Tim Siadatan: The Best Pasta Dishes in Italy

They queue round the block at Tim Siadatan’s two branches of Padella – the fresh pasta joints he set up with business partner Jordan Frieda, one in Borough Market and the other in Shoreditch. When you go it’s easy to see why – the pici cacio e pepe is the best in London and the beef shin pappardelle is rivalled only by the one he serves at his original, slightly fancier restaurant, Trullo. We asked him for his three best pasta dishes in Italy.

Sea urchin spaghetti, Da Vittorio, Sicily 

This fish restaurant is in the province of Siracusa, on the island of Sicily, located in a casual little hotel and it’s all a bit chintzy. But it’s a charming spot right on the beach and the sea urchin spaghetti is to die for. They do lots of raw fish and crudo, but really you want to order the pasta. If there are two of you, I would order two spaghetti dishes: one with sea urchin and the other with John Dory roe. Both are incredible.  

Da Vittorio, Portopalo, Sicily; ristorantevittorio.it

Agnolotti of braised ox tail with smoked porcini butter, SantoPalato, Rome

In Rome, they stay in their lane when it comes to food: the idea of the contemporary there is nothing like contemporary London. So it’s hard to compare, but I would say that SantoPalato is the closest they have to Bright in London Fields; a bunch of young people working on a passion project. The chef is Sarah Cicolini, and she does two exceptional pasta dishes. The first is rigatoni con la pajata, which you find everywhere in Rome. It’s made from milk-fed veal intestine, and sometimes it’s a bit bland, but hers is exceptionally good. The dish that really stood out, though, was an agnolotti of braised ox tail with smoked porcini butter – it was one of the best pastas I’ve ever eaten. 

SantoPalato, Piazza Tarquinia, Rome; santopalato.superbexperience.com/

Spaghetti alla nerano, Lo Scoglio, Amalfi Coast

Lo Scoglio is a pretty basic hotel with about 12 rooms, but they’ve got a lovely restaurant that sits on a little pier out into the sea. All the pasta there is amazing, but the dish you have to try originated from a little village about a mile up the road called Nerano. It’s made from courgette, a local cheese and mint. Imagine a dish with the creaminess of cacio e pepe, but without the pepper and loads of mushy courgette and mint going through it. It’s really, really good. 

Lo Scoglio, Marina del Cantone, Amalfi; hotelloscoglio.com

Eat Tim’s Food at padella.co and trullorestaurant.com

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