Pastaus | Fresh pasta made by artisans in Valletta

If you’re looking for something to eat in Valletta you are spoilt for choice with so many eateries offering food from all over the world. If you’re looking for pasta, however, Pastaus has to your first choice offering fresh pasta, made in-house, with a selection of Italian sauces. Flour used for the pasta is totally organic, with gluten-free options including buckwheat and hemp seed among others. AMY MICALLEF DECESARE has no problems testing this place out

20 October 2017, 12:25pm
The weather is perfect, the skies are blue, the sun is shining and I have never been more ready to consume my weight in tagliatelle. Walking through the busy streets of Valletta, like guided missiles, my guest and I have one goal in mind and that is to dominate the world of pasta. Finally, we caught sight of Pastaus in all its glory, in Old Theatre Street. The entire area is vibrating with life, bright red walls, the menu scrawled in coloured chalk, vibrant potted plants and dozens of satisfied customers waltzing in and out, each with a bigger smile than the one before.

I cannot stress how eager I was to find out exactly what they were smirking about.  

Too excited to waste too much time perusing the menu, my guest and I chose to trust fate and leave our orders in the hands of owner and pasta-enthusiast Massimo Abbate and his wife Frederica. 

I’m not going to lie. I would probably have been as happy as a clam regardless of what kind of pasta he placed in front of me but I convinced myself that the apprehension made it that much more exciting. Disclaimer: I was not disappointed and trust me, neither will you be.

Presenting… four dishes of pure heaven. Traditional tagliatelle, made fresh and combined with sublime salmon chunks, lemon zest, parmesan cheese, pistachio and their not-so-secret ingredient, brandy, not too heavy, not too creamy, delicious and visually enticing, much like the restaurant itself. I’m not too sure how visually appealing my guest and I looked wolfing it down, however.

Next. Their most highly recommended, and my personal favourite, the norma. Made with spinach-infused flour, aubergine, fresh, home-made tomato sauce and ricotta salata cheese, the dish is so satisfying, I was concerned that nothing would ever compare. Rich and creamy, the home-made tomato sauce kicks the standard canned tomato paste out of the metaphorical park. Simply put, nothing compares to freshly made anything, much less when it comes to pasta sauces. 

Next up: the classic carbonara, made with spaghetti alla chitarra pasta, eggs (and a lot of them), guanciale, parmesan and pecorino romano. Many have made the grave mistake of adding cream to a carbonara, we’ve all seen it before. Take it from a Sicilian, however, nothing more or less is supposed to be added other than the pre-mentioned four magical ingredients. 

Finally. We’ve come to the last dish. The gluten-free buckwheat pasta, made with chickpeas, chestnut flour and a dash of love (I know that was cheesy, but just go along with it), combined with the freshest of the fresh, including avocado, zucchini, crunchy almonds and cherry tomatoes. Ideal for the more health conscious, also perfect for those who actually have to function after lunch. Lighter and much less food-coma-inducing, the pasta persea is the one to go for if any or all of the above applies to you. 

In the same way as other pasta bars function, Massimo and Frederica encourage patrons to pick and choose exactly what they feel like eating, including pasta type and sauce. Have you ever been given such intense power over your own food (unless you’re in your own kitchen, of course)? Me neither, and the result is truly marvelous.

 

Pastaus

Old Theatre Street,

Valletta

Tel: 27023141

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