On my Sunday visit to Netil Market, I also had the chance to try the wonderful asparagus and ricotta ravioli, served with a lemon and sage butter sauce from Pasta e Basta. I sampled their betroot gnocchi however, as I often find with this potato dish, it was a little too sticky for me so I decided to settle for the pasta option. This pasta dish was a rich delight, cooked fresh in front of my eyes- while it’s to be expected that the pasta would be cooked while you wait, to see the sauce being cooked fresh for each customer is a real pleasure, as you see every ingredient and bit of skill that goes in to making the dish. There’s no doubt this dish is extravagant- I’d hate to count the calories in all the butter I saw go into the sauce and the result is very rich. Some may even consider it a little much, it’s definitely a dish that is going to appeal more to those who like the creamy, rich side of Italian food, particularly if you like it covered in creamy parmesan cheese, as I do. For my tastebuds though, it was an extravagant treat and was the best Italian dish I’ve tasted in quite some time, better than the vast majority of pricey Italian restaurants. That’s what street food can be all about- yes, it’s great to enjoy the big meaty burgers or in your face flavours but the food being served by Pasta e Basta represents top restaurant quality food being sold for around the £5 mark, for everyone to enjoy.
If you fancy giving it a try, and you should, Pasta e Basta are trading at various places round London including Hackney Homemade and Red Market. One of the interesting points being talked about at the market was the hierarchy that is developing within the London Street Food scene- while Eat St and Street Feast are doing some excellent things, with delicious food on offer, it’s important for everyone to get out and try some of the less hyped small markets and pop-ups, that give new traders the opportunity to get going, as the quality of the food can be as good in a brand new market with 2 or 3 traders as it is in the well-established hotspots. On that note, if anyone knows of any of these smaller markets I should try, please let me know!
You can find Pasta e Basta on Twitter: @PastaeBastaLndn