Watch: How to cook (and eat!) the perfect pasta

by Metro Magazine / 18 January, 2016
 

Do you put olive oil in the water when boiling pasta? In this interview with Alice Harbourne, Stefania Ugolini explains why that's totally pointless, along with other key Italian cooking tips:


 



Watch: Alice Harbourne interviews Pasta & Cuore owner Stefania Ugolini 

 

First Look: Pasta & Cuore


Back to work should mean a slower pace of life. There should be time to eat lunch with a knife and fork at a table, rather than breathlessly scoffing a sandwich on the way to the post office.

At Mt Eden's newest restaurant, Pasta & Cuore, you pretty much have to hang your watch up at the door. Time here is measured by the kneading of pasta dough and sipping of Pinot Grigio, punctuated by the noise of a working kitchen, made mellifluous thanks to a chorus of Italian voices.



Owner Stefania Ugolini's story is documented in the back of the restaurant's pretty cardboard menu. She grew up in Bologna with a mother whose life centered around cooking for the city's well-to-do at a prestigious restaurant, and a grandmother, who like most in her generation, believed cooking was an essential asset for a woman in want of a man. As a result, Ugolini began cooking pasta aged five, and has been doing so ever since, or as she puts it: "I grew up with a ball of pasta dough in my hand".

Pasta & Cuore opened in late December, and it's already doing a roaring lunchtime trade. With fresh pasta made daily in the shop window, the sell is simple: fresh ingredients, homemade pasta, and love. Cheesy, right? Well, actually, no. All you need to do is watch the video above to get a sense of Ugolini's effervescent passion for food, it's the opposite of cringeworthy.

And boy is the pasta good. On our visit we had the daily special - tortellacci alla zucca. I actually hadn't heard of tortellacci, but I'd heard of tortellini and was right in guessing this is its elder sibling. Presented in a shallow bowl were half a dozen giant pasta parcels containing silky mouthfuls of pumpkin. My partner (kindly a camera man on this occasion too!), had the gnocchi with seasonal vegetables. It was the sort of dish you could easily make quickly after work, if you were Stefania Ugolini and had mastered exquisite homemade gnocchi.

Service is a leisurely affair, so warm and friendly that you don't really mind the hours slipping by. Pasta portions are dainty enough to leave room for dessert, in this instance a panna cotta embodiment of the praise hands emoji, and rich tiramisu. We finished with a quick Kokako macchiato. And a chat, and a stare at the rolling and stretching and flattening of pasta dough. We left the leafy, suntrap of a courtyard with a Ciao! Arrivederci! and were shocked when we saw the InnerLink bus outside - we thought we were in Italy, for a moment.

Pasta & Cuore
409 Mount Eden Rd
Mount Eden
Auckland
pastaecuore.co.nz

Latest

The world-beating Kiwi who swam a marathon in shark-infested waters
91511 2018-05-28 00:00:00Z Profiles

The world-beating Kiwi who swam a marathon in shar…

by Ryan J Holder

Swimmer Kim Chambers was the first woman in the world to swim a dangerous 50-kilometre stretch of water off the California coast.

Read more
Is science in New Zealand too white and too male?
91344 2018-05-28 00:00:00Z Science

Is science in New Zealand too white and too male?

by Jenny Nicholls

In defending Royal Society traditionalism, Bob Brockie has shaken a mighty tree.

Read more
As the Ireland referendum vote proves, when it comes to abortion, choice is key
91536 2018-05-27 08:37:47Z World

As the Ireland referendum vote proves, when it com…

by Genevieve O’Halloran

Contrary to what the Catholic Church may think, there's no uniform female worldview when it comes to pregnancy and abortion. But there must be choice.

Read more
How New Zealanders smuggled an explosive novel from Stalinist Russia
91372 2018-05-27 00:00:00Z History

How New Zealanders smuggled an explosive novel fro…

by Robin Munro

The publication of Doctor Zhivago, the most famous novel of the Soviet Union, owed something to Kiwi diplomatic finesse and can-do.

Read more
Genetic research upends the concept of race
90066 2018-05-27 00:00:00Z Science

Genetic research upends the concept of race

by Jenny Nicholls

DNA gathered from all around the world has overturned every assumption we once had about race.

Read more
The shocking new play about the inventor of the electric chair
91491 2018-05-27 00:00:00Z Theatre

The shocking new play about the inventor of the el…

by Francesca Horsley

For the Indian Ink Theatre Company's new play Welcome to the Murder House, it's all in the execution.

Read more
Stormy Daniels could sink Trump faster than Robert Mueller – here's why
91456 2018-05-26 00:00:00Z World

Stormy Daniels could sink Trump faster than Robert…

by Paul Thomas

Scandal piles on scandal for President Donald Trump. But there's a view that Stormy Daniels poses more of a threat than the Russia investigation.

Read more
How to drink alcohol 'mindfully'
90452 2018-05-26 00:00:00Z Health

How to drink alcohol 'mindfully'

by Rosamund Dean

Some practical advice from Rosamund Dean’s game-changing plan to attain – still merry – self-restraint.

Read more