Experience Italy with PastaMania’s new “Chefs Creations”
PastaMania’s “Chefs’ Creations” is back for the fourth year to create a refreshing gastronomic experience for Italian food lovers in Singapore. 32 chefs island-wide participated in PastaMania’s Annual Chef Challenge 2013, to cook up special dishes with distinctive flavours representative of different regions and cities in Italy.
Five chefs emerged as winners from the challenge. Having drawn inspirations from Genoa, Sicily, Naples and Tuscany, each chef has whipped up wholesome Italian dishes embodying qualities of delicacies reminiscent of the Italian region or city – be it the choice of ingredients or the use of sauces.
Adding three pastas and two pizzas to the menu, PastaMania’s “Chefs’ Creations” will be available for a limited period from 18 November 2013 to 31 January 2014.
Genoa is the capital of Liguria and is the birthplace of the most iconic Italian sauce – Pesto. Pasta al pesto Genovese ($15.90) distinctly highlights the fresh flavours of pesto, allowing the sauce-coated pasta to take a fair share of limelight in the presence of gorgeous pan-seared scallops. Stirred and tossed with sweet cherry tomatoes, the dish is finished with finely crushed macadamia nuts for added aroma and crunch.
Nicknamed ‘God’s Kitchen’, food in Sicily are well-characterised by freshly-caught seafood from the surrounding coastlines. Gamberetti alla Siciliana ($11.90) stays true to the roots of Sicilian cuisine with a generous serving of scrumptious prawns. Tossed with chilli flakes and olive oil, the pasta prepared aglio olio-style is accompanied with beautiful black olives. Simply put it, it is prawn aglio olio.
A region in central Italy, Tuscany prides itself on its rich game that often takes centre stage in its traditional cuisine. Beef ragu alla Toscana rejects the common trend of fancy sauces and overly complex flavours. Paying tribute instead to the Tuscan gastronomic tradition, the dish is simply made up of perfectly prepared pasta drenched in beef stew with fork-tender meat. I wished the beef stew had stronger flavours. This is way too creamy for my liking.
Naples, the Capital of Campania, is traditionally credited as the home of the pizza, the most well-known creation in Neapolitan cuisine.
Beginning with a generous spread of creamy alfredo sauce, the thin crust of Pizza con spinaci ($10.90 for 7 inch, $15 for 10 inch) is layered with toppings of juicy cherry tomatoes and crispy bacon. I enjoyed this thin crust pizza as it has a balance of the flavours between the savoury bacon and refreshing tomatoes.
Many Italians insist that if you wish to experience the tastes and flavours of a real Italian pizza, Naples is the place to go.
A base layered with crispy bacon and tender shiitake mushrooms, the highlight of Pizza alle olive in crosta ($10.90 for 7 inch, $15 for 10 inch) is its stuffed crust filled with flavourful green olives. Perfectly complemented with a serving of freshly mixed salad. Unfortunately, we find that the stuffed crust is slightly too salty due to the green olives.
For more information, please visit www.pastamania.com