Festival della Pasta @ Zafferano : 21 Nov to 30 Jan
Pasta lovers, save on those plane tickets to Italy and make a reservation at Zafferano this Saturday night! Snag a seat high up on the 43rd floor of the Ocean Financial Centre, where this modern Italian restaurant will be launching their Festival della Pasta Menu, served every Saturday night, from 21 Nov till 30 Jan.
Inspired by Chef’s Marco Guccio’s childhood, the six-course menu ($85++) consists of five pasta dishes and one dessert. Top up $75++ for wine pairing to add onto the delightful pasta journey from the south to north of Italy!
Pastas of Italy: South versus North
In the south of Italy, which is located near the sea, seafood pasta is more prominent and the dishes are on the lighter side, with more vegetables. Whereas in the north of Italy, meat-stuffed pasta dominates meals and both butter and cream are used extensively, resulting in richer flavours that are heavier on the palate.
1st Course: Zitoni
Zitoni, a type of pasta hailing from Silicy, located at the southern tip of Italy, comes in a long or short cut in large forms. The al-dente zitoni is cooked with purple eggplant, fresh ‘Pachino’ tomatoes and salted ‘ricotta’ cheese, giving you a good balance of flavours and texture.
2nd Course: Orecchiette
Commonly made by local women on the streets of Bari Vecchia, Orecchiette hails from Puglia in the southern part of Italy as well. Orecchiette, meaning ‘small ear’ in Italian, is thus shaped in the form of an ear and is served with bitter turnip greens, tomatoes and anchovies.
3rd Course: Tortellini
Filled pasta such as tortellini is especially famous in Emilia-Romagna, located in the north of Italy. Legend has it that the navel-shaped tortellini was created after an innkeeper peeped at a beautiful lady, but only saw her navel.
At Zafferano, the homemade tortellini is served in a clear chicken consommé. Loosely speaking, this dish is an elevated version of a hearty and clear chicken soup, but with the added flavours of silky pasta stuffed with prosciutto and mortadella.
4th Course: Casoncelli
Shaped to look like wrapped candy, Casoncelli is a uniquely sweet stuffed pasta found in Lombardia, a northern region of Italy.
The restaurant's handmade casoncelli contains a delightfully sweet filling of butternut pumpkin, egg yolk, parmesan cheese and raisins mix, which complements the savoury Taleggio cheese fondue perfectly. The walnuts and fried sage leaves also add an extra crunch to finish off the dish.
5th Course: Agnolotti
Agnolotti, typically associated with the Piedmont region in the north of Italy, is Italian for ‘foot of the mountain’, and is filled only with braised meat. Homemade agnolotti is Zafferano’s signature dish, filled with a delicious 12-hour-marinated beef oxtail, placed over a celery root puree with crunchy pistachio nuts.
6th Course: Crostata della Mama & Cantucci
Crostata (pictured above) is a well-loved classic dessert in all of Italy. At Zafferano, Chef Marco recreates his mum’s crostata, a buttery rustic pie that contains a homemade filling of fresh seasonal fruits.
Cantucci, also known a biscotti with sliced or whole almonds, is then served for an after-dinner dessert treat. Baked twice to obtain its signature hard and dry texture, it is best enjoyed dipped in a glass of Vin Santo, a traditional Tuscan dessert wine. Yes, wine.
Zafferano, Ocean Financial Centre, 10 Collyer Quay Level 43 Singapore 049315
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Written by Rachel Wong
Top Image: Zafferano