New Delhi is playing host to a pasta festival that is offering 18 varieties of pasta made from different parts of Italy and in different shapes and sizes with various combinations of vegetables, meat and prawns.
Italia by Park Hotel, an authentic Italian restaurant located at the DLF Promenade, Vasant Kunj, is hosting the pasta festival till March 31. On offer are 18 shapes and sizes of mouth-watering pastas. Each one differs in appearance, taste and style of cooking.
Chef Somopriyo Basu, the brainchild behind the fest, said: "People here are not aware of wide-varieties of pastas that are prepared with varieties of sauces and vegetables. So our main-purpose is to educate them and make them eat the varieties of pastas."
A new short and crisp menu is created especially for the festival. It incorporates dishes that are new and also preferred by their regular visitors. A visitor can ask chef to prepare his or her favourite pasta by adding extra toppings or sauce.
Another interesting factor is that these pastas come straight on your table at an unbelievable price of Rs.299 plus taxes for vegetarians and Rs.349 plus taxes for non-vegetarians.
Basu said: "We import ingredients like sauce, seafood, arugula leaves, etc from Italy. We use olive oil. Also, we use everything fresh. Pastas are made fresh here in the kitchen. Few are imported as well."
We began our delightful meal with delicious fettuccine pasta, prepared with sliced potatoes, beans and pesto sauce. A perfect blend of spices and flavours, it was less spicy and peppery. Instead of red or white wine, usually served with Italian cuisine, mocktail black rose, a combo of mint and sugar, was served with it and it gelled well.
Next in the line was green ravioli stuffed with spinach. It was prepared using ricotta cheese and roasted pine nuts. Ravioli are one of the most traditional types of pastas.
The healthy spinach stuffed pasta was soft, peppery and melted in the mouth. Ricotta cheese, chef informed, is prepared from cow or goat or buffalo or sheep's milk.
Then we were served sea shell shaped pasta called Orecchiette. It was prepared with pesto sauce and lots of green vegetables, perfect for vegetarians. It's an easy homemade recipe. It's light and little spicy.
While twisted and twirled pasta called Gnocchetti Sardi made with lots of chopped tomatoes, onions and mushroom was appetizing, Angel Hair pasta, also known as Capellini, a thin dry pasta preparation was less peppery and salty. It was prepared with saffron cream and sliced uncooked ham.
The non-vegetarian varieties include pastas made with sea food like prawns, shrimp, sea bass (fish) etc. They also have beef and ham pasta.
I would recommend Italia to those who are fond of authentic Italian cuisine and like experimenting with the food.
Rs.Rs.299 plus taxes (vegetarian)
Rs.349 plus taxes (non-vegetarian)