They say pasta is the food for the soul and after a single sitting at Pasta & Cuore it’s not difficult to see why. Nestled in the heart of Mount Eden’s finest and a stone’s throw away from the likes of Frasers and RAD café, this charming pastificio brings authenticity in spades.

Paying homage to the bona fide cuisine of Emilia Romagna, Bologna, co-owner and chef Stefania Ugolini recalls early memories of treasured notebooks filled with recipes holding, “the best-kept secrets able to satisfy even the most demanding palates.” Hence, coming as no surprise the pages of which are still drawn upon today.

With an ethos built largely on Stefania’s humble Bolognese beginnings, quality, locally sourced ingredients remain central to her practice, where organic produce takes precedence and the menu varies seasonally.

Stepping inside is like coming home. Or rather, returning to a feeling of familiarity you never knew existed. Front door greetings from a large glass cabinet boasting uniform heaps of raw tagliatelle immediately signal the food here is handled with love. And so love follows…

Offering lunch through to dinner, opt to sit shopfront as fresh hand-made pasta is prepared, or outside beneath an aptly illuminated courtyard setting. Alternatively, gather a party and duck upstairs for an intimate dining experience where wooden tables dress a notably minimalist setting.

Accompanied by an exclusively crafted wine list, the menu feels thoughtful and considered, with very little left unaccounted for in the way of al dente. As you indulge in the first sip of Tre Monti’s succulent Petrignone, consider the antipasto offering of, but not limited to, zucchini carpaccio with shavings of aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, green Sicilian olives, sourdough bruschetta doused in extra virgin olive oil, not to mention an array of heavenly cheeses. Before proceeding to order all of the above, one must be politely reminded that this is only the beginning.  

The main occasion rivals plates of ragoût topped tagliatelle, creamy spaghetti, potato gnocchi and ravioli of the day, each in their own right, the epitome of Italian cuisine. None can be faulted, as satisfying proportions pave the way for a culmination of pannacotta and a tipple of dessert wine.

Seeking to serve in lieu of a much desired Mediterranean getaway, Pasta & Cuore serves up the full-bodied flavours and a vast culinary knowledge one would expect from a genuine Italian experience. Although chances are, this is probably better.

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