on the menu, one more tempting then the next, I try to recruit any and every friend via Whatsapp to accompany me (ok, lies, to double our ordering capacity and get through 80% of the menu in one-go). But they all have lives beyond cacio e pepe, and I’m left walking (running) to PADELLA alone, ordering two main courses and a glass of red, and polishing it off with an espresso.
The pici cacio e pepe had a chewy and bright flavour, with enough pepper and creaminess to topple your lust past infatuation and on to long-term commitment. The Parpadelle ragu makes me think they have an italian grandma sweatshop in the back, where they’re producing slow-cooked, emotional sauces.