Pasta. Sauce. Couch. Few combinations are as comforting as this weekday favourite. While certain members of team Broadsheet aren’t above the pleasures of low-brow, carb-on-carb comfort (hello to you, tinned spaghetti toasted sandwich), we’re equally willing to hit the road in the name of something a little more crafted. Here are five dishes fellow pasta fiends would do well to seek out this season.
Crab spaghetti with seaweed and furikake at Deck
The Japanese, ever the masters of interpolating other country’s cuisines (see tempura and the country’s fanatical obsession with French pastry) have made pasta their own. At Ku De Ta’s all-day venue, east meets west in this winning meal-for-one. House-made spaghetti enriched with seaweed plus crab and furikake (Japanese rice seasoning) equals a compelling new riff on seafood pasta.
Tagliatelle della Delizia at Lulu La Delizia
Singling out a favourite pasta at Lulu La Delizia is to face a great many difficult choices, partially because the menu’s hit-rate is so high, but also because chef Joel Valvasori-Pereza is constantly rewriting his carte. While Lulu’s first six months have given eaters much to rave about (that smoked garganelli! A special of duck liver gargatti! The – alas – recently retired lagoon-style clam spaghetti!), it’s hard to go past the house tagliatelle with a veal, pork and red wine ragu. Satisfying, delicious and a menu cornerstone for very good reason. Vegetarian? Order the cjalsons stuffed with a sweet-savoury ricotta and sultana filling and profit.
Spaghetti and meatballs at Monsterella Pizza
Pizza isn’t the only flour- and water-based pleasure on offer at Monsterella. While owner Ryan Bookless tends the wood-fired oven, his mother-in-law Maria Nicolo is in charge of the restaurant’s handmade pasta. Unashamedly homely in style and inspiration, they work as either accompaniments to Monsterella’s excellent pies or standalone meals. Go the spaghetti and meatballs for a reminder how delicious “authentic” Australian-Italian cooking can be.
Duck pappardelle at Lalla Rookh
When word got out that Alex Haynes was stepping into the head chef gig at Lalla Rookh, the then-sous chef claimed “lighter” and “more feminine” would underscore the new menu. We’re not convinced the duck pappardelle ticks both those boxes, but it is an undeniably delicious picture of autumn comfort. Starring thick waves of pasta combined with pulled Wagin duck meat, shards of crisp duck skin and more things cooked in confit garlic and butter than your average The Biggest Loser trainer would approve of – it’s the menu’s one pasta to rule them all. Tuck in.
Maltagliati with braised pork shoulder, vermouth and rosemary at Il Lido
Once upon a time, this seaside cantina in Cottesloe served a maltagliati (the pasta’s name, a reference to the roughly-torn shapes, means “badly cut” in Italian) dressed with no small amount of pork ragu and finely shaved pecorino cheese. For its new autumn-winter collection, Il Lido chef Roberto Zampogna has made a few tweaks, swapping out the pig for slow-cooked pork shoulder and combining it with rosemary and lemony beans. It’s a heart-warming story of (pasta) rags and riches.