We’ve spent so many hours in lockdown trying to perfect our own homemade pasta, but it still doesn’t compare to the stuff made by professionals. They have that magic touch. And the time! That’s why we tried some of Officina 00’s new DIY kits – of which there are many.
These guys have been up and running by Old Street for a couple years now, pumping out traditional homemade pasta to City and East London foodies. They are purists when it comes to pasta – using age old recipes from a broad range of regions around Italy.
You’ll get your usual pappardelle and gnocchi but expect some less familiar variations. Learn of occhi, corzetti and tagliolini pastas while sipping on wine at home. These are the pastas you wouldn’t make at home. That’s why it’s so great we can still try them out, even while we can’t get into restaurants. Thank the Italian gods for DIY kits.
NOW READ: Celebrate Lunar New Year at home with one of the City’s top Chinese restaurants
The Moorish beef brisket occhi dish (very similar to your garden variety ravioli) comes with a few little tubs of additional sauce – a Genovese jus, sour parsley pesto, some unsalted butter and a good blob of aged provolone cheese.
Putting it all together is way too easy. Boil the pasta (for just a few minutes because it’s fresh), cook the jus and butter and add the toppings. Easy, breezy, beautiful. So much simpler than trying to make at home. Just imagine making your own beef brisket on top of fresh pasta. Even we don’t have the energy for doing that at home these days.
The flavours in this occhi dish are just so masterfully balanced. The meaty filling isn’t over seasoned. The butter gives some richness to the sauce. The sour parsley pesto cuts through it all. And then the obligatory cheese just adds more fun to the whole affair. What a Win!
Next up was the classic pappardelle with pork ragu and meatballs. If this is on any menu, we cannot turn it down. Ever. When done right, ragu is just a bowl of homey goodness. And we’ve had Officina 00’s before. Expectations were high. And expectations were met folks.
We fried the mini meatballs, warmed up the rich and meaty sauce, and quickly boiled that pappardelle. It took about 5 minutes all up. A far cry from the hours of cooking required to make such a flavour packed ragu. It was insanely good. The bowl was liked clean. As were the spoons used to reheat the sauce.
But the fun didn’t end there. We even tried out their aubergine parmigiana. For this bad boy, all you had to do was throw it in the oven for 10 minutes, heat up a cheesy fondu sauce and drizzle a whole heap of basil oil on top.
What you get is a traditional parmigiana which has been lifted with the extra toppings. And, even though it is vegetarian, it had a meatiness to it. The thick tomato sauce had clearly been cooked down for hours, developing deep and rich smoky flavours. Another win.
These DIY kits are made for the pasta lovers who miss the real authentic stuff. And you don’t have to go for the whole kit itself. They even sell their fresh pasta by weight and deliver across London. Feel like you’re actually in Italy with these DIY kits from Officina 00.