Saturday, 29 November 2014

Best Eats This Week - Pappardelle with Wild Boar (London)

Like every Italian, I’m very particular about my pasta. Everyone thinks they can make pasta, and sure, everyone can to a certain extent, but you can say the same thing about ramen and steak and sushi. I’ve witnessed and unfortunately sampled very disappointing pastas outside of Italy– mostly just bland and overcooked – heart-breakingly overcooked. And so I never order pasta here.

Well, that was until Thursday night when a proper Roman chef, known as the King of Gnocchi here, cooked a seven-course dinner that included three pasta dishes. All three were superb – tagliatelle with artichokes and spareribs, gnocchi with oxtail and cocoa, and my favorite: pappardelle with wild boar blanquette. Al dente, creamy and rich -- the wild boar was slow cooked for hours and then shredded and tossed through the pasta with lots of cheese and the thick ribbons of pappardelle were of the perfect texture. A good pasta is difficult to make, not even every Italian knows how to make a good pasta but this chef knows what he’s doing. A happy, jolly man full of enthusiasm, you could see his eyes sparkle with excitement when he described each dish as they came out. I had the loveliest meal as you could taste the passion and the joy that was there in the process of cooking each dish.

Find chef Adalberto Battaglia on Brick Lane every weekend in London, or go on his site to see when his next popup is.

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