Perhaps it is the familiarity of slurping noodles that has made Italian pasta popular amongst Singaporeans. But restaurants are fast catching on to this trend. Whether it is handmade or dried, these places have managed to turn out comforting oodles of pasta cooked in a variety of sauces and ingredients. Even then, luxurious ingredients aren’t always necessary in the equation. Say with the elegant aglio olio or the cacio e pepe — simple yet tasty dishes with only a few ingredients involved.
In Singapore, restaurants are dedicated to introducing traditional recipes to diners. Though others are also taking a more creative spin with decadent produce. Regardless, you’re sure to get a homely bowl of goodness. Here’s where to go for great pasta dishes.
This Italian restaurant, conceptualised by chef-owner Beppe de Vito, is best known for its wood-fired pizzas and modern toppings. But its pasta is just as impressive too. De Vito sources dried pasta from artisanal makers and also makes his own as well. Just like Amo’s pies, the pasta here comes along with decadent ingredients such as taglioni with cuttlefish and squid ink or fettucine with beef shank and orange salmoriglio. We highly recommend the spaghetti chitarra with a whole Boston lobster and tarragon herbs — perfect for two to dine.
The chic-elegant spot takes inspiration from the Italian trattoria and offers a good variety of pasta such as gnocchi, beetroot-infused sacchetti ‘dumplings’ and casarecce. Diners can go for tasting or larger sharing portions of each pasta. There are some interesting pasta dishes to go for on the menu, but try the cacio e pepe which has a deceptively simple mix of Sarawak black pepper and Parmigiana cheese. Building on its pasta success, Bar Cicheti has now opened Caffe Cicheti — a more causal environment with impressive pasta dishes still.
Bella Pasta, the sister restaurant of Bella Pizza, offers a wider range of Italian dishes such as Bistecca steaks and seafood platters. These are all temping to order, but do save some space for the restaurant’s extensive list of pasta dishes. The kitchen is made up of chefs who have trained in Italy and perfected the craft of handmaking pasta. The menu sees classic dishes, like orecchiette with sausage and broccoli or pansotti burrata (read: stuffed egg pasta parcels served with melted mozzarella and basil). P.S. Bella Pasta also has gluten-free pasta options as well.
Lino Pasta Bar is the latest offshoot from Lino, a contemporary Italian restaurant known for handmade pizzas. As its name suggests, the main focus for this Les Amis Group restaurant is pasta. Only set menus are available for lunch and dinner, at wallet-friendly prices. There’s a considerable list of pasta dishes to try, think the Malfalde cacio e pepe with black and pink Madagascan peppercorns or the humble lasagna with slathers of meat sauce and béchamel sauce.
Pasta Bar is led by chef Alessandro Giustetti, previously from one-Michelin-star Garibaldi, and carries an impressive menu of handmade pasta and dishes. Giustetti draws on Italian traditions and family recipes for his menu. It is here where you can have the lagane, an ancient Italian pasta served with chickpeas, chilli and spicy garlic sauce. Other popular dishes include ciriole carbonara with guanciale and pecorino and tagliatelle with rich beef ragu.