Duck into Pasta Prego, a fast-casual spot serving up comforting pastas and Italian-leaning sides at affordable prices. Founded by lifelong friends Lorenzo Fantarella and Isaac Varano, the takeaway joint has consistently pulled large lines and become known for its Fishbowl-style build-your-own pasta bowls.
The menu lets you choose your own pasta adventure from the get go. First, you choose a sauce and pasta shape and style, then have the option to select from 26 add-ons including anchovies, prawns, kalamata olives and chilli.
Sauces include classics like Napoletana, cream, bolognaise, rosé (a vodka sauce sans vodka), carbonara and pesto, which form the base for the likes of beef ragu, meatball and chicken alfredo. The house-made Italian pork and fennel sausage with rosé sauce is a popular standout, made using Varano’s family recipe. There are also vegetarian options including the Capri made with chargrilled eggplant, capsicums, onions, mushroom and garlic in rosé sauce, along with seafood offerings like puttanesca and garlic prawns.
After you choose your sauce, step two is picking the pasta. Expect classic shapes including penne (which also comes gluten-free), spaghetti and fettuccine along with pillowy gnocchi, spinach and ricotta ravioli, and beef tortellini. The pastas aren’t made in-house but are sourced from local suppliers.
As for sides, it’s got to be the hand-rolled beef and pork meatballs, and cheesy garlic bread made using sourdough Vienna.
The venue is hard to miss, with a striking green facade. Elevating your average takeaway joint, the light-filled space, which was largely built and fitted out by the duo, is decked out with terrazzo tiles from Italy, crisp white accents, retro posters and four window-facing bar stools to perch on. Outside, there’s room for another 12 people to enjoy their meal under a covered verandah.
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