London’s love affair with fresh pasta is showing little sign of waning. From pici cacio e pepe at Padella to oxtail ravioli at Pophams and carbonara bucatini at Pastaio, every week sees a new bowl of delicious carb-filled comfort food appearing all over Instagram. Whether it’s down to a backlash against years of demonising carbohydrates, or a need for comfort food during chaotic political times, there’s never been a better time to eat pasta in the English capital. The latest restaurant to join the ranks is Officina 00, a laid-back spot in Shoreditch serving a concise menu of small plates and handmade fresh spaghetti, cavaletti and linguine, with a focus on regional Italian dishes given a modern update.
“There’s definitely been an explosion of pasta restaurants over the past two years,” says executive chef Mr Elia Sebregondi, who co-founded Officina 00 alongside director Mr Enzo Mirto after the pair met working in Kiln, the much-loved Northern Thai-influenced restaurant in Soho. “We think people were always in love with carbs, but these days, they understand they’re not junk food – so they appreciate them more.
“We base everything at Officina 00 on five core values,” Mr Sebregondi continues. “Quality, passion, dedication, respect, and flexibility.” The approach is writ large in the “pasta lab”, an open workspace at the front of the restaurant, where golden-hued nests of tagliatelle, perfect disc-shaped ravioli and fat worms of pici are lovingly made throughout the day. “The idea is to incorporate the ingredients and methods we use into the guests’ experience of visiting the restaurant,” says Mr Sebregondi.