If you are looking for refined taste with a twist of luxury, then one word holds all the answers: Italian. Flavour combinations that have been tried and tested by generations of Italian grandmothers make up the bulk of Italian cuisine, which is based on fresh, wholesome ingredients and an intense focus on deliciousness. Tasty is at the centre of every Italian dish and Singapore could not resist the temptation, as more and more Italian restaurants pop up to cater to the needs of locals. Pasta in Singapore has been on the rise lately, as chefs come up with interesting spins on classic Italian recipes.
When you think of Italian pasta, it's hard not to think of carbonara. Traditionally made with guanciale and pecorino, pasta carbonara (usually spaghetti) is slathered in a creamy sauce that is based on egg – never cream! – and is then topped with freshly ground black pepper and parsley. Carbonara remains a favourite among Italian food enthusiasts and has seen many twists over the years, usually substituting bacon as the meat that gives the sauce its distinctive flavour and succulent quality. In Seven7h Cucina, they opt for classy parmesan cheese and add their own twist by choosing turkey bacon – which makes for a fresh, light and unconventional flavour.
Few things spell Italian quite like pesto does. Taking its name from the old Genoese word for crushed, pesto is exactly that: a brilliant combination of delicious ingredients based on basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan or pecorino, all crushed together and blended with Italian olive oil. The colourful green sauce that is the product of this ingenious mix has brought up generations of Italians and of course is a central part of pasta in Singapore. If you are looking for a slightly different version, head over to Café Salivation to try their Fettuccine with Basil Pesto, accompanied by mushrooms, peppers and chilli flakes.
3. Nero Di Calamari E Merluzzo
Italian cuisine is known for bold flavours that go very well together. So it is no surprise that they even made pasta and squid ink work: pasta Nero di Calamari traditionally uses squid ink in the recipe and that's what gives the pasta its signature and striking black colour. Italians would look down on you if you tried to grate some parmesan over your Nero di Calamari, as everyone knows that this dish is never served with cheese; instead, chefs opt for earthy and sea flavours like clams, prawns, or mussels. For a distinguished version, try the Nero Di Calamare e Merluzzo in Cucina Italian, served with fried fish.
Lasagne is probably the ultimate comfort food in Italian cuisine. Hearty and succulent, lasagne features layers of pasta sheets that embrace minced meat, tomato marinara sauce and grated cheese, all in one mouth-watering combo. Super Dario Lasagne specialises in this pasta dish and serves them by portion or tray: for an elevated lasagne, go for the Trio, which features zucchini, bell peppers and scamorza – a traditional Italian smoked cheese.
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